6th October, 2014
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, has dispelled rumours in some quarters that the party has zoned its presidential candidacy to a particular section of the country.
Chief Oyegun made the clarification on Monday in Benin shortly after he received a delegation from the Izon-Ibe Global Policy Network (IGPN).
The group strongly opposes the re-election bid of President Goodlcuk Jonathan.
Oyegun said all sections of the country were free to vie for the presidential ticket of the APC, just as he assured that his party’s presidential candidate would emerge without any hitch.
“They always see signals at every stage of our development that there will be rancour. There may be disagreements, but we always overcome them. We have survived all the predictions so far. That one too will come and it will pass. We have insisted that we are going to have a level playing field, we are going to provide every aspirant with equal opportunity, we are going to be even handed to all aspirants, there is no anointed candidate to the best of my knowledge and I think that is what it is going to be.
“We are going to issue a code of conduct that will ensure that the campaign, the run up to the primaries will be rancour-free even in terms of personal attacks. People will say their merits, they will say why they are the best but it is not within the rules to say why somebody else shouldn’t get it. Just tell us what you have for the party and for the nation, prove that you have the leadership qualities that the nation needs at this crucial time of its existence,” Oyegun said.
The APC National Chairman said the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led federal government has lost steam in taking Nigeria to where it should be as a nation and reassured Nigerians that the opposition was ready and working to win next year’s presidential election.
“The issues facing our nation really are that we are now saddled with a party and with a President who are totally running out of steam. There is no question about that, no question, they have run out of ideas.
“Everything that is going on today and the vulgarity of the campaigns that are going on today whether it is TAN, Peoples Defending Our Posterity and all sorts of things, gives us just that singular impression of a party that has reached the end of the road, knows that it has reached the end of the road, knows that it has nothing else to offer but knows that it has so much to hide,” Oyegun said.
He expressed worry that 54 years after independence, Nigeria was still at cross roads with a disillusioned army of youths.
“When people ask me why I am still worried with what I am doing, I tell them quite frankly that this nation has been very good to me. I enjoyed my youth, I enjoyed my adolescence, my growing up and I enjoyed the process of going through education; things were good and it is not that we are falling on hard times, we have even enough better than they were in my time.
At the end of every month I go to the bursary and get my allowance. I was able to live relatively stress free student life when things, resource-wise were not as available as they are now. So the question I ask myself is why? Things cannot ever be okay like it was totally in the past but should things have to be as bad as they are today? That is the question you are asking yourselves, which is the question you are struggling to find answers to and I do compliment you.
“I am a South-Southerner, I was a national president of the South-South Peoples Assembly and for a long time we struggled to be of help to the administration. As a matter of fact, in one of our conferences somebody from our area came out with a beautiful paper which we gladly adopted and it was titled ‘Mr. President, Just Get it done’; and that one told us the whole story of what was going on in peoples mind, his own people, south-south. We know what the problems are, we know where the issues are, we have the resources to address them; why are we not addressing these issues and why are we not addressing these problems?,” chief Oyegun asked.
Commenting on why he refused to accept the honour of Commander of the Niger (CON) recently bestowed on him by President Goodluck Jonathan, Oyegun attributed his action to the violent attack on judges and judicial workers in Ekiti state, saying that he was yet to recover from the shock of disparaging the judiciary.
Earlier, the spokesman of the group, Dennis Ayubalayefa, disclosed that they intend to mobilise people from the creeks of the Niger Delta, and all other geo-political zones to mobilise support for the APC.