Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said on Thursday that he was being persecuted because of his loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said he had no regrets for being loyal to the number one citizen of the country.
Odigie-Oyegun spoke in Benin City at an event organised by the Benin National Congress (BNC) to honour him for his leadership role over the years.
He said: “I grew up in an environment where discipline was the order of the day and bringing disgrace to the family was the worst thing you could possibly do, even the family would be the first to disown you.
“So, in all my life, this is the circumstance that has conditioned me.
“I do not do things that will not make me sleep soundly at night.
“I do nothing that will appear as headline in any of the national dailies.
“Yes, I have been through several trials, but I have overcome them all.
“Why have I done so? Because at the end of the day, whether detailed or forensic or examination, you will not find that your own Oyegun has done something dishonourable.
“And so, with all the hues and cries, at the end of the whole thing, when we sit down and ask, tell us what he has done, behold the whole situation fizzles out.
“The only thing you can punish him for is loyalty. Edo people are loyal and law-abiding citizens.
“We look at something; we make sacrifices to ensure that those hands are upheld and neat.”
While thanking the Benin National Congress for the honour done him, the APC national chairman called on Nigerians to be patient with the present administration as it delivered the right and purposeful leadership for the country.
He noted that change takes time, consistency of applications and stressed that Nigerians could not afford to go back to the old days.
In his welcome address, President, Benin National Congress (BNC), Mr. Aiyemenkhue Edokpolo, said the group decided to honour Oyegun and six other prominent Edo sons for bringing honour and pride to the Benin people in particular and Edo State in general.
Edokpolo said Chief Oyegun was a distinguished Benin and humble son of Edo State that had made landmarks in the civil service and party politics.
According to him, Chief Oyegun deserved honour because he had demonstrated the true Benin son in him nationally and internationally.
“Some time ago, Nigeria was faced with series of frightening existential challenges by ethnic groups at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari was away on medical trip, Chief Oyegun took epistemic steps to preserve the sanctity of the presidency, to protect the interest of Nigeria as one and indivisible nation, as well as defending the founding values of his party, the APC,” he added.