Fear has reportedly gripped the political camp of a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, as Chief John Odigie-Oyegun heads the presidential screening panel of the party.
Odigie-Oyegun, the first substantive national chairman of the party, is believed to be a political enemy of the APC National Leader since the 2020 Edo State Governorship Election.
According to Punch newspaper, he is the chairman of the seven-man panel to screen APC presidential aspirants today in Abuja ahead of the party’s convention.
During the election, Pastor Ize-Iyamu, who was backed by Tinubu, was defeated by the incumbent Governor Godwin Oabseki despite defecting to the Peoples Democratic Party.
Politicians in the Tinubu’s camp argued that Oyegun engaged in anti-party activities to ensure the victory of Obaseki.
They expressed fear that Oyegun may back a “weaker” candidate for PDP to return to power again.
“There is fear and anxiety among the aspirants and the various camps because Chief Oyegun has become a controversial and polarising figure in the party.
“He was among those who plotted against the removal of Adams Oshiomhole and sack of immediate past NWC. He supported Obaseki in an election where APC had a Governorship candidate in Edo State. The issue has become if Chief Oyegun will be impartial,” one of the leaders of the Tinubu support group said.
Another Tinubu supporter said, “Why Oyegun of all people? How can he be a neutral party in this case? We all know the role played by Tinubu in Oyegun’s removal and what Oyegun also did in the last Edo election. I hope he won’t be biased.”
Apart from Tinubu and Osinbajo, others included in the list are Senate President Ahmed Lawan and former ministers Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio, and Chukwuemeja Nwajiuba.
Serving governors who are also listed for the screening are Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa).
Others are former Senate President Ken Nnamani, former House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole and serving Senators Ibikunle Amosun, Ajayi Boroffice, and Rochas Okorocha.
President Buhari’s running mate in 2011, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Uju Ken-Ohanenye, Nicholas Felix, Ahmad Rufai Sani, Tein Jack-Rich, Ikeobasi Mokelu are also expected to face the screening panel.