Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has said he refused to campaign for the party and its candidate at the recently concluded gubernatorial election in Edo state because of his conscience.
Oyegun stated this while fielding questions from journalists in Benin city. The former Governor of Edo frowned at the treatment of Governor Obaseki by his successor, Adams Oshiomhole.
“Let me put it this way: I am a man of conscience. I am a strong believer in justice and fair play. I am a strong believer that when the rules of an association you belong to have been so flagrantly disregarded, put aside, not complied with, then, you have to go back to your conscience to say, can I support what has happened? I cannot support injustice.
“In terms of going out to work for injustice, I hope you get the meaning? Going out, to say, what I in my conscience I considered wrong, I am not supporting working for it, to be instituted, l cannot do that. And normal people should not do that. Your loyalty in life should be what is right, that is principle.
“Every human being must live for something. If you are ready to kill a man you know did not commit a crime, then something is wrong with you.
“Obviously, so, not even in your group, even in my family, a family member commits a crime, he has to agree he has committed a crime. When you start shouting no, he has done nothing wrong, then, something is wrong with you.
“So, it was a basic issue of principle, it is a basic issue of conscience.
“And the firm belief that that group you belong to has committed a grave injustice and when that happened, if you are a man of principle, if you are a man who respects yourself, then, you will point it out and they will stand back.
“Don’t forget, at every point, my views were known and is not that I hide and I said nothing,” he said.
Oyegun lamented the worsening security situation and rising poverty in the country.
“Things have been tough. What I can say confidently is that the basic foundation of our future growth has been laid, no question in my mind about that; but the administration has not been lucky at all.
“We have had a very tough period of dwindling resources right from the beginning of this administration and I think, but for careful management, we probably would not have gotten as far as we have today. There is no question at all.
“There is hunger in the land, the economy is not growing as it should, unemployment is very high, terrorism has risen its ugly head again after initial success and controlling it, cost of production of crude oil now is almost equating what we are getting from selling crude oil. So, the resources are just not there.
“I must say I am sad that things have gotten to this kind of situation, totally outside control” he said.