Buhari won’t repeat Jonathan’s mistakes– Oyegun

John Odigie Oyegun, APC National Chairman

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun in an interactive session with journalists at the APC headquarters in Abuja on Monday spoke on several issues in the polity including the fight against corruption, the economy, Kogi state deputy governorship, mass defections to the APC, the party’s Anambra Central Senatorial candidacy and party funding. Excerpts:

On the economy

Our party is very aware of the hardships that the mis-governance of the last 16 years has plunge this country. We are very aware of the hard and tough times that a lot of Nigerians are going through. Apart from the party, let me also say that it is the main concern of Mr. President. He is fully aware of the tough times that people are going through. And I want to give the assurance that everything is being done to better the economy and ameliorate the deprivation that people are going through.

I think that many Nigerians understand why things are the way they are and that the Buhari administration has inherited a prostrate economy. Not just that, nobody envisaged that there will be a near total collapse of the price of crude and when you juxtapose that with our consumption habit, when we tend import everything in quantity from toothpicks to the choicest champagne, all these products do put pressure on the foreign exchange stock of the nation and all of this has given rise to all the issues that are being dealt with by the president’s team.

But one needs to emphasize that as a nation, we got used to excessive consumption. We are not a producing nation. Virtually everything we have is imported, there is even a joke that some of our elites order pizza and such other things all the way from London. So, all these things come from the same stock of foreign exchange that we have and they are quickly depleting given the collapse of crude oil.

We have to turn from a consuming nation to a producing nation. We consume because oil was there at a hundred plus naira per barrel so money was all over the place but that is no longer the situation and so we must have to adjust to the new reality as a people and as a nation.

The president inherited a collapsed economy. You cannot start rebuilding a collapsed economy without clearing the debris and what we are doing today, is clearing the debris and at the same time; because when we listen to the radio, they say that all that is being done is war against corruption, but at the same time, the work of rebuilding and reconstruction of the Nigerian economy is rapidly in progress and I want to assure you that there will be plenty of successes in the next few months. But I keep underscoring this that there is no quick fix, there is no automatic solution but the project are being concluded and things will get better in the next few months. The party is aware and very conscious and sympathetic but it is a situation we did not create, it is a situation the government is managing but the good news is that there will be smiles tomorrow but we must be able to put up with current deprivation which has become inevitable.

On the party’s Anambra Central Senatorial candidacy

It has long ceased to be an issue because the party after due process of our constitutional requirements had been followed, the process threw up Barr Sharon Ikeazor as the candidate for the party in that election and that is an issue that has since been decided.

I don’t understand this rather excessive concern of respected Senator Uche Ekwenife she is a loyal party member, she went through the processes, it is in the constitution of the party to have procedures, screening processes, primary committees all of these are there.

It happened that there were two ladies of stature vying for that position, she has just come into the party straight into the process of nomination. Whether it was in the party’s constitution to disqualify her? Of course it is there otherwise, we won’t have procedures, screening and appeal committees, it just happened that she was just coming into the party and those who processed the nomination had their score chart and we have a cutoff mark of 51 percent and she happens to score less than that is it.

On Kogi state deputy governorship

All I can say also is as a party, we are prepared for every contingencies in the Kogi situation. So, whatever happens in the next few hours, we are ready for it there is no question and doubt about that. I am not to pre-empt what may happen, that is for the legal authorities.

I don’t want to go into the details of what is likely going to happen, that is still between INEC and legal authorities.

On party funding

There has been this talk in the media but that goes to tell you that just like the economy, the party too is suffering from the stresses and strains of funding just like every institution in our polity. That also goes to tell you that we are not a party that withdraws money from security votes or from any government agency. We are working on plans to raise money from within the memberships. That plan has matured and will soon put it into operation. I saw reports that we have written to the president to rescue the party. That is not part of his national duties and he has no intention because there are no funds from which he can draw from.

The party has to come up with fresh and innovative ways as to how to raise resources for its operations and that, we have done. The plan is ready and will go into operation in the next one month or two.

On the alleged “missing” budget

I will want to say here that the issue about the budget was totally overplayed, the budget was never missing , the main document was totally intact and when the President presented the budget given the nature of the load of work they have to do and in the circumstances at which they were done they were likely to be a few corrections to be made in this process and all Mr President effected were the necessary corrections at this point in time and there may still be more corrections as the process continues in the House of Assembly. I just see the criticisms surrounding the budget as one by the opposition to take a bash at the government, what happened is nothing more than suggested corrections to the addendum to the budget that had earlier been presented.

On mass defections to the APC

It is freedom of association and I think everybody is free to join. The essential fabric of APC is strong enough to withstand any attempt by anyone to undermine it from within. In any case, you cannot join the APC without subscribing to its goals and objectives and when you join the party today, you do not expect to take over reign of power because there are people there already, you still have to prove yourself that you’re loyal and reliable member of the party, you cannot just come and become a leader of the party in one day, you have to earn your way to become trusted with leadership and control, you cannot transfer you status in the party you were coming from into APC because when you come, you are meeting people who are occupying the leadership positions.

On constitution of party’s BOT

There is no issue surrounding that, it’s just that there has been so much to do and the president wants to personally participate in it, a date has been scheduled for all organs of the party to meet.

