Ondo Guber Poll: How Buhari’s Phone Call Frustrated Tinubu-The Untold Story

By Ikenga Chronicles October 12, 2016

Facts have emerged on how effort by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress , APC,  Bola Tinubu, to have his anointed candidate emerge as the party’s governorship candidate in Ondo State was frustrated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s phone calls to APC National Chairman, Chief Odigie-Oyegun.

Recall that the ruling party is presently engulfed in crisis over the outcome of its governorship primary in the state for the November 26 election.

In the primary, the former National President of Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Rotimi Akeredolu, beat other aspirants including Olusegun Abraham, who had Tinubu’s backing.

Tinubu who alleged manipulation of the process by the party’s leadership in favour of Akeredolu, described the outcome of the exercise as “a textbook definition of political treachery and malfeasance of the basest order.”

Tinubu’s claim was backed by the party’s National Vice Chairman (South-West), Chief Pius Akinyelure, who also accused Oyegun; National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni and National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, of manipulating the process to favour Akeredolu.

It was gathered that though the panel recommended a fresh primary, there were dissenting voices among members of the National Working Committee of the party.

According to minutes of the committee’s 18th emergency meeting of September 19, 20 and 22 , the NWC after a careful and exhaustive deliberation of the Appeal Committee report, resolved to reject it as it was considered to be fundamentally flawed.

The NWC also observed that the Appeal Committee contradicted itself when it admitted that the primary election committee substantially complied with the rules guiding the process but still proceeded with nullification of the exercise.

On claims by Tinubu’s camp that Oyegun acted the Presidency’s script in edging out Abraham, a source within the NWC revealed that it was Tinubu who actually subjected the APC national chairman to pressure to cancel the primaries and order a fresh one.

“When the pressure from Tinubu became unbearable, the national chairman reached out to President Muhammadu Buhari, who was on a trip to the United State then to sound him out on the matter.”

‘’The President denied mandating anyone to cancel the primaries. He said it was strictly a party affair and that he has nothing to do with it.

“Buhari asked the national chairman if he was involved in previous primaries in Kogi, Bayelsa and Edo states. When Odigie-Oyegun said no, the President advised that party guidelines be followed, contrary to what Akinyelure alleged,’’ the source said.

He added: ‘’Buoyed by Buhari’s position, Oyegun was now confident to summon the NWC to take a decision,” the source said.

It was also gathered that one of Tinubu’s protégées and APC National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire, was the one who wrote to the NWC, advising on the legal implications of cancelling the primaries.

‘’Thus, both legally and politically, it was unwise to toe the path of the Appeal Committee’s recommendations as even courts of law do not tamper with election results lightly. A most recent example is the Kogi election petition results upheld by the Supreme Court.

“ I recommend the rejection of the recommendations of the Appeal Committee and the dismissal of the petitions as both are lacking in merit,” the legal adviser had said.

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