The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Oyegun, is challenging those accusing him of receiving gratification over the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives elections to prove their claim.
“Let anybody who says he brought come out and say that. It is a public thing. It is my integrity they are trying to smear,” the Edo State born politician said.
Oyegun had been accused of receiving bribe to conduct a mock election that produced Senator Ahmed Lawan and Hon Femi Gbajabiamila as the APC candidates for the Senate President and House Speaker respectively.
One of those who accused Oyegun of being compromised on the mock election issue and asked for his resignation was the APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank.
“It is an unfortunate thing and I think it has arisen because of the clash within major interest groups within the party and that has given rise to gross disloyalty and an unacceptable level of indiscipline and disrespect to the party. But that notwithstanding, we are doing everything we can to stop this civil war and bring the party back again so that we can focus on our essential agenda of delivering service to the people of this nation. What is happening now is very unacceptable and painting us in a very bad light. But thank God we have this period of recess in the National Assembly to bring things back together again. We are doing everything we can to ensure that by the time the national assembly reconvenes, all of these things would have been squarely behind us,” he told Vanguard yesterday.
Oyegun dismissed the alleged gratification, saying: “Well, the issue is simple. Gratification to do what and for whom? And what have I done to justify that gratification except to stand as neutral as possible in the circumstance and emphasize adherence to the supremacy of the party. So that is it. Gratification for what? Let anybody who says he brought come out and say that. It is a public thing. It is my integrity they are trying to smear. That comes only through blackmail from some forces that feel that I am standing in the way for whatever their intentions are. But that is neither here nor there. What’s important is that we must put our party back together again and focus on the promises we have made to the Nigerian people.”
“People are trying to push me in one direction or the other but one thing I have to my credit is my neutrality. I don’t belong to any of the contending power blocs in the party. And of course, that has its price. And that is why you have heard a lot of it directed personally to smear me. I have built a reputation that has lasted for over 70 years. I don’t have to go and be taking peanuts from some political gladiators. So, whatever they try to do, they cannot smear my character. If anybody has given me gratification to do anything, let him come out and say so, where and when and how much.”
Asked whether the party members who went against the wish of the party on elections at the National Assembly would face disiplinary actions, Oyegun replied: “Well, at this stage, that is something we are still considering. When there is indiscipline, there are penalties. But first, in the process. When you restore peace, there has to be a make for the indiscipline. There is no question about that. One way or the other. But what is important now is putting the party back together.
“The reality is that we will welcome all hands, all assistance to put things back together again. The president was right. The House has the freedom in consultation with the party which is exactly what has happened. But other interests have prevailed in the matter. The process has derailed but must be put back on the rails,” he said.