On alleged ‘selective’ anti-corruption fight

I don’t know where to start, but I feel it’s a judicial matter and the party absolutely has no role on the matter. People give this impression that this government does nothing other than probe of corrupt officials but as I said earlier, a lot is happening that will bring cheers to Nigerians in the next few months. People say it is only PDP that this government is probing but for sixteen years, PDP was in control, are you going to come and arrest me in Benin over contract issues when I was not in any way near government? Let me say this clearly, if we want to clean this country, then we must be serious about it, wherever the train goes, we must be ready to go there, all these attempt to divert attention from the reality will not just work. The mere fact that the current leader is investigating what happened before his time is a clear indication that he is unlikely to repeat the same mistake as the next government will investigate the current administration too. We must be ready to put up with the inconveniences and moral decadence this administration is trying to get the country out of. When people start to make diversionary statements, I just laugh because this is not the time for this, we are investigating yesterday, let tomorrow investigate us, that is how this country will get out of this rots.

On whether ex-president Goodluck Jonathan should be called for questioning

It is not my job, it is the job of EFCC, wherever the train leads to, so be it.


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  • Mr Oyegun is not telling the truth. APC doesn’t withdraw money fron security vote; but accepted looted money from State governors to finance Buhari’s campaign. Now the governors can’t pay workers salaries for 7 months. Plzzzzzz.

    • Chuks

      You can’t continue with amnesty allowance in a foreign land. Come home and educate yourself or develop your pollution ravaged community. Your level of reasoning is suffering instead of improving.

      • Julius

        lolz

    • Deolu_NIGERIA

      Mr. Oyegun choice of words were so simple for even a primary six school leaver to understand. I believe you are missing something or you did not read the entire interview. The man said “we are investigating yesterday, let tomorrow investigate us, that is how this country will get out of this rots.” I think, this statement is simple for you to understand. Stop mischievously diverting attention of people from critical issues.

    • Deolu_NIGERIA

      Mr. Oyegun choice of words is so simple for even a primary six school
      leaver to understand. I believe you are missing something or you did not
      read the entire interview. The man said “we are investigating
      yesterday, let tomorrow investigate us, that is how this country will
      get out of this rots.” I think, this statement is simple for you to
      understand. Stop mischievously diverting attention of people from
      critical issues.

      • When investigation becomes selective as APC advocates, then it becomes a dangerous precedent for persecution of previous administrations. We want the investigation to be extensive. There should be no sacred cows. All the former dictators, governors (sitting and ex). Buhari and APC cannot play this game with us. APC is a fraud.

        • Julius

          Why didnt Jonathan investigate and prosecute those you listed ? Were you waiting for Buhari ? The PDP and Jonathan must have believe those people were not corrupt. Right ?

    • excel

      Your brain as damage to the extent that you can’t comprehend anymore.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    What about the massacres of hundreds of Nigerians extra-judicially in the last 8 months ?

    • Shugaba Nkasa

      diversionary tactics as Oyegun implied.

  • Chuks

    We are all Nigerians but APC seem to have more articulate and competent politicians with a clear vision of what they want to deliver for the citizens. Well done Oyegun.

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      More than 50% of APC are ex-PDP so those acronyms do not make any difference.

      • Chuks

        Every pastor or priest was once a layman. Every graduate was once an illiterate. PDP represents the Egypt of political slavery and criminality especially under the mediocre visionless, irresponsible, timid and incompetent previous administration.

        • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

          Go ahead and “justify” the unjustifiable ,enjoy your self deceit as much as possible.

          • Julius

            What is unjustifiable ? Cleaning up the mess that Jonathan left behind and bringing the looter , the thieves and the imbeciles to justice ?

  • Man_Enough

    Oyegun is very matured. Compare with his counterpart in pdp whose only language is abuse and threats.

  • favourtalk

    If you are talking about good chairman, oyegun had displayed a good one. Nigeria knows quite well that PMB is determine to bring change to Nigeria and we are all going to enjoy it. Pmb is not going to give anybody chance to destroy is government and neither is he going to play around the nation when people needs him more

  • Kickboxer

    Nigerians may WAIL as much as they want but for brainless Buhari today is January 26, 1984…….

  • Enwelu hananayah

    John Oyegun with his APC has spoken as a man but he is dreaming. I tell you, mark this: Buhari with his cohorts is on a mission to lead Nigeria to servitude. Buhari’s regime will be far worse than GEJ. Even if GEJ had remained, it would still be worse. You would not enjoy prosperity is a land of corruption, greed, wickedness, self-centered people everywhere you go

    • MushinSpeaks

      Only in your imagination will you continue to depict this. Get a life and live in the reality that Nigeria is changing for the best. Era of GEH and impunity is gone. CHANGE is here.

    • Peter_Edo

      hahahahahahahaha

    • IG

      Have you being able to manage your wife alone? I guess a big NO

    • excel

      This can only come from the empty brain of the member of the clueless team specialist in failure. Haters can go and die. PMB/APC is for the progress of Nigeria

  • Say the truth

    Different strokes for different folks. In Benue state you can jion in 24 hours and become a candidate but in Anambra you can join weeks before primary and still be disqualified for being a new entrant. Impunity and lack of fairness is a common thing among parties in Nigeria no matter what name PDP, APC, APGA, SDP etc. The good thing in all these is the precedent that is now being set. The so called security vote had been probed. So the issue of security vote can’t be probed has now been finally laid to rest. This is good for the nation and one hope the probe of security vote will be extended to the states. EFCC under Lamorde should be probed and the present EFCC should commence the probe of state’s security vote.

  • C3kwe

    Sure enough, you will and must be investigated. All the human rights abuse, disobeying the court order, taking of political prisoners, Buhari’s fake certificate, your involvement of boko haram, sabotaging of Jonathan’s government efforts to procure needed arms to prosecute the war on terror by lobbying the Pentagon and the State department making it difficult for nigeria to deal with boko haram. Thank God that governments come and go.