Former APC Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has explained the situation surrounding President Muhammadu Buhari’s endorsement of the Edo and Ondo States Governors, Rotimi Akeredolu and Godwin Obaseki, respectively, for second terms.
Oyegun had earlier in the week announced that Buhari has endorsed an agreement that Obaseki and Akeredolu be returned for second term unless they do not wish to continue in office
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, fixed governorship elections in Edo State for September 19, while that of Ondo State is slated for October 10.
Oyegun’s statement generated a lot of controversies and while appearing on Channels Television on Friday night, he explained how the agreement was reached.
“At the peak of the crisis surrounding the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, you’ll notice that a peaceful, so to speak, revolution was embarked upon and there were conditionalities on that and this has been in the public domain,” he said.
“It has been in the public space. Nobody has denied it. And part of the conditionalities was that these Governors, no impediments should be placed on their way.
“They should be given the rights of first refusal which is normal, they’re incumbents. That does not mean there will not be other contestants.
“But it shouldn’t be like the case of Edo State where there is a deliberate move to make it impossible for him to recontest. For example, there’s an official APC in Edo State and there’s another APC loyal to the National Chairman and how do you resolve a situation like that?” He asked.
When asked on what forum Buhari made the statement endorsing the Governors for second terms, Oyegun added, “No. Nobody made a public statement. You know there were meetings and meetings and compromises and compromises that arose then.
“It wasn’t an open statement. Come on, these things don’t happen like that. You don’t expect a kind of formal announcement [from the President]. That doesn’t happen.
‘This was part of the compromises done to settle the disputes surrounding the national Chairman . It was done quietly in the board room.
“It has been in the public domain. I’m not the first to say it and it has never been denied. Don’t try to make it as if there should be a publication to that, no.
“Things don’t happen like in thirsty situations that confronted the APC decision had to be made to save everybody’s face. Those who needed to know are aware of this situation [the President’s decision].
“But note that the compromise was not that only these two incumbent governors should contest. It was that no impediment should be put in their way. Give them the rights of first refusal,” he added.