No serious rift with Tinubu – Oyegun

No serious rift with Tinubu – Oyegun
October 05 07:13 2016

Embattled national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Oyegun, has played down the rift between him and national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu.

Tinubu had in a recent communique called for Oyegun’s resignation, accusing him of being the brain behind the controversial emergence of Rotimi Akeredolu as the party’s candidate in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo state.

Oyegun was accused of ignoring a committee report on the primary election and presenting Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday night,  Oyegun said he merely had a difference of opinion and not a serious disagreement with the former Lagos state governor.

He, however, acknowledged that the tone of Tinubu’s comment on him was harsh.

“Do people know how far back our association goes? Do they know that we were in the trenches together in the NADECO days? Why can’t people, who have mutual respect for each other, have different opinions?

“All we had was difference of opinions. Yes, it was expressed a bit harshly but that doesn’t remove the basic fact that we have worked together for a very long time,” he added

“There is no rift with Asiwaju. We have difference of opinions, difference of perception and I think that is normal. Yes, I agree that the nature of the (Tinubu’s) statement was a bit harsh,” the chairman said.

On Tinubu’s call for his resignation, he said: “The methods of getting rid of a national chairman, if that is what I will call it, are spelt out in the constitution. They don’t take place on the pages of newspapers.”

He disclosed that the National Executive Committee of the party and other organs would meet very soon.

He denied sponsoring the youths who protested against Tinubu at the party’s national headquarters earlier in the day.

“God forbid (that I sponsor the protest)! Anybody who knows me knows that it is not my style. I am equally shocked and I am going to look into it and find out why and who is behind it.

Oyegun said all that transpired in the party’s primary election in Ondo state were contained in the report of the chairman of the primary committee.

When asked if the party would consider withdrawing Akeredolu’s name from INEC based on the backlash, the party chairman said, “It is only INEC that can make a U-turn on the Ondo primary.”