By Ezeocha Nzeh
A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State, Ray Murphy has described the tenure elongation given to the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) as the best that would happen to the party, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Murphy, who is also eyeing the APC ticket to contest the Cross River North Senatorial District election in 2019 argued that the elongation was what the party needed to solidify and strengthen its strategies to retain power in the coming general election, adding that a change in party leadership regime would spell doom for the APC as at the moment.
Murphy, who was reacting to an article on Oyegun, titled “Perfect stooge” said that the APC National Chairman, Joihn Odigie Oyegun cannot play an opposition to President Muhammadu Buhari as expected by some party members, noting that no political party can maintain the status of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), when leadership of the party resided with the party’s National Chairman
He described the opinion of party chieftains or any other person that the APC National Chairman is a stooge as an unfair statement.
In the article titled: “Perfect Stooge”, the writer posited that Oyegun got a tenure elongation not because he has done a great job, but because he has done well as a stooge, adding that he served as a stooge to lawmakers the President, as well as the Governors.
But the Cross River State politician described the article as a wrong description of the APC National Chairman, who he applauded for being a consensus builder, arguing that the APC would have been in tatters, if not for the administrative acumen of Oyegun.
“The National Chairman is a consensus builder; National Chairman for a ruling party is empowered to act or not to act by the President of the country. If you do not have carrot and stick at your disposal, how do you control the party? A party is led by carrot and stick consensus building. I am telling you that it would be mischief for anybody to blame the National Chairman and if you said the National Chairman is not loved by party members, how come you have a vote cast of 103 to 4. The vote cast was not manufactured. People raised their hands and they were counted and that was it.
“There was an unfettered opportunity given by the democratic processes of the party. Yes, you can say the National Chairman is weak because he is not a dictator. Democratic Party is not a place of dictators.”
Reacting specifically on Oyegun being stooge, the APC chieftain said, “A political party has a purpose of being in power. It organizes resources and people and wins election after this somebody would expect the National Chairman or NWC members should become an opposition to the President of their party. Is that what it means to be stooge? No”.