Nigeria News takes a look at the politics in the All Progressives Congress that may challenge Tinubu’s peace move.
It is a common adage that it is not how long that matters but how well. Nobody would ever think that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun would quickly disagree on an issue in the earliest time of the APC.
This is because of the role Tinubu played in electing Oyegun as the party national chairman. Tinubu’s closest ally, Chief Bisi Akande was the interim National Chairman of the party who quit the seat for Oyegun and it happened through serious political calculation.
Chief Tom Ikimi was favoured by many members of the party but Tinubu saw him as an impending obstacle to his equation and had to stop him from the onset. The former Lagos State Governor would prefer Oyegun because of his democratic features, having belonged to the brigade of the old Western State.
One thing Tinubu failed to access in Oyegun is that the man has his own mind and cannot easily be suppressed. But Tinubu was seeking a “Yes Man” in Oyegun.
However, when the first test of loyalty came, Oyegun failed Tinubu in the primary of the Ondo State APC gubernatorial election. Against all odds, Oyegun ensured the emergence of the present state Governor Rotimi Akeredolu against Tinubu’s wish.
It dawned on the “Lion of Bourdillon” that his imposed national chairman would never play ball with him. Oyegun had been in politics before Tinubu but when it comes to new logic and bankrolling polls, Tinubu displaces Oyegun.
For months, after he was spurned by Oyegun and his cronies, Asiwaju Tinubu rescinded to Lagos and became so silent that people began to feel for him with the kind of treatment he got from the government.
His wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu said that her husband was thrashed after the 2015 election. In fact, Mrs Aisha Buhari, wife of President had to cry out that cabals had taken over the government from her husband while those who ensured his election had been thrashed.
The first lady must be referring to Tinubu. However, luck began to smile at the “Jagaban of Borgu” when President Buhari began to have problems with the Senate and some members of his cabinet.
The APC began to crack and Oyegun lacked the drive to mend the fences among the aggrieved members of the party. It was during this period that a prominent member, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar disengaged himself from the party.
At present, many are planning to defect to other parties to realise their ambitions, which now looks bleak with the present situation of APC.
But in his wisdom, President Muhammadu Buhari designated Tinubu to lead a team of reconciliation committee to resolve the grievances of the party members. Tinubu had since started but on Wednesday, he cried out loud on how Oyegun had been sabotaging his effort.
No doubt, both may mean well for Buhari to reemerge in 2019 but it seems Oyegun’s position as the party chairman has been undermined.
Oyegun now sees himself as the nominal leader and will need to fight back to claim a superiority over Tinubu in the formal hierarchy of the party. But in doing so, he is acting a saboteur. The formation of a new executive in Kogi State by Oyegun, according to Tinubu is wrong.
Tinubu noted that Oyegun might have grudge against him, the national chairman must be careful not to allow his personal interest affect the peace moves assigned to him by Mr President.
“You are sabotaging my assignment,” Tinubu said. He explained that Oyegun had flouted the agreement both had at the party’s national secretariat to abide by the outcome of the peace moves.
If APC will remain as a party before 2019 will depend more on the outcome of Tinubu’s assignment and how Oyegun and his allies receive it.