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Published On: Thu, Apr 5th, 2018

Tenure extension: APC govs back Buhari, to hold elective congresses, convention

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By Lawrence Olaoye and Umar Muhammad Puma

The 24 governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have resolved to shelve the idea of extending the tenure of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) chaired by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and agreed to hold congresses at the ward, local government, state and national levels as mandated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Briefing State House Correspondents after a closed door meeting with the President yesterday, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Zamfara State governor, Abdulazeez Yari, clarified that there was no disagreement among the governors over the leadership of the APC.
Others at the briefing include the governors of Plateau, Simon Lalong, Imo, Rochas Okorocha, Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje and Ogun Ibikunle Amosun.
Yari said, “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 tonight; and we followed up with the consultations with the President now.
“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.
And the committee set up by the National Secretariat of our party headed by governor of Plateau State, is presenting its report later today. The governors are also meeting with the working committee today; so that we come up with convention committee names, as well as timetable of the election.
“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.”
Okorocha, who is also the Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, stressed that there was no crisis in the party over its leadership.
He, however, said “The issue was one of people who believe that we did not have enough time to organize a party congress and run election. 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.
“This morning, we met with Mr. President to fine-tune issues, one regarding the congress; and we have resolved that the congresses at all levels and the Chairman of the elongation committee, is also fine-tuning the arrangement in the same line. To this effect, the convention committee will be set out. It will be announced.
“But let me correct one impression. The issue of congress and convention does not mean that the previous people who have served the party have done badly. And it does not mean that they cannot come back or that they cannot re-contest. That is not it. We are simply saying that their tenure has ended; and those who wish to re-contest can re-contest, and can be elected into our party structure. So we are all one as family; and we are set to go for 2019 elections in victory.”
Also briefing journalists shortly after meeting between the governors and the NWC yesterday, at the party’s National secretariat, chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun said the issue have been resolved and that National Executive Committee of the party will meet on Monday 9th April to rectify the decisions reach.
The Monday’s meeting is expected to discuss modalities for the congress and the national convention of the party.
“Today the governor and the NWC decided to seat and look at the issue that is seemingly dividing us. I want to say that all the issue we have been talking about had been totally resolved. We are back as one united family.
Recall that the last NEC meeting approved the setting up of technical committee that will advise the party on the way forward for the party.
Oyegun said, “The report of the technical committee is sensitive. NEC will meet on Monday, and that the report will be ready before NEC meeting. I can assure you that appropriate decision will be taken when we receive the report.”

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