Don’t Die Without Joining APC – Osinbajo
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has adviced members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) before it is too late.
Osinbajo who spoke at a dinner to mark the 80th birthday celebration of former APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, specifically told members of the opposition PDP to join the APC before they die.
“It is time for my friends in the PDP to cross over to the APC,” the vice president jokingly told the audience.
To corroborate his call, Prof Osinbajo recounted the story of an American Republican senator who while on his death bed, told his family he wanted to cross over to become a Democrat.
“Let me tell a story of a politician who was a long time life Republican politician in the United States (U.S.). He was lying down on a sickbed and was about to die, he said, ‘I want to change my party, I want to become a Democrat so that tomorrow, it will be announced that a Democrat died not a Republican’.
“You can see that we politicians very faithful and very loyal indeed. I can only ask our friends in PDP also to ensure that they cross over before they die! It is time for them to cross over,” he said.
Talking about the celebrant, Osinbajo described Odigie-Oyegun, as a loyal party man, a role model who beleives in doing the right thing always.
“I have always admired Chief John Odigie-Oyegun for two reasons. First reason is that somehow, he has always been his own man, charting his own course, sometimes, making some real troubles.
“For example, when as a permanent secretary, he raised contempt proceedings when he refused to testify in principle. As a young man, I watched with bated breadth when they were going to carry him to jail.
“But he ended up on the right side. It is not always that you find one on the right side of history. As a founding member of AD, a founding member of NADECO and later its secretary of those abroad; founding member of the APC and the first chairman, he is the one who led our party to that historic victory to unseat the ruling party.
“The second reason is that somehow, he manages to be so deep in Nigerian politics even though he doesn’t look like a politician or sound like one. He always sound like a fine, well-read and well-spoken gentleman driven into politics by some rascals.
“But indeed, he is a consummate politician and an astute strategist. It is this particular attribute of being in politics without being a politician that I will like to be when I grow up. Aside from lawyers, I do not know a group of people who are more maligned than politicians.
“People like Chief Oyegun have shown that politicians can be loyal and distinguished men and women and it makes us proud to belong to this company of credible human beings. Despite what people say, we are often more loyal than some other people,” the vice president stated.
The celebrant in his remarks, while appreciating God, called for more concerted efforts in the fight against corruption.
“God has been good to me and making my life such a pleasant one. I stand here today, not having spent in 80 years a single night on hospital bed. I really don’t know how to thank God. That was why I made it my first duty in Benin to go church and say Lord, thank you,” he said.
“I have only one prayer and hope. I have met, in the course of my journey a lot of people who gave me intense hope that this nation will yet be great and it is my belief that the Next level which we are now embarking with the new crop of ministers will indeed be the foundation for the greatness of this nation.
“It should not be left for a President Buhari as if he is one unusual man there who wants to fight everybody. It is something that we must totally internalise.
“We should use the carrot and stick. While we are punishing those who are threatening our nation whether by corruption or any other means, we must also at every turn or every stage reward service to the nation,” Oyegun added.