The immediate past National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has snapped out of hibernation to stoke the embers of political fire as Ondo and Edo elections drawn near.
The 80-year0old just sponsored an advertorial thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing Govs Rotimi Aeredolu and Godwin Obaseki for a second term.
“I also welcome most warmly the news that Mr President has firmly endorsed the agreement reached to settle the disruptive leadership crisis at the national level that was threatening the very existence of the APC,” he stated in part in the advertorial.
Oyegun masterminded the primary election that got Akeredolu the first term ticket, and he was part of the force that pushed Obaseki into office, when the going was good between the former chairman and his successor Adams Oshiomhole.
Many political commentators have viewed that move a cunning one, considering how long Oyegun has been off the radar. And that gambit may fall like a lead balloon.
Buhari is no meddler in party affairs, if the past has any lesson for the angry APC ex-chairman. Oyegun would have loved it if the president had waded in when the party’s national leader Bola Tinubu and others orchestrated Oyegun’s removal in the lead up to extending his chairmanship in 2018.
Buhari, however stood aloof. The crisis was at the national level then.
So Oyegun’s daydream that Buhari will endorse a state governor makes many suspect the Edo former governor is trying to politick, at least to test his relevant in the party he nearly dumped following his knock off the national platform.
Since 2018, Oyegun has been throwing backhanded jabs and blindside at the PAC, Oshiomhole, Tinubu, and, sometimes, Buhari.
To make it obvious—that his publication was meant to slight Oshiomhole and Tinubu who objected to Akeredolu’s choice back then—Oyegun added a clause.
“Our democracy of course has no room for imposition, so the party must accept and also present members that offer themselves to serve in the positions being occupied by the incumbent governors,” he said.
He probably was feeling his age, and the likelihood that other candidates—essentially Ize Iyamu-Osagie, a drop in from the PDP on the invitation of Oshiomhole—might rubbish his brazen endorsement of candidates by appealing to Buhari.
The presidency has yet to confirm the alleged order by Buhari.