• Time to halt intra-party dispute, says Lawan
By Egena Sunday Ode
President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met on Monday, with the state chief executives stressing the need for party organs to meet to fashion out an enduring solution to the lingering crisis.
This is as the Senate Present Ahmad Lawan said it is time to halt intra-partly dispute.
The meeting, which took place in the president’s office at the presidential villa, Abuja was attended by the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi state, Atiku Bagudu; Chairman of Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau state, Simon Lalong and Governor of Jigawa state, Abubakar Badaru.
Recall that the president had on Sunday evening met with the Senate President Ahmed Lawan over the issue. Lawan hinted after the meeting that Buhari would soon lead the push for settlement of the party crisis within the next few days.
Some party stalwarts including former APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun have been canvassing for the convening of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting to thrash out the disputes.
Although the Progressive Governors’ Forum Chairman did not come clear on the suggestions for the NEC meeting, it was believed that he laid the issue before the president.
Speaking after the meeting, Bagudu told State House Correspondents that they were with the president to appraise him of the position of the APC governors on the crisis.
He disclosed that President Buhari would not be aversed to anything that needed to be done, including calling of the meetings of relevant organs of the party for immediate resolution of the lingering issues.
Bagudu said: “At all times, Mr. President has shown that he is a democrat, he is not running the party. Yes, he is the party leader, he allows party organs to do and decide what should be done. He is very hesitant to use his standing even as party leader, talk less of his authority as Mr. President of the country to direct things, but at all times, he has been alive to the issue and like I said earlier, I believe with the encouragement he gave us this morning, with the level of details he has about all what is happening and the number of people he has listened to and heard. I believe that whatever needs to be done including the possibility of calling any of the organs of the party that is necessary for the resolution of lingering issues will be done immediately.
“Let me again say that the party is never a perfect assembly. There will always be issues and that is why we talk, but yes certainly, organs of the party need to meet and Mr. President without directing is always supporting the necessity of party organs meeting appropriately.”
On the protests at the national headquarters of the party by members over the suspension of deputy national secretary, the Kebbi governor said it was an exercise of their democratic rights.
The ruling APC has been mired in deep crisis following last week’s affirmation of the suspension of it’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, by the Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, Senate President, Ahmad said it was time to halt intra-party dispute.
Lawan who stated this after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, said the party leaders had to act fast because according to him, the stability of APC was the stability of Nigeria.
Accordingly, he said in the next few days actions would be taken to resolve the lingering crisis in the party.
He said: “But I also had the opportunity to talk to my president and my leader about the challenges in the APC. I believe that we have to deal with these challenges, this is the ruling party of the federal republic of Nigeria, with the president, with the control of the National Assembly, with more governors than any other political party.
“The situation should not, must not be allowed to degenerate further than it has. And I believe that must go into the constitution of our party and see how we are to address this but we must not allow this to continue as it is today.
“Because, the stability of APC is the stability of Nigeria, this is the party that is running the affairs of this country. So I believe that we have to sort this out and that will make our work even better and easier when we have a stable party.
Continuing, Lawan said: ““Because the party is supposed to be part of the apparatus of running government. We are supposed to run or operate or implement or execute the manifesto of the party.
“And therefore the party is so key, so central, so essential to ensuring that government whether on the executive or legislative side continues to face those issues in the manifesto and of course the manifesto will be to make Nigeria better.
“So, I had the opportunity to discuss that with the president who is the leader of the party in Nigeria and by the grace of God in the next few days we will see certain actions will be taken and we are praying that all our leaders in the party across the country will make every possible effort to get the party reconciled.”