APC: Oyegun Surrenders – The Nation



APC: Oyegun Surrenders – The Nation

Opponents of tenure elongation have carried the day in the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, last night bowed to pressure from governors and party leaders to forego tenure extension.

He has summoned an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) for 8am today to draw the timetable for state congresses and National Convention.

The meeting will hold before the National Executive Committee (NEC) session begins at 11am.

A member of the NWC said: “We were all shocked to get a text message inviting us for NWC meeting by 8am on Monday when all we were preparing for was the NEC session.

“Some of us inquired and we were told that the NWC meeting will draw the timetable for state congresses and the National Convention for consideration by NEC. This was what we told him to do last Thursday.

“We suspect that the latest development must have accounted for Oyegun’s U-turn. From the horse-trading so far, all the APC governors have backed out of tenure extension for Oyegun and the NWC.

“We learnt the last governor to ditch him yesterday was Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State.”

Another NWC member said: “I think summoning