Twenty-four hours after a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, accused the National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, of sabotaging the reconciliation process he's leading, Oyegun met with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed-doors in the Presidential Villa, yesterday.
The APC source who asked not to be named said the president asked Oyegun not to escalate the crisis by replying Tinubu point by point.
President Muhammadu Buhari in February appointed Tinubu to lead a committee tasked with reconciling aggrieved members of the party ahead of the 2019 election.
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Recalls that Tinubu had written to the president, accusing Odigie-Oyegun of sabotaging his efforts by inaugurating a parallel state executive of the party in Kogi.
A copy of Odigie-Oyegun's acknowledgement letter dated February 23, 2018, obtained by Punch in Abuja on Friday, read, "I thank you for your letter dated February 21, 2018, for your prayers and good wishes for my health". Let me once again formally congratulate you on the peace making assignment Mr President has entrusted you with.
"And if you look at it critically, the governors themselves who naturally have immunity, we are very careful because you know that Mr. President is incorruptible, if you do, you are going to face the consequences. Instead of being a bulwark of support as promised, you positioned yourself in active opposition to the goal of resuscitating the progressive and democratic nature of APC".
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The party leader explained that the party could only resolve its current deficiencies in an unbiased, neutral manner that would allow it to strengthen internal democracy, internal institutions, and processes. Disappointment greeted me when I discovered out that you had swiftly acted in contravention of the spirit of our discussions.
But the alleged hostility towards Tinubu by Oyegun in the course of discharging his presidential assignment was not surprising to some others as there has been no love lost between both men since the latter allegedly conspired to frustrate the choice of the former's governorship choice in Ondo State in 2016. "Yet, your goal appears to be something of a lesser pedigree". I stated this position then and still hold to it with all sincerity.
Though the details of their meeting were not immediately available to the public, Saturday Vanguard gathered that it was not unconnected with the dusts raised by Mr Tinubu's letter and the need to get the party chairman to soft-pedal in his response rather than responding tit for tat. Oyegun declined commenting on the outcome of the meeting. One, he has done excellently well, secondly, on fighting corruption.
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The eight-page letter, dated February 21, 2018 titled, "Actions and Conduct weakening the party from within", said the spirit of a new and better Nigeria that guided the party to the unprecedented electoral success had been steadily replaced by "the bankrupt and clueless ways that brought the PDP low".