By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA—The face-off between the national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, got messier yesterday as the national vice chairman of the party in the South-South, Hilliard Etta, took on his counterpart in the South-West, Pius Akinyelure, accusing him of double-dealing.
Speaking with journalists yesterday in Abuja, Etta accused Mr. Akinyelure of speaking from both sides of his mouth, saying having agreed to the resolution of the National Working Committee, NWC, to jettison the report of its appeal committee on Ondo governorship primary, the south-west zonal party chairman could not turn around to criticise the decision.
Etta spoke following comments by Akinyelure in a national newspaper yesterday where he accused Odigie-Oyegun and some other NWC members of having railroaded the body to jettison the report.
“It was a very clear-cut matter; we had read various newspaper reports, but I can tell you that no vote was taken.
‘’Before we met on the last day for the submission of name to INEC, we had met earlier; in that meeting, there were two reports before the NWC, that of the appeal committee was voted on. That very day, we were 14 in number, not 11.
‘’Thirteen of us voted for the appeal committee’s report to be thrown out; only one person voted for us to retain the report and that person was the National Vice Chairman, North Central, Alhaji Zakari Indeh. Pius Akinyelure voted that the report should be thrown out.
“After that, we mandated our National Chairman and Secretary to go out and do wider consultations, so we can have a political solution to the heated environment the situation has caused the party.
Akinyelure, however, faulted the claim by Etta when contacted by Vanguard as he insisted that he did not vote to reject the report.
“How can I vote to reject the report and turn around again,” he quipped last night.