National Chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Dr. Frederick Fasehun, has reaffirmed his leadership of the political group and denied reports he had quit politics. Fasehun made this clarification when anxious members and officers of UPN stormed his Century Hotel office in Lagos, following reports by a section of the media that their National Chairman announced he had ended active politicking.
In a statement yesterday, Fasehun described as wrong and misleading insinuations that he announced his resignation from politics and UPN during a speech he made Saturday at an event marking his 80th birthday at the Yard 158 Events Centre, Oregun, Lagos. “I am a Democrat to the core.
And I cannot just on my own say ‘bye-bye’ to politics. No! It will be a collective decision by my party and my associates,” Dr. Fasehun said in a statement circulated in Lagos today. “Although I turned 80 last week, I have been especially blessed with a virile constitution, great health and sound mind. And it would be a disservice to God, humanity and the nation for me to be quitting active politics at this time.”
“What I actually said was that with the good age and health that God has blessed me with, I am counted as one of Nigeria’s elder statesmen and I would be available henceforth to provide non-partisan and cross-partisan direction for the benefit of nation- building,” he reiterated.
According to Fasehun, who is also Founder/President of the Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), some reporters present at the event apparently misinterpreted his speech. Fasehun said: “Of course, I have no intention of heading UPN for life. In time, we shall work out a succession plan, but it will be in consonance with the authentic leaders of UPN.
“I count it an honour to walk in the footsteps of Chief Obafemi Awolowo and lead this legacy party. But I will not leave the party in crisis. We shall resolve all issues and settle the party into its historical role within the Nigerian political milieu.
Thereafter, the bonafide leaders and stakeholders in UPN will work out a succession plan. The particular time and place no one can say for now. “What I said on Saturday is what I have always said. I only reiterated the fact that at my age, Nigeria owes me no public office. I can neither accept nor serve in any public appointment.”
– Francis Moses