Why We Recognised Saraki, Dogara As National Assembly Leaders – Oyegun
The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, has provided further insight into why the APC leadership decided to accept the emergence of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara despite initial objections.
Oyegun, who spoke to journalists yesterday against the backdrop of divergent views coming from APC leaders on the outcome of the National Assembly elections, said though the party saw what transpired during the inaugural legislative sitting as a misnomer, it nonetheless felt the urgent need to accept the reality and quickly reconcile its members so as not to allow it to cripple governance.
“All the party has decided to do is to reunify as quickly as possible our members in both chambers of the National Assembly under the existing realities. That is the first priority. Every other thing will follow suit.
“All other thing will have to wait. This is because, if for instance, the president says he wants to present his list of ministerial nominees to the Senate, we would not want a situation whereby the senate will be divided,” he said.
Oyegun said he was happy that the party was gradually arriving at an amicable settlement of the situation, adding that it was aimed at preventing further intra-party squabbles.
He also warned the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not take it for granted that APC was embroiled in a crisis, describing what happened as a “temporary setback which is bound to give way within a short period of time”.
“Let me assure the public that peace is on the way. We had a problem in the family, no doubt about that, but we are moving quickly to resolve it. As you can see, we are working hard to see that the leaders and rank and file don’t start throwing punches.
“There was no doubt that when you have problems, your opponents will seize the opportunity to rise. But what is important is how quickly we get our acts together and put all this behind us and move forward strongly.
“Some of these setbacks, no doubt, will give the other side the opportunity to laugh, but it is temporal and usual wherever you have human beings,” he said.
Oyegun also dismissed the notion that President Muhammadu Buhari was delaying ministerial appointments to the federal cabinet.
“I don’t think that notion is correct. We have a very capable president. He is as capable as ever. The president is a very careful man. He wants to be sure that the kind of people he will appoint are people who are passionate about the country. What is really important is the speed of delivery of his policies.
“You can see that things are already improving in spite of that fact. You can see in the electricity front, the supply of petroleum products, etc. They are not connected.
“What the president is doing is to conduct a very thorough check on the background of the people he will appoint,” he said.
He stressed that the president has the prerogative to pick either people within the party or outside the party, adding, “This is an executive function and the president has the right to consult as widely as possible. This means he might pick people within the party or people outside the party.
“It is a prerogative the president should exercise and we cannot question that. We are quite happy with the way he is proceeding.”
Oyegun also rejected speculations that he was among those being considered to be the next Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in the new administration.
He said he never solicited for the SGF post or any other position other than national chairman of the party, which he presently occupies.
“I have not in anyway solicited for any position other than the national chairmanship of APC. I think I am clear enough, isn’t it? And nobody has approached me that he is considering me either for that position or another,” he said.