A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has urged the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to urgently meet and institute a caretaker committee to arrange for a special national convention.
Chief Odigie-Oyegun, in a statement titled; “Before it is too late”, called on leaders of the party, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors, to stop what he called the “disgraceful and humiliating charade” occurring within the National Secretariat of the party.
“The APC was built on the blood and sweat of Nigerians, young and old, too numerous to count, who were willing to give everything in the service of progressive politics.
“We must not allow their great sacrifices to go in vain.
“Today, almost every member of the party feels a deep sense of alienation and dissatisfaction with the state of the party.
It hurts deeply to see how hollow it now rings to mention our party and ‘change’ together.
“The time to act is now, before it is too late,” he said.
He said the APC is fast becoming the single most dangerous threat to the legacy of the government and President Buhari.
“As former national chairman of the party, I remain proud of the great strides of our government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“However, I am afraid to note that the legacy of a government is defined mostly by its politics rather than its achievements in other areas, no matter how lofty those achievements are.
“Our recent history bears enough testimony to this reality. “The military government of President Ibrahim Babangida is today remembered mainly for the June 12, 1993 elections and its aftermath,” he added.
Odigie-Oyegun said he had come to realise that those who felt more entitled to the party were no longer capable of hearing alternative viewpoints other than those counseled by their ego and their self-serving interests, which, he said, they had promoted over all other considerations, including that of common decency.
He said no political party unwilling to accommodate competing ideas and provide the space for healthy debates would survive for long. He said:
“In the last few months we have watched how the party has brazenly subverted its own principles of internal democracy and flagrant violation of every rule of decent political engagement in a manner that makes everyone associated with its promise of change liable to be accused of either hypocrisy or apostasy.
“We must therefore remember that our victory in the 2015 presidential elections and the peaceful transfer of power that followed was a major testament of progress in our nation’s journey towards real democracy. “This unprecedented democratic achievement has since inspired progressive forces all over Africa and has become a standard by which democracy is measured in the rest of the continent.
“Unfortunately, it appears that while other countries around us have marched ahead in the democratic journey, we have largely regressed.
“Unfortunately, what we have witnessed from our party is the steady erosion of even the very basic tenets of democratic principles in a manner that could turn our watershed victory of 2015 to the waterloo of our hard won democracy,” he said.