National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun has debunked insinuations in some quarters that the party or any of its members were responsible for the current travails of the wife of the Senate President, Toyin Saraki in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
It will be recalled that the anti-grant agency recent arrested Mrs. Saraki of on issues of money laundering.
But the issue sparked off controversy with some feelings that some big personalities in the ruling party masterminded her ordeals to get at the husband who emerged as senate president against the wish and directive of the party.
But speaking with Journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Oyegun exonerated the party, saying that EFCC was only doing what it felt was necessary to do.
He said: “I want to assure you without doubts that the APC absolutely has nothing to do with the matter. She’s not on trial by the way. It is an investigation that has to do with the Senate President’s wife.
“You saw all the speculations in the media. As a matter of fact, this could have been triggered by the opposition party itself. The PDP has its branch in Kwara.
“They have to be nudged to make a denounce that they were not the originators of the petition or whatever triggered this investigation.
“We are completely, totally, absolutely, innocent of it. What we have not done like in the PDP days is to rush and interfere with the processes of the EFCC which our president has made quite clearly. Everybody should be ready to carry out their legitimate functions without interference. The EFCC is doing what it thinks it has to do.”
Speaking on the crisis that rocked the National Assembly and in particular, the House of Representatives, Oyegun expressed happiness that the issue had been amicably resolved.
He remarked the intervention of President Mohammadu Buhari in the matter, saying that his “presidential prestige” was brought to bear in the imbroglio, also emphasized the supremacy of the party.
Oyegun also commended what he called the patriotism of Speaker, Yakubu Dogara for toeing the party’s line eventually.
“The misunderstanding in the House of Representatives has been very very amicably resolved thanks to The intervention of Mr. President who again made it quite clear with everybody, that there is no alternative but to listen to what the party says.
“I want to emphasise the fact that all of us were what we were, what we are thanks to the platform that the party provided for everybody.
“I think his message resonated very intensive with all the members of the House. He still did not interfere. I want to make that very very clear and his parting words to us was that the presiding leadership of the House and the party should go and resolve whatever issues there are that was militating against the resolution of the problem and that is what exactly happened.
“When we were leaving there I promised, the press was very anxious to hear that A, B and C have been appointed to whatever positions but that is not what happened. I promised that within a few hours, 4 hours as I said definitely by the next morning, the nation will be glad knowing that this issue would have been resolved and put behind us.
“We left there into consultations and discussions with the presiding officers of the House of Representatives.
“Let me take this opportunity to pay tribute to their maturity to their sense of responsibility, tribute to their loyalty of the party and above all tribute to their sense of general good meaning their patriotism displayed by the Speaker and his Deputy. It did not take long, necessary concessions that had to be made were made.
The chairman who expressed regrets over the exclusion of the south east in the sharing of offices pleaded with the zone to be patient, saying haring of portfolios were not over yet.
“The sharing process is not over. I want everybody to get that very very clear, even in the House of Representatives, it is not yet over. All these will be taken into consideration when other positions in the House are being distributed. I have no doubt.
“What is important is that the system functions. The system went out of gear. The first election made the planning of the party out of sync. So, you have to walk back and resolve it as best as possible given the circumstances.”, he said.
The chairman also flayed some claims that the crisis in the House would affect the “change” agenda of APC even as he stated that president Buhari was right in saying he would probe the past government of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Change agenda, I don’t see how it will be affected. I will be very sorry for any member of the House who demonstrates objection to any measures or proposed laws which are directed towards the change agenda.
“Will someone stand up and say he likes corruption to thrive? Will somebody stand up and say we don’t need to do what we need to do to restore peace, that is to defeat the insurgency? Will anybody stand up to say that the power sector should not be made functional? Will anybody stand to say we should not ask for any Billions or Trillions of Dollars that have been stolen to be refunded, that is the change agenda? I don’t think that will happen on both sides of the divide. I do not see that happening”, Oyegun said.
Meanwhile, Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has expressed happiness over the peaceful resolution of the House of Representatives leadership crisis which had before now crippled activities of the House.
In a statement released by his Media Office in Abuja on Wednesday, the former Vice President recalled that the amicable outcome of the tension was in line with his earlier position that compromise and accommodation were necessary in ending the deadlock.
He added that warring camps have demonstrated maturity, wisdom and sense of patriotism by finally arriving at a workable compromise.
He also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the fatherly role he played in the resolution of the crisis.
Atiku said it was this concern that led to his prompt intervention from the beginning to avoid the tension getting out of hand, and thereby threatening the implementation of the party’s progressive programmes to make life better for Nigerians.
The former Vice President explained that there should be no rivalry between the executive and legislative arms of government because both of them should be united by the common goal of offering efficient service delivery to Nigerians.
The APC chieftain said, “As a stakeholder, I am committed to promoting harmonious working relationship between the two branches of government. I was once in government, and I knew why harmony and cooperation are essential in the success of presidential system of government.”
The former Vice President urged the lawmakers to see themselves as partners in progress in the implementation of the change agenda.