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Atiku’s defection will not affect APC – Oyegun

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, says that the defection of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the party will not trigger mass defection from the ruling party.

Following Mr. Atiku’s defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there have been speculations that some of his supporters in the ruling party will follow him.

These speculations appears to be wrong as one of his supporters who is a governor of his state, Adamawa, Mr. Bindow, have reaffirmed his support for President Muhammadu Buhari and noted that he will not leave the APC like Atiku.

Atiku was instrumental to the emergence of Mr. Jibrilla Bindow as the governor of Adamawa State, following his donation of about N500million for his campaign for the state governorship election 2015.

“Let nobody fear that the defection of the former vice president is going to lead to any deluge,” Oyegun said according to a press statement on Tuesday by the party’s Assistant Director of Publicity, Edegbe Odemwingie.

“If anybody wants to defect, the day you are defecting is the day you bring out your heavy guns, not later like the papers are speculating.

“When you stand and they look at your right and left, they say ‘Ah this man has done something great’. So don’t ever be afraid that there is going to be any massive defection. As a matter of fact, the contrary is the case. The APC is growing in strength on a daily basis.” 

“Anybody who is anybody is virtually with the APC today. The reality is, outside the APC there is no other party that is truly settled, not even the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is.

“They are still fighting about how to get a chairman and the rest of it. Today, they say money has come to buy the chairmanship position. So it is something you should take pride in…

“It is just that the remnants of the PDP have found their voice so they are screaming very loud and we think that the whole country is upside down. It is not. The country is making steady progress and your party is growing on a daily basis,” Mr. Oyegun said.

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun

Mr. Oyegun spoke during his investiture as the National Life Grand Patron of the Association of Former Chairmen, Councillors  and Ward Leaders in Nigeria at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.

Present at the event were the APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Lawal Shuaibu, Deputy National Chairman (South), Segun Oni, and National Auditor, George Moghalu.

Oyegun urged the group not to be deceived by screaming headlines and opposition rhetorics.

“Anybody who is anybody is virtually with the APC today. The reality is, outside the APC there is no other party that is truly settled, not even the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is.

“They are still fighting about how to get a chairman and the rest of it. Today, they say money has come to buy the chairmanship position. So it is something you should take pride in…

“It is just that the remnants of the PDP have found their voice so they are screaming very loud and we think that the whole country is upside down. It is not. The country is making steady progress and your party is growing on a daily basis,” Mr. Oyegun said.

He thanked the group for the investiture, saying that it is need as the party has begun preparations for the 2019 elections.

“Normally, I am not given to receiving awards because we know what has happened to that in this country. But I read the presentation you made to me and the significance of your background became very important to me.

“First, you are former chairmen, councillors and ward leaders in Nigeria. Once you have held office, your influence can never return to zero. So each and every one of you still has some constituency.

“We are already taking the initial steps in preparing for 2019. I thought that was fortuitous, it was perhaps inspired by God himself. You represent a group that will be easily available at that level, 774 local governments and, of course, all the wards in the country, which is a major outreach for the APC.”

“I do not deal with groups that are not principled, that do not have integrity that do not have beliefs as to where the nation is, where you want it to go. That is not ready to work and push this great big ship called Nigeria in that direction.

“We for a long-time travelled on the wrong road, so today with all the difficulties that beset us, the kind of people we need are people who have a long-term view, who understand, accept that things are hard today, but are ready to work to bring to fruition that vision of a great nation. It isn’t a long trek. I want to give you the assurance that light is already there at the end of the tunnel.

“I use every opportunity to bring home the point. Change is still in its early stages. Don’t let anybody tell you that change is a matter of brick and mortar, how many roads you have built, how many vehicles you have put on the road. The visible things are important, I am not trying to downplay the importance.

“But we are where we are today, not because we haven’t built roads, not because we haven’t built airports, not because we haven’t awarded contracts for electricity generation, transmission and distribution, but because our values are totally wrong and it is this wrong values that affect every other things that we do. It is at the bedrock of corruption.

“If we get our values right, that is the real fundamental change. Meaning you accept now that certain things are wrong and you will not be part of it and we are able to get most of our citizenry to see that point, then real change has started.

“The run-up to 2019 has started and you have come at the right time fortuitously. I want to believe that your mission here, your predicating yourself to grassroots mobilisation for the APC is an act that has been inspired by the Almighty himself and that you will be faithful not just to that inspiration that brought you but also be faithful to this party, dedicated to ensuring that this nation experiences the greatness for which the Almighty himself has destined it”.

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