Editor's note: Lauretta Onochie, the special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media, in reaction to recent defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said the party made a gross error and grave mistake electing Chief John Oyegun as the national chairman.
In a statement published on her Facebook page on Thursday, July 26, titled: "CHANGE HAS COME TO APC. HIS NAME IS ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE" Onochie alleged that Oyegun was manipulated by members of nPDP to act in accordance with the rules and precincts of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Read the full statement below:
I have looked forward to a time like this and I'm thankful that I'm here to see it emerging and under the leadership of Pres. Buhari too. I'm talking about a time when people will belong to political parties on ideological leanings and bases.
The practice has been that Nigerian politicians belong to political parties, based on how much money that can gain access to based on that association. Access to oil wells and national wealth in cash and solid minerals were on the table for sharing. So you find Conservatives, Progressives, Socialists, Liberals, etc., all muddled up in one messy party.
For some years, some of us yearned for a political party that would be progressive in name, in nature and in character. So when APC was formed, we had high hopes that it would be totally different from other parties. It was, at the beginning, for as long as Chief Bisi Akande was in charge. And then, we had a change of leadership and it became a nightmare.
Hand on chest, I was one of of those who worked for the emergence of His Excellency, Chief Oyegun as the Chairman of APC. But it wasn't long before I realised that we had made a gross error and a grave mistake. Chief Oyegun led our party on the template laid down by PDP.
It has to be understood that the only experience Nigerians have had in the recent times has been that of PDP. Their system was not ordinary people friendly. Ordinary party faithfuls had no part nor say in PDP affairs. PDP was and is still run by impunity. Only one person and at best, a few people, decide what needs to be done.
Consequently, the leadership of HE Chief Oyegun, copied verbatim, the PDP ways of doing things. It must be understood too, that the only example Chief Oyegun had of party leadership in recent times was PDP. But he was unwilling to adapt. He was not willing to be innovative or creative. At first he showed eagerness to do things differently but now we know, why he couldn't lead change.
It turned out that the nPDP was a pebble in the blender that blended APC into a merger. The nPDP, being a pebble that sneaked into a blender that merged ACN, ANPP, CPR and half APGA, could not merge with the others as their character was still, PDP.
This nPDP hijacked Chief Oyegun and used him to transform our treasured APC into something many of us could not recognise. Nigerians began to look for, but could not see the difference between APC and PDP. Consequently, many of us either stood aloof and watched or began a background campaign to recover our party. I joined the later.
Impunity took over the national APC. Some members of the National Working Committee, complained bitterly that Chief Oyegun was acting alone, guided of course, by nPDP leaders in the party.
Everything he did was to serve their interests. The NWC would decide on an issue. Behind them, Chief Oyegun would reverse their collective decisions. He ran the APC HQ as a private estate. Are you asking how I came about that conclusion? I am from Delta State. I'll just hang it there!
And then it happened. His Excellency, Comrade Oshiomhole, a core progressive, emerged as the new leader of APC and all hell broke loose! Grumbling became louder. Threats erupted. There was jittery. There was panic. Those who were used to having their ways, sought to escape.
They began to be comical. They did not need anyone to tell them that the game was up. They scampered like frightened chicks at the appearance of a shadow of an eagle from the sky. They know they cannot manipulate our Comrade. They know he belongs to the people. Yes the people!
Many of us were delighted. As I said earlier, we wanted an APC that is different both in character and content from PDP. But the pebbles that refused to be merged, ensured APC remained bloated, overweight, inedible and indigestible. Many Nigerians voiced the glaring fact that APC looked like, talked like and acted like it's older brother, PDP. But that was not APC. It was nPDP.
But the change is now happening. Not totally, because there are still remnants of the old order, who would want everything to continue at the APC HQ, as usual. We are watching them and we will not tolerate their impunity and corruption in our new NWC. We will speak up.
Looking like PDP was not funny. It was sad. Being obese is unhealthy by any standard. It's time to lose weight. It's time for members of all political parties in Nigeria to return to where they feel comfortable in terms of ideology. In APC, we expected defections of pebbles who could not blend with the rest of us. We are also expecting that those Nigerians who are stranded in other parties or who could not see the difference between APC and PDP, would soon see the difference and return to where they truly belong.
What is happening now, is great for the growth of party politics in Nigeria. When we are through, when one says he/she is APC or PDP, we will, straight away, know who they are and what they stand for. Parties will be driven by ideologies, not by personal interests or stomach infrastructure.
Over the past three years, President Buhari has managed to achieve developmental strides thought impossible, with minority support in the National Assembly. What is happening now, will strengthen that support. It will sift the chaff from the grains. Nigerians can now clearly identify those who represent corruption at the National Assembly.
Presidenr Buhari has never been supported by the pebbles in the National Assembly. Bills for the progress of our nation he sent to them in 2016, January to be precise, are covered with layers of dust in a cupboard at the National Assembly.
They moaned that they were entitled to personal ownership of our national wealth, specfically, oil wells. Working with some APC leaders in the National Assembly was like pulling teeth or nailing jelly to the tree. They took over the executive role of writing the budget. It was one betrayal after another.
President Buhari's crime was being the one with the clean hands and the will to confront corruption, a deadly tumour that destroyed the tissues of our nation. He has refused to award oil wells to criminals in power who have never cared that oil-related deaths occur daily in the Niger Delta. But they are not the only opposition to our government, the people's government.
The others wanted Pres. Buhari dead. He survived. Then they bought a campaign, urging him not to run for second term. They wrote letters. They urged Nigerians to take up arms against one another. Nigerians overruled them and urged him to run.
They then went on a killing spree in an effort to demarket him. Stupidly, they blamed all the killings on Fulani herdsmen. In a nation of people obsessed with ethnicity, why would the Fulanis go on a killing spree to demarket one of their own? Their very best! All in vain.
As the Chairman of our great party has already said and rightfully too, we are truly, not losing sleep. It's a moment many of us have looked forward to, just as we are looking forward to the swearing in of President Muhammadu Okechukwu Buhari in 2019.
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Should they field Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, HE Atiku Abubakar, Dr. Bukola Saraki or their secret surprise blunt weapon, Gen T. Y. Danjuma, Nigerians will not readily drink from their CUPP OF CORRUPTION INC. Never again!
We are in a good place in our democratic journey. APC is going through renovation and refurbishment. We could not have had a better pair of hands than His Excellency, Comrade Adams Eric Aliyu Oshiomhole to supervise the work of recovering our great party, APC.
We must all join hands with our party leaders to fully recover our party. We are nearly there. We will show Nigerians that we are different. We ask Nigerians to be patient with us as we fight for the heart and soul of our party.
A! P! C! Change! Change has come to APC. His name Oshiomhole!
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