One-time National Chairman All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie – Oyegun has said that his silence, especially since he was named member of the Edo State Governorship Campaign Council for the election of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, does not mean he is opposed to the idea.
The former governor of the state, who made this known in a telephone interview with Sunday Telegraph, also said he is not a chatter box that talks all the time. He said: “There is nothing at all, what Nigerians should remember is that they should not hear an old man who talks all the time.
They don’t want to hear an old man who talks every day on every issue. I talk of course when I think the national interest is at stake. On every other issue, I think my views are well known.
So, they should respect my age and know that I am an 81-yearold person and not a town crier whose voice is heard at every dawn; I am not an activist. When it is necessary and I feel national interest is at stake I will speak.”
Leaders and members of the ruling APC, appeared worried over his sudden silence, especially after his recent letter to President Muhammadu Buhari in which he raised concerns over the state of the party.
Many observers have been reading means into his silence especially after the Committee constituted by the immediate past National Working Committee (NWC), led by Adams Oshiomhole, disqualified Godwin Obaseki from participating in the primary of the party for the ticket to fly the party’s flag in the September 19, election.
The octogenarian and one time super Permanent Secretary has been a strong supporter of Obaseki who recently dumped the APC to pitch his tent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its candidate for the September 19 election in the state. Chief Odigie-Oyegun’s silence has been given many interpretations given his previous vocal stance on key national and his home state matters.
Until Sunday Telegraph spoke with him, there were fears in many quarters that the coronavirus pandemic might have been responsible for his deafening silence, considering his age may have been the reason for his ‘disappearance’, which means he has yet to feature anywhere publically with the APC guber candidate.
Chief Odigie-Oyegun was among the almost 50 major players in the APC who were saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that the party’s standard bearer occupies the Denis Osadebey House, as the state’s Government House is called.
The state has been in the eyes of political watchers and core stakeholders of the country’s political sphere as preparations leading to the campaigns and epic battle for the forthcoming governorship election gain momentum.
Sadly, the Heart Beat state has come under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons following last week Saturday’s bloody clash between political thugs loyal to the camps of the APC and ruling PDP outside the palace of Oba Ewuare II of Benin Kingdom shortly after the palace played host to visiting governors and National leadership of the PDP, who had come to flag-off campaign for the re-election of Governor Obaseki.
However, Chief Oyegun on Thursday said he has decided not to be talking as he used to, considering his person as an elder statesman, stressing that he is no longer exuberant as a young man.
On his presumed silence on the defection of Obaseki to the PDP, since he has been a staunch supporter of the governor, after his re-election bid hit the rocks, Odigie-Oyegun said: “The governor’s movement to the PDP; that is his constitutional right given the way he was treated in the party (APC).
That is that; he is an adult, I am an adult too. I don’t have a stand on his leaving as far as I am concerned he is still part of the party. So, that is the end of the matter and everything is very well.”