Chris Steven, Abuja
Timi Frank, the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says the ruling possible may suffer defeat during the 2019 general elections.
He said the leadership of the party under John Odigie-Oyegun, has ran the party aground.
Timi Frank harped on the need for the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, to immediately convene an emergency National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party with a view to saving the party from total collapse.
Frank, who called a news conference in Abuja to express his regret over the loss of the Osun West Senatorial bye-election by the party last Saturday, stated that “with the manner in which we are going now, I do not see victory for us in 2019”.
Frank maintained that the loss was the handiwork of Oyegun who, he said, abandoned all democratic tenets in the process of selection of the APC candidate for the election leading to the protest vote by the electorate against the party.
He accused the national chairman of jettisoning all structures put in place by the party to select its candidate for the election, warning that unless Oyegun is removed from office as soon as possible, crushing defeat will likely be inflicted on the party in subsequent elections even up to 2019.
“I expect Odigie-Oyegun to have resigned by now after the defeat of the APC in the Osun West Senatorial bye-election, but I know that he will not. Odigie-Oyegun caused our defeat in the election because of his failure as a leader.
“(Ademola) Adeleke left the APC for the PDP because of the inconsistency of the party leadership and came back to defeat the party.
“If they knew what they were doing, Adeleke would not have left the APC and we would have been celebrating another victory now.
“The APC ticket would have been given to him because of the death of his brother. It has happened before because when Okadigbo died, his seat was given to his wife. Some of us actually suggested that the ticket be given to him.
“Unfortunately, the APC candidate was disqualified by both the screening and appeal committee set up by the party for not resigning his position as a commissioner in the state. But the party rejected their report and went ahead to clear him.
“Odigie-Oyegun’s illegality brought us to this level. It is a shame on the APC to lose that bye-election in a state where it has a sitting governor. If Odigie-Oyegun fails to resign, APC will continue to face defeat under his leadership”.
The APC chieftain said further that the failure of leadership is responsible for the crisis in the APC in Kogi and other states.
He urged Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to rather direct his anger at the party chairman and not to Senator Dino Melaye, noting that the problems bedeviling the party in Kogi and some other states were as a result of the poor leadership being provided for the party at the national level.
“If there is anybody that should be recalled in our party, it is Odigie-Oyegun and not Dino. Whether we like it or not, Dino is a great asset to our party. He is one of the best senators in our party.
“Acting President Osinbajo should immediately direct the party leadership to call an emergency stakeholders’ meeting to resolve the crisis rocking the party.
“The party cannot continue to impose candidates on the people. We must not repeat the mistakes of the PDP. As it stands today, APC is the biggest enemy of itself. We have crisis at all levels of the party. Instead of the crisis being resolved, it is getting worse and spreading by the day.
“The party needs to restructure and restrategise if it wants to survive. The party has held meetings only twice since it came into government and yet we want to win elections in 2019. How can we win election like that?
“How are we sure that we will not be kicked out of government in 2019 because we have not been able to keep to our promise?
“Odigie-Oyegun’s leadership is very unserious. APC governors need to lead the way to restructure the party,” Timi Frank said.