The National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie Oyegun has finally broken his prolonged silence on his future as the National Chairman of the APC, saying he has decided to step aside and not re-contest the position at the forth coming national, convention.
President Muhammadu Buhari had openly endorsed the immediate past governor of Edo State and Chief Oyegun’s kinsman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole for the National chairmanship position.
He told newsmen Friday night at his residence that it was his personal conviction not to seek re-election, but will always be available to serve the party, adding that it was in the best interest of the party for him not to seek another term in office.
Oyegun said even though he had desired to re-contest the position he has decided that in the interest of the party, he will not be seeking reelection and has therefore decided to withdraw from the race.
He said “I have taken this decision without prejudice to my commitment to the party in helping to solve some of the subsisting and emerging difficult issues and my ability to continue to provide necessary leadership.
“However, I believe that the party faces difficult days ahead and all critical stakeholders in its leadership would be required to bind together for a common purpose. Therefore, the less contentious our national convention is the better for the party.
“I have always sought to be part of solving the problem of APC. I do not intend to be part of the problems for APC to solve. It is for this reason I hereby declare that I will not be seeking re-election as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“However, I will continue to perform my functions as the National Chairman of the party till my tenure officially ends on Monday the 25th of June when. New set of party executives will be inaugurated.”
Oyegun said the decision to have the present Executive remain in office in an interim capacity was to avoid going into the 2019 elections as a divided house, saying “with the 2019 general elections looming on the horizon, some of us consider it to be in the best interest of the party to go into the elections as a united fighting force, rather than one that was potentially weakened by internal conflict arising from competitive congresses.
“It was for this reason that we canvassed and obtained the NEC decision of February 27 asking all executives of the party to continue in office in acting capacity for another period of twelve months.”
He said that it was within his constitutional right to seek another term in office, believing that his experience and familiarity with some of the most important issues that must be at the top of the political agenda which put him in the best position to lead the party into another election.
He acknowledged the fact the even without declaring his interest to seek another term, several top stakeholders of the party at all levels began to rally round him, saying “I believe that these loyal party men and women instinctively choose to support me, because they recognized what was in the best interest of the party at that point in time.
“Quite fundamentally, they were demonstrating their love and commitment for the party, realizing that perhaps, what was needed most at this point in time in our history as a political party is experience and stability.
“We have conducted the congresses in all the 36 states and the FCT, we have set a date for the national convention. Now that the convention committee has invited interested aspirants to obtain forms to contest into the various national positions, it has become necessary for me to state my position.
“I have consulted widely with my family, friends and associates. Even though i had the desire to re-contest as the National Chairman of the party, I have decided that it is ultimately in the best interest of the party for me to withdraw from the race.”