Why I shunned Ize-Iyamu campaigns, by Odigie-Oyegun

By Bisi Olaniyi, Benin

A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said he did not participate in the party’s governorship campaigns in Edo State, despite being a member of the National Campaign Council.

The former Edo State governor said he took the action because he did not want to be part of what he called an illegality.

Odigie-Oyegun spoke on Monday at his home in Benin, the state capital, during a media briefing.

He said: “I am a man of conscience. I am a strong believer in justice and fair play. I am a strong believer that when the rules of an association you belong to have been so flagrantly disregarded, put aside and not complied with, then you have to go back to your conscience to say: Can I support what has happened? Can I not support what has happened? I cannot support injustice.

“Your loyalty in life should be what is right; that is principle. Every human being must live for something. If you are ready to kill a man you know did not commit a crime, then something is wrong with you.

“Even in the family, if a family member commits a crime, he has to agree that he has committed the crime. When you start shouting no, he has done nothing wrong, then something is wrong with you. So, it was a basic issue of principle; it is a basic issue of conscience.”

The former APC National Chairman also said he was sad that Nigeria had not attained its full potential, after 60 years of Independence from the colonial masters.

Odigie-Oyegun said: “Things have been tough. What I can say confidently is that the basic foundation of our future growth has been laid, no question in my mind about that. But the administration has not been lucky at all.

“We have had a very tough period of dwindling resources, right from the beginning of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. But for careful management, we probably would not have got as far as we have done today.

“There is hunger in the land, the economy is not growing as it should, unemployment is very high, terrorism has reared its ugly head again, after the initial success, the cost of production of crude oil now is almost equating what we are getting from selling crude oil. So, the resources are just not there.

“I must say I am sad that things have got to this kind of situation, totally out of control.”


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