By Emmanuel Mogbede
Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), has exonerated the party from the appointment of dead persons as chairmen and members of boards of government parastatals and agencies.
Odigie-Oyegun told newsmen on Saturday in Abuja that the party’s leadership was not involved in the final compilation of the list.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had in defence of the error, explained that President Muhammadu Buhari had requested for the submission of 50 names each by the state chapters of the APC in 2015.
Some of the dead persons whose names appeared on the list recently released by the presidency included Sen. Francis Okpozo, who passed on at 81 in 2016; Donald Ugbaja, and Rev. Fr. Christopher Utov, among others.
Reacting to the development, Odigie-Oyegun said that the embarrassment would have been avoided if the party was involved in the final compilation.
“It is pretty obvious that the party was not involved in the final stages of the compilation of that list.
“Yes, we sent names at the initial stage and I am talking of a period of two years ago, we demanded for every state to make 50 nominations which were sent to the committee in charge of the list for the purpose.
“They completed the initial exercise but since then, a lot has happened.
“People have changed parties, people had died, we have three new governors that were not there when the list was compiled,’’ he said.
This, the chairman said, was enough reason for the party’s leadership to look at the final outcome of the exercise.
“But we are not fortunate to participate on that final stage otherwise such would not have occurred.
“It is my sincere hope that we will be fully involved in the review that has to now take place and any other exercise, moving forward from this date,’’ Odigie-Oyegun said.
He added that considering the fact that this year would be a build-up to the 2019 general election, the party would hit the ground running.
“I will resume on Monday and we are going to hit ground running, we all know that this year is obviously going to be an active year for elections,’’ he said.
He assured Nigerians that the President Buhari-led APC Federal Government was making concrete efforts to make the country self-sufficient in all areas.
The chairman maintained that the government was aware of the challenges Nigerians were going through, assuring that there is light at the end of the tunnel. (NAN)