Former Vice President and a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Atiku Abubakar Wednesday waded into the altercation between the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and another leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja, the former vice president said the leadership of the party cannot make rules only to discard it while the game is on.
He 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”.
According to him, “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.”
Abubakar spoke in light of the face-off between Messrs Oyegun and Tinubu following the party’s decision to jettison the majority report of its Appeal Committee on the primary election in Ondo state which recommended a cancellation of the exercise that produced Mr Rotimi Akeredolu.
Abubakar also told Odigie-Oyegun to urgently retrace his steps in order to build confidence among aggrieved members.
He 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, contending 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 former Vice President also added 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.
According to Atiku, the party leadership should always be guided by respect for the rules, fairness, equity, neutrality and respect for democratic consensus.
When contacted, an aide of the embattled chairman said the former vice president cannot exonerate himself of culpability in the emergence of Mr Akeredolu.
Though the aide pleaded for anonymity, he said, “we got reports that Atiku and some other party bigwigs actually bankrolled the Akeredolu campaign.
We are at a loss as to his recent romance with Tinubu but the president is the overall leader of the party and his decision on this matter is what would be our guiding principle especially because we do not have a functional Board of Trustees BOT in place as of now”.