By Joe Igbokwe… The APC chairman has proven to be a most unique man. John Oyegun’s reply to what we have revealed about his malfeasant handling of the Ondo primaries shows but one thing: he has decided that he is better served by continuing his romance with misdirection and falsehood.While these slick tools may be useful to Oyegun’s ulterior designs, they ill suit the interests of the APC and of the electorate which the party is meant to serve.
In our initial submission, we warned that Oyegun is willing to dash the ideals and the institutions of the party in order to advance some hidden agenda in stark opposition to the progressive goals upon which this party has been founded. Oyegun’s reply is that of a guilty man who has hired a legal pettifogger to manufacture what seem like sound arguments but which are really nothing but sound.
Oyegun has become so accustomed to lying that falsehood is now his default utterance. Attempting to lend the image of formality and honesty to his misdeeds, Oyegun’s hired lawyers’ who drafted his response as if some sort of legal brief. Again, Oyegun submits himself to the false belief that form outweighs substance. Yet, a well-dressed lie is no closer to the truth than the most nakedfalsehood.
In his submission, Oyegun claims that we somehow imagined there was an NWC vote to cancel the flawed primary. Those who do not read closely will be tricked by Oyegun’s verbal indirection. However, those accustomed to his methods will read carefully and find the warts on his statement. Oyegun claims the minutes of the emergency NWC meeting which spanned from Monday September 19 to Thursday September 22 shows that no such vote was taken. Something is patently wrong with this.
The four-day meeting was called specifically to discuss the flawed Ondo primary. Yet, Oyegun’s claims that for nearly a week he did not table a vote for the NWC to clearly decide whether the NWC would attach its official stamp to the flawed primary or reject it. Based on his own words, either Oyegun admits to being so grossly incompetent as a chairman of a national party that he could not steer the NWC to a simple vote or that he was engaged in a game of subterfuge that would not permit a straightforward yes-or-no vote on the central issue.
Showing his penchant to mislead, Oyegun writes that the “according to the minutes of the meeting” there was no such vote. If the vote did not take place, why doesn’t Oyegun just say no vote took place? That is how an honest man without nothing to hide would have replied. Not Oyegun. He dare not say that he did not hold the vote. Instead, he hides behind the words his lawyers gave him to say to deceive an unsuspecting public. If he has nothing to conceal, there would be no reason to have to resort to the awkward phrase, “according to the minutes of the…meeting.”
Here, we get to the core of Oyegun’s trickery. Oyegun approved the use of the tampered delegates list. Oyegun unilaterally submitted the name of Akeredolu as the party candidate although, according to his own admission, no vote was held. If Oyegun can be an active party to inserting over 150 fraudulent names in delegate roster and can ignore the stated wishes of the NWC majority, it is but a minor chore for him to doctor the NWC minutes as a way to cover his larger wrongs. He thus points to the minutes to give the appearance of following correct procedure. What he forgets to tell you is that falsifying minutes of a meeting is a small thing for a person helping to engineer the thief of an entire state primary. If one is bold enough to steal a house, that same person will not wilt from falsifying the deed to it as well.
If you read Oyegun’s statement, he says that an NWC member, who he does not name, mentioned some collateral decision taken by the NWC. Oyegun says the implication of that prior decision meant that the NWC wanted the primary result to stand as is. Thus, he took it upon himself and “ruled” to uphold the primary result. Again, he applies confusing words in order to cover-up the injury he has caused.
A careful examination of his words once more shows he is either supremely negligent or deeply crooked. His own words prosecute him. There is no way a skilled or honest chairman would base such a momentous decision on what he infers from a prior vote not directly on point as to the core issue at hand. What he admits to is taking it solely upon himself to assume that a vote on a lesser matter should preclude a vote on the central issue that led to the calling of the emergency session in first instance. He now claims the gift of clairvoyance. He asks us to belief he can perfectly and conclusively determine how someone will vote based on a prior vote on a different issue. For this to be the logic upon which he relies, something is fatally wrong with his defense of his actions. Oyegun’s attempts to obfuscate are vain. His own words still hang him.
Once more hiding behind his pettifoggers, Oyegun says he rejected the recommendation of the Appeals Committee because the Committee said that the conduct of the overall primary was in “substantial compliance” with pertinent rules. Because he wished to steer the result to an appointed end that had nothing to do with the justice of the matter, Oyegun gave this phrase a meaning that its authors clearly did not intend. Reading the Appeals Committee report not as a loose amalgam of separate phrases but in its entirety as a coherent document in order to give it the true meaning intended, one easily can see the findings of the Committee.
The Committee found that in most aspects of the exercise, the primary was well conducted. However, when it came to the validity the delegate list and of right of many on the list to actually vote as delegates, the process was too flawed to ignore. Due to these few yet material reasons, the Committee determined the primary should be redone notwithstanding the otherwise proper aspects of the exercise. It is more than obvious that this is the intent of the Committee. It is also more than obvious why Oyegun and his crude subordinates choose to ignore this interpretation which stared them right in the face.
Oyegun and his lawyers thus disobeyed the first rule of interpretation when they failed to give true measure to the document in its entirety. Instead, they decided to hang their hat on a single this phrase taken out of context. This is what people do when trying to conceal something or to trick people. This is not the behavior of one seeking fair play and honest dealings.
Oyegun took it upon himself to interpret the phrase as if to mean that the Committee had given the primary a stamp of approval. For him to do so, however, required him to totally ignore the explicit recommendation of the Committee to dismiss the flawed primary in order to hold a corrective one. Oyegun strains to defend his position by claiming to stand on correct ground because he drew a conclusion based on a single phrase when the tenor and letter of the entire document explicitly stated the opposite. Frankness is not what comes from Oyegun. It is sophistry of the lowest kind. His lawyers have engaged in the grossest malpractice because they were guided by a terrible malevolence to bury and not raise the truth.
Oyegun stands alone in defense of his actions and in calling our submission a product of wild imaginings. Funny, Oyegun takes no issue with and seems purposefully not to mention the statements of NWC member Chief Pius Akinyelure and acting National Publicity Secretary Timi Frank.
If Oyegun is right he would confront them. Instead he ignores their accounts in hope that the public will ignore them as well. Akinyelure attended the meeting and refuted Oyegun’s version of events to its core. The accounts of these two prominent APC members are consistent and track with what we have said. In his statement, Akinyelure affirmed that the delegate list was unilaterally altered by the National Organising Secretary without informing the NWC until after the primary. This exposes Oyegun’s claim about the propriety of the list as the bare lie it is. Evidently, Oyegun knew of the Secretary’s actions beforehand; yet, for reasons known to Oyegun, decided not to tell the rest of the NWC until after the misdeed had achieved its desired result.
Chief Akinyelure further refutes Oyegun by affirming that the majority of the NWC accepted the Election Appeal Committee report as credible. The majority of NWC members wanted to cancel the result and redo the primary, says Akinyelure. He stated the NWC had voted by a six to five margin to submit an interim or substitute name to INEC as placeholder while the party redid the flawed primary. However, Oyegun would not adhere to the position of the NWC majority.
Akinyelure has publicly stated that Oyegun and his accomplice, the National Organising Secretary, submitted Akeredolu’s name to INEC in open defiance of the NWC. Akinyelure also has stated that the majority of NWC members support his account of events. No wonder that Oyegun did not dare respond to what Akinyelure and Frank, as participants and eyewitnesses, have said of him.
The statements of Akinyelure and Oyegun cannot be harmonized. We know the character and integrity of Chief Akinyelure. They are impeccable. We have become acutely familiar with the slick manner of Oyegun. He has unfurled to be a master of deceit. If faced with the option of believing in the veracity of Akinyelure compared to that of Oyegun, there no option. Akinyelure is telling the truth. Coupled with the information contributed by Timi Frank, Akinyelure’s indictment of Oyegun’s actions is unassailable.
John Oyegun may shed an actor’s tears about the damage to his reputation and feign indignation. Yet, the wise and prudent can see through the veil he casts. His theatrics are unavailing. Any damage to his reputation is self-inflicted. If there is any insult he feels, it is not a sentiment derived from being innocent; it is the anger of one caught amidst his bad acts.
In all of this his personal feelings are of secondary import. As chairman, he have done more damage to the party than are most ardent opponents. He has made a mockery of the internal processes of the party. He has helped impose a candidate in Ondo that the vast majority of our members stridently oppose. The stealth-like imposition of this unpopularity further intensifies this internal objection. John Oyegun, your agenda, we do not know and cannot fathom. But we do know that your agenda is not that of the party so many progressive and democratic Nigerians have sacrificed to build.
As long as you remain chairman, the weakening of the APC is mostly assured. If there is a single fiber of decency in your being, you would resign forthwith so that those who care may rescue this party and return it to its true and proper democratic course. The APC should not become the PDP-lite simply because you deign it within your right to turn it so.
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