By Davidson Iriekpen
Indications have emerged that all is not well in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as plans are being devised to unseat the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, following what some sources described as his roles in the just concluded national convention of the party.
THISDAY gathered that Oyegun is being targeted by two forces within the party who are not happy with his role during the national convention.
One of the forces is said to be angling for what its leaders described as a, “balancing act,” while the other is said to be aggrieved that the Oyegun truncated an earlier plan to feature a Muslim/Muslim ticket.
It was gathered that the camp loyal to Rivers State Governor, Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, is angling for what is described as a “balancing act” within the party, following the emergence of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as the running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 contest.
The group, according to sources in the party is claiming that since the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) faction of the party led by Buhari has picked the presidential slot, while the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) side of the merger has also picked the vice-presidential slot, the governors’ camp led by Amaechi should now be allowed to pick the chairman.
Though Oyegun was only elected in June, one of the sources had claimed that the party can effect a balancing act by calling an extra-ordinary convention.
Another source in the party claimed that some leaders of the party are not happy with Oyegun for failing to back the Muslim/Muslim ticket option, believed to be capable of providing the party with its strongest hands.
It was gathered that the target of the Muslim/Muslim ticket was the former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, who is believed could provide massive votes from the South-west.
Oyegun’s sins according to this group is that he failed to strongly defend the option and allowed some young elements from the North to force the party’s hands and drive it away from the Muslim/Muslim option.
But so far, there appears to be no agreement in the works as to the possible timing of the bid against the chairman.
Sources said that three meetings, one in Abuja and two in Lagos, have been held to strategise on the plot on how and when it would be expedient. While some people have argued that his removal now would have minimal effect on the elections, some had insisted that nothing can be done before the election.
The group described its anger thus: “When the chips were down he (Oyegun) refused to stand up to defend the Muslim-Muslim ticket, one of the conditions the informed his emergence as the party chairman.
He allowed some people to browbeat the party with arguments. Whereas those from the South-west insisted that they want to put their best foot forward.
“Some of us are angry because we brought him in to stabilise things. We are weighing the effects of his planned removal now to the fortunes of the party at the polls but we are determined to press on.
“We made him the chairman and when it was pay back time he joined the ‘opposition’ in the name of populist agitation against Muslim/Muslim ticket.”
Those clamouring for balancing act to accommodate Amaechi and the governors also said that the group can be pacified for its loss of the vice-presidential slot through the emergence of Chief Sam Sam Jaja, who is also from the South-south.
It was however confirmed that opinions were clearly divided on the possibility of stoking the “fire” in a party that is angling to contest a major election against the ruling party.
Some of those opposed to any planned move against Oyegun were said to have insisted that any move against him would indicate that the some interested leaders of the party produced Oyegun out of selfish reasons.
Some people who have heard of this development are saying that does it mean that his emergence as Chairman was predetermined fulfill certain ends.
“It is good this is coming out. I can assure you a number of us will oppose it. Does it mean that he was brought in against popular will? Some people left the Party while some just moaned and stayed on after the June convention that produced him. Does it mean he was brought in to help actualise an ambition for the VP slot. We are waiting,” the source said.