All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has accused National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun of frustrating reconciliation efforts in the ruling party.
He said the chairman had compounded the challenge of reconciliation by taking “improper unilateral decisions” on issues affecting national and state chapters.
Tinubu added that Odigie- Oyegun had refused to cooperate by delaying the release of information critical to the resolution of crises in state chapters.
The former Lagos State Governor made the observations in a February 21 letter to Odigie-Oyegun, .titled: “Actions and conduct weakening the party from within”, copies of which were sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara
Tinubu was appointed by President Buhari on February 6 to reconcile party leaders and political office holders where there are crises.
On February 14, Tinubu visited Odigie-Oyegun and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) at the National Secretariat to seek support for the assignment.
He has since been meeting with party leaders. He visited Sokoto State where he was received by Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Senator Aliyu Wamakko.
Tinubu said while the chairman had allowed the crises in the chapters to fester by his refusal to take appropriate actions, his decision to take some “inappropriate unilateral decisions” in recent times in the affected chapters had created fresh difficulties for the reconciliation process.
Citing Kogi and Kaduna states, Tinubu said Oyegun’s hasty decision to inaugurate a parallel state executive committee for Kogi State and his indifference to the leadership tussle in the Kaduna chapter led to “demolition of property and threat of violence”.
The former Lagos State governor accused the chairman of “lack of openness and fairness, which have led to internal crisis in some states’, stressing that the principles of internal democracy and the “institutions of the party” have been undermined.
Urging Oyegun to ponder on the imperative of laying a good legacy, Tinubu advised him to change tactics and work within the confines of the party constitution.
He said: “To lessen animosity and return the party to the path of internal democracy and openness, I beg that you refrain from taking any more improper unilateral decisions with regard to the national and state chapters of the party. As the chairman of the party you must work within the confines of the duties and responsibilities enumerated under the party constitution.”
“If you continue to do so, I fear you may undermine the party in no small degree. You may well cause internal fractures and dissension difficult to repair yet visible to all. I fear this can undermine our goodwill with the electorate and make the approaching challenges to the party materially more difficult than they need to be.”
Acknowledging the rift between him and Oyegun, the former Lagos State governor said the overriding interest of the party should take precedence over and above personality clashes.
Tinubu said: “Drawing from your behaviour in Kogi, Kaduna and with regard to the state chapter assessment requested, I am led to the inference that you have no intention of actually supporting my assignment.
“Instead, you apparently seek to undermine my mandate by engaging in dilatory tactics for the most part. When forced to act, you do so in an arbitrary and capricious manner, without the counsel of other NWC members and without regard to our internal procedures.
“You may have personal qualms with me. That is your right as a human being. However, you have no such right as the chairman of this party. This party belongs to all of its members. You have no greater claim on it than any of the rest of us.
“Whatever personal qualms you may have with me are secondary at this point. You have a moral and professional obligation as the party chairman to act in the party’s best interests. Your hurried and unilateral actions belie the important agency you hold for the party.
“Thus, in furtherance of the assignment given to me by President Buhari, I request that you make available to me the status reports and all other pertinent information regarding the state chapters without further delay.”