NAN – The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun, has denied taking bribe to support the agenda of the lawmakers who became principal officers of the 8th Assembly against the wishes of his own party.
Mr. Odigie-Oyegun made the denial when the leadership of the South-East, South-South Professionals paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the allegation in some media reports that he was induced to support Bukola Saraki’s bid to emerge senate president was false.
The chairman also expressed shock over allegations that he deliberately pitched members of the party from the North against those from the South.
He expressed delight at the solidarity visit at a time he is facing serious challenge over the National Assembly crisis.
He said: “There is nothing they have not said about me but when you ask what has the man done, one of their reports said the present executive cannot win us elections in 2019. Good Lord! You’ve not even finished 2015, you’re talking about 2019.
”The one that annoys me is the attempt to rubbish 75 solid years of a character that I’ve put together. They said I take gratification. Gratification to what purpose?
“The only people who can say that are the people who don’t know my background or history. I was just over 30 when I started joining teams that were buying aircraft from Holland and Seattle in the U. S.
“That could not corrupt me. I was on the board of the Railways, NPA and the rest of them. If all these did not make me corrupt, how can I at 76 take money, money from who to do what?”
Outlining the various sacrifices he made for the country, he said as a one-time chief executive of the Federal Housing Authority, he did not award any land to himself or to any member of my family.
”I could have acquired acres and the compensation government was paying would have covered that but out of love for my country and democracy, resistance to the continuation of military rule, I was on exile for four years,” he said.
“During that time my economic base was totally obliterated, by the time I came back, I was barely carrying a deadly bone.
“Obasanjo is a close friend. Throughout his eight years tenure, I didn’t enter Aso Rock to curry favour. That is the kind of person I am. When they say I’m taking money from a senator, to do what? I am not a senator, I cannot vote, I cannot by being chairman pronounce him senate president or senate leader so what is he giving me money for?
“How many people know me personally? It is annoying, it is dirty, it is crude, it is unbecoming and only people who are totally devoid of conscience at any level of humanity can do things of that nature.”
Emeka Ugwu-Oju, president of the South-East South-South Professionals, who led the delegation, pledged the forum’s unalloyed support to the chairman.
“We have come to pay our respect and show solidarity to the chairman of the party whose integrity and hard work has stirred the party to victory in the space of one year he assumed the chairmanship position of the party,” he said.