By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has lashed back at critics of the party’s ambitious expansion, saying the APC is not for integrity-challenged politicians currently within the radar of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC.
Odigie-Oyegun spoke Thursday when he received Senators Florence Ita-Giwa and John Enoh at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
“I know that those who do not wish us well often tend to misinterpret some of these happenings as running away, thinking that they would have protection from the EFCC. Of course, I am not aware in your case that anybody is harassing you with the EFCC.
In any case, it is obvious and played out today that we do not offer sanctuary to anybody running from the arms of the law. The evidence is all over the place”, said the chairman.
Ita-Giwa and Enoh had recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party PDP to the APC.
“We welcome you to the headquarters of the APC headquarters. It is an honour that has been bestowed on only very few persons. One thing made your presence significant here. Traditionally, the South-south has been the heart of the unity and oneness of this nation, whether during the civil war or post-civil war.
“In spite of the obvious difficulties that the nation is passing through, people like you voluntarily wanted to assist in this responsibility of helping in nation building.
“Of course, our party does not have the presence it ought to have in the South-south. So when people of your calibre join us in the struggle, we from the South-south are particularly glad and happy. On that parochial basis, I welcome you”, he said.
Responding, Sen. Ita-Giwa said, “coming to the party is like a home coming, and I am identifying with the people I have known before.
I feel very comfortable identifying with the calibre of people in the APC. I will like to correct the erroneous notion that I decamped or they call it defection because there is no party to defect from. I personally stopped attending meetings, in the last two years, just because of the impunity there.
“It is on record that in 2015, I had gone to the presidential candidate to say that I was leaving the party, so I was potentially one of the politicians that were forcefully driven out of the party”, she said.