The All Progressives Congress has said its former National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, condoned indiscipline while he was at the helm of affairs of the party.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who spoke to Journalists, said the National Working Committee led by Odigie-Oyegun had lacked the courage required to confront the “pockets of political despots,” who could not operate by the party’s rules.
Odigie-Oyegun had described Oshiomhole as lacking the temperament and capacity to run a political party. The former APC chairman had said, “He engages his mouth before his mind, so he offends party members.”
But reacting to Odigie-Oyegun’s criticism of Oshiomhole, Issa-Onilu stated that the resultant effect of the former chairman’s style of leadership was widespread indiscipline across party ranks, lack of respect for party supremacy by the 8th National Assembly leadership, and its overall inability to align the varying interests of the legacy parties that came together to form the APC in 2014.
He said, “Let me agree that the NWC that led the party into the 2015 elections and continued till June 2018 did nothing different from what you would find in the Peoples Democratic Party. It was a period the party was seen as a mere vehicle to attain political office.
“The system accommodated impunity as certain members appeared to be superior to the party. Their interests were far more important than the collective interests of the APC, even when most times such interests are at variance with the ideals the party stand for.
“The leadership under Chief Oyegun, with due respect to him, condoned all sorts of acts of indiscipline from certain members. It is not surprising that the current National Working Committee inherited such a huge mess, where the party was struggling to differentiate itself from the delinquent PDP.”
The APC spokesman said the PDP was “practically dead” following its defeat at the 2015 elections, adding that the PDP bounced back not because the party had changed its “insidious way” or did anything different, but because the APC did not live up to expectations.
“It goes without saying that when an organisation is unable to enforce its own rules, it would suffer the consequences sooner than later.
“We should not be ashamed to say that our party’s leadership under Chief Oyegun lacked the courage required to confront the pockets of political despots who could not operate by the party’s rules,” Issa-Onilu stated.