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Oyegun becomes APC national chairman

• PDP Charges elected APC Officer

Oyegun.jpgIN what many had believed to be a make or mar convection, delegates at the first National convention of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) over the weekend elected former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie Oyegun as the first substantive National Chairman of the party. Also, interim National Secretary,

Tijjani Tumsah emerged the substantive National Secretary after the withdrawal of Alhaji Kashim Iman from the race. His withdrawal was announced by the former Vice-president, Atiku Abubakar.
Oyegun emerged by consensus despite initial stiff opposition from his Kinsman, Tom Ikimi who was not seen at the venue of the convention. Earliest, two other aspirants to the chairmanship position, Chief Sam Jaja and Timiprie Sylva withdrew from the contest. Indication that oyegun is the new chairman emerged when no mention was made of the other remaining contestant, Chief Tom, Ikimi.
Similarly, former governor of Ekiti State and Peoples Democratic party (PDP) decamped, Chief Segun Oni emerged Deputy National Chairman (South) Unopposed. It would be re called that Oni Occupied the same position in his former party before he was removed through a court order.
Other officers who also emerged through the same process were National secretary, Alhaji Mai Mala Goni and National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The Saturday night event was temporary disrupted by heavy rain and wind at about 1:40am when voting has to stop as ballot boxes were scattered by the heavy wind, canopy and the public address system were also destroyed by the rain sending everybody scampering for shelter. Voting process for the outstanding party officer show ever resumed after the rain stopped.  
Earlier, Senator Chris Ngige announced that the APC would in November this year hold another National Convention to elect it's Presidential candidate.
Oyegun's emergence was said to be a product of an intense horse trading that resulted to the withdrawal of other contestants. Voting continued until the early hours of Saturday morning when sorting and counting of ballot papers commenced.
The entire interim officers of the party were virtually returned through a consensus. Having benefitted from the ugly experience of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during their National Party Convention in 2013, when the election of most of the members of National Working Committee were disqualified by INEC, delegates still voted to ratify the selection apparently to meet independent National election Commissions (INEC) guideline for party convention.
Also during the convention, former head of State, retired General Muhammadu Buhari described the 2015 General election as the watershed for the Country. The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said the general election would bring to end the era of impunity that had allegedly characterized the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
In his own remark, the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said history had been made with the success of the convention. “History is being made, from the formation of our party, a prediction was made that we cannot succeed, but today it had been proved wrong and we deserve to be congratulated.
Another leader of the party and former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sherif said the party had made history in the Nigeria Political history.
Addressing Party members, the chairman of the convention, Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wammako said APC was on Nigeria's rescue mission destined to bring the country out of the woes it has been dragged into. Earlier in the day, some delegated numbering about 100 stormed the APC convention committee Secretariat in Central Area of Abuja alleging plot by some leaders form the zone to divert their accreditation tags  to another faction of state executives loyal to their interest.
The protesters later attacked one of the party's officials and were beating up a middle aged man before security operatives were called in to restore order.  As a result of the squabble, Ebonyi and Abia State had most of their delegates stranded and could not take their reserved seats at the stand.
Also, the party's accreditation process especially the admission of Journalists into the convention arena was fraught with lapses and delays.
Members of the convention committee charge with the responsibility of accrediting journalists had problems conducting their assignment and were quarreling over disbursement of funds.
At the convention venue, supporters of presidential aspirants took over the street around the convention venue, displaying banners and posters of their candidates amidst drumming and dancing. Presidential aspirants whose posters were prominent included Buhari and Atiku.
In a release the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh has congratulated the new APC National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun, National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and other newly elected officers for their emergence at their party's National Convention, charging them to ensure a vibrant opposition devoid of bitterness, desperation and divisive tendencies.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh in a statement on Saturday also told the new leadership to “ensure an issue based opposition that will purposefully and constructively engage and challenge the PDP with decency and maturity as prescribed by democratic tenets and principles.”
Stating that Nigerians deserve a vibrant and patriotic opposition driven only by the national interest, the PDP charged the new APC leadership to “put the unity and welfare of Nigerians ahead of other considerations and jettison all divisive tendencies including unguarded statements that overheat the polity and pitch Nigerians against one another”. The PDP however asserted its pre-eminent position and widest acceptance among Nigerians across board despite the APC new leadership which it said posed no threat at all. The ruling party said it remains the only party that have continued to be committed to the national interest, as well as providing level playing ground for all Nigerians to  achieve their aspirations  irrespective of religious, ethnic and gender considerations.


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