A former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has intervened in the altercation between the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, charging leaders of the party to promote the rule of law and due process in the conduct of its affairs.
In a statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja on Wednesday, Atiku, who is one of the national leaders of the APC, asserted that “you cannot break your own rules without creating problems”, insisting that the national leadership of the party must live by the rules of internal democracy and respect for democratic consensus.
He spoke against the backdrop of the festering crisis trailing the conduct of the APC gubernatorial primary in Ondo state, and the subsequent submission of the name of Rotimi Akeredolu to INEC as the APC candidate for the forthcoming election in Ondo.
Tinubu’s rumoured anointed candidate for the election, Olusegun Abraham, had opposed the emergence of Akeredolu as candidate, expressing disappointment with Oyegun for allegedly overruling the initial decision of the NWC which ordered the conduct of a fresh primary.
On Sunday, Tinubu demanded the resignation of Odigie-Oyegun , accusing him of favouring an aspirant in the gubernatorial primaries in Ondo State and forcing his choice through using a sleight of hand.
He also stated that the national chairman was perpetrating injustice, said the development showed that there was an evil and regressive force within the APC using Oyegun to derail the party’s democratic and progressive tenets.
Reacting to this development, the former Vice President charged “the APC on the promotion of rule of law and due process in the conduct of its affairs noting that they are germane to the unity and stability of the party.”
He stated that “it is imperative for the national leadership of the party to live by the rules of internal democracy and respect for democratic consensus”, warning that “you cannot break your own rules without creating problems.”
While advising Oyegun to urgently retrace his steps in order to build confidence among aggrieved members, Atiku urged aggrieved members of the APC in the Ondo election “to exercise restraint in seeking redress to the crisis, while also urging the leadership of the party to retrace its steps and do the needful to restore confidence among the conflicting parties in the state for the overall benefit of the ruling party”.
He said the party is supposed to be an impartial entity in the arbitration of crisis among its members in any given election, arguing that “since the APC found veritable reasons to review the outcome of the gubernatorial primary election it conducted in Ondo State, and was able to establish valid grounds to cancel that election and call for a fresh one, the decision to deviate from its own resolution is a negation of due process and an unfashionable hollow in democratic best practices.
“It was wrong for the APC to have set aside a resolution it had reached aimed at resolving the crisis in our party in Ondo State. It is a recipe for acrimony and division,” he stated.
The APC bigwig warned that glossing over such a problem could only worsen the situation, advising the leadership of the party to do a soul-searching and address the issues at stake.
He maintained that the party leadership should always be guided by respect for the rules, fairness, equity, neutrality and respect for democratic consensus, stressing that such were germane to the ruling party’s unity and stability.