Odigie-Oyegun who, in a statement issued in Abuja, said all members of the party must respect its constitution, stated that nobody had the money to buy his conscience.
The media office of Tinubu, had in a statement issued few weeks ago, accused Odigie-Oyegun of derailing from the party’s ethos and faulted his role in the APC governorship primary in Ondo State, which was won by Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
The statement had said, “(Odigie-) Oyegun has dealt a heavy blow to the very party he professes to lead. It is an awful parent who suffocates his own child for the sake of a few naira.”
But Oyegun in his first comprehensive response to Tinubu’s allegations, described the allegations as reckless and baseless, adding that it was an insult on his person and hard-earned reputation.
He stated, “Nobody has the kind of money that can buy my conscience or make me do injury to an innocent man. In all the primaries conducted under my watch as national chairman, I have strived to ensure a free, fair, transparent and credible process. The 2016 Ondo State APC governorship primary was not an exception. There must be internal democracy in the party and our constitution must be respected by all.”
Oyegun also responded to allegations that he overruled the decision of National Working Committee, which had majority of its members present voting in favour of cancellation of the Ondo result.
He said the minutes of the NWC meetings, which were held from September 19 to 22, showed that the committee did not vote in favour of cancellation of the primary as claimed by Tinubu.
Odigie-Oyegun said the allegation made by Tinubu’s media office “was a figment of someone’s wild imagination.”
He said, “On Thursday, September 22, 2016, being the final day for submission of candidate by political parties, the NWC discussed the possibility of voting having finished deliberation on the 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Appeal Committee Report because members in support of cancelling the primary results were still strident in their position.
“A member of the NWC, however, drew the attention of the meeting to its previous decision in which the report of the primary election committee was adopted while the appeal committee’s was set aside. The implication of this decision, he reasoned, was that a decision to submit the name of the winner of the primary election was already taken unless the NWC would now wish to reconsider its earlier decision.”
Oyegun said he agreed with the submission of the member and ruled that the previous decision of the NWC be upheld.
He also faulted an allegation that the names of “over 150 valid delegates were excised to make room for an equal number of impostors.”
He stated that Ondo State delegates’ list was compiled in strict compliance with party’s constitution, adding that only qualified delegates were included on the list.
He further said that none of the aspirants or the appeal committee had submitted to the NWC, names of delegates who were not qualified to be on the list, but were included.
The national chairman also said the NWC had not received names of presumed qualified delegates, who were not included on the list used for the primary.
Odigie-Oyegun recalled that Tinubu’s media office alleged that he used a “prayer interlude”, which he initiated, to “secretly excuse” himself from the NWC meeting.
According to the allegation, it was during the interlude that he submitted Akeredolu’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission as the candidate of the party.
Odigie-Oyegun said, “The allegation is high fiction and an insult to the intelligence and sensibility of the respected NWC members present at the meeting. We do not and have never engaged in prayer interludes/sessions outside the usual opening and closing prayers. The prayer being referred to must be the closing prayer for the meeting."
Odigie-Oyegun stated, “The foregoing are facts backed by minutes approved by all NWC members that attended the meetings held in respect of 2016 Ondo State APC Governorship Primary Election Appeal Committee Report.”