Published On: Wed, Apr 4th, 2018

APC Governors Endorse Buhari’s Position, Settle For Congresses To Elect New Exco

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By Sadiq Umar – Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have finally agreed to President Muhammadu Buhari’s position that the earlier extension granted party’s official is illegal and should give way for election of new Executives.

Mr. Buhari had, last week at party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, jettisoned the party’s earlier decision to extend the tenure of its officials at national and state levels, arguing that the decision was “illegal” as it was against party’s constitution as well as Nigeria’s constitution.

The president’s position had not gone down well with some blocks within APC, especially governors whose backing the party’s National Chairman, John Oyegun enjoys.

Some of the governors have argued that the time is rather short for a new party congresses and the fallout that may arise therefrom.

Mr. Buhari on Tuesday met with the APC governors over his decision to oppose tenure elongation for national and state APC officials.

However, the Tuesday’s meeting with the governors ended in a deadlocked with some governors still opposed to the president’s position.

Following the governors’ separate meeting Tuesday, they resolved to support Mr. President in order not to send a wrong signal that they party is divided against itself,” said a source close to one of the governors.

Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari who spoke to journalists after their meeting with the president Wednesday dismissed media reports of division among the APC governors rank.

“Gentlemen of the press, you know yesterday, we left you in the dark after the meeting and today, we have seen so many captions that there is disagreement between the governors over the issue of party Chairman or about the party leadership.

“No. We had a meeting with Mr. President yesterday (Tuesday), and we extended the meeting today and we followed up with the consultations with the president now,” Mr. Yari said.

Adding: “We consulted, and all the 24 governors of the APC are on the same page with Mr. President that we are going to respect our party constitution, we are going to respect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“So, therefore, we collectively agreed that we will have congresses at all levels – local, state and national”.

APC’s embattled National Chairman, John Oyegun, had also on Tuesday, inaugurated a 10-member committee headed by the governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, to advise the party on the proposal by the President, with a mandate to submit its report on Friday.

However, Mr. Yari told journalists that the Lalong committee will submit its report today (Wednesday).

“So, there is no deadlock in our meeting, we have progressed and very soon you will have the names of the convention committee members as well as the timetable,” he said.

Also speaking, Chairman of APC governors forum and governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha insisted there was no crisis in the APC accusing the media of “spreading rumours of crisis in APC”.

“We want to use this opportunity to advise the media operatives to stop spreading rumours of crisis in APC. There is no single crisis in APC,” Mr. Okorocha said.

According to him, some people believe the issue of tenure elongation was a good idea, while some felt the party must obey its constitution.

“Some people felt that it was a good idea, but the most important thing is that, if we do that we will be contravening both our party constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. That is the major issue that we have that they call crisis. We do not have virus,” Mr Okorocha added.

The governors at the Wednesday meeting with President Buhari are Abdulazeez Yari (Zamfara) Simon Lalong (Plateau), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun).

 

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