All is not well in the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun and Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank, have clashed over who speaks for the party following the exit of Alhaji Lai Mohammed as National Publicity Secretary.
President Muhammadu Buhari had appointed Mohammed as Minister of Information and National Orientation.
The disagreement between the two national officers of the APC is because of the insistence of Oyegun that he and the National Secretary of the party, Mai Buni, were in a position to speak for the party, rather than Frank who they see as controversial and taking positions not in line with party directive.
At a press briefing on the state of the party and other contemporary issues in the polity on Thursday, the APC chairman told journalists that it was either himself or the national secretary that had the right to officially speak for the party.
“It was a great loss of Lai Mohammed to the Executive but he’s still within the system. He was truly very special and unique but as we speak, the National Secretary of the party has largely on temporary basis taking up the job of communication to the press and myself (as the Chairman) is always available to any enquiry.
“I will start by saying who does not speak for the party, the person (Timi Frank) you are talking about does not speak for the party. Secondly, if there are any issues that need clarification for now, pending when we have a substantive publicity secretary, the national secretary will do so for the party and also when I speak, i speak for the party. It is as simple as that,” Oyegun said.
However in another press briefing, Frank insisted that he was the National Publicity Secretary under acting capacity.
“Our party constitution is very clear, anybody that does not understand the party constitution within the party or anybody that is still thinking who is the acting spokesperson or acting spokesperson.
“Today I am the spokesperson of the party, I’m the acting spokesperson of the party I can tell you without fear or favour that when the substantive person in the office of the national chairman or the national secretary or anybody that is not there, the deputy takes over automatically.
“This is the principle of the party constitution we have this also existing today in the PDP, you could see that when Muazu was not there Secondus today is acting for the party, so there is no difference, Lai Mohammad Is not there so automatically I’m the acting spokesperson of this party, so I can tell you without fear or favour.
“Any other person issuing a statement is doing that maybe on a personal capacity but constitutionally I am the acting spokesperson of the party. It’s not something I need to lobby for, it is something meant to be the trend and I stand by it.”, he said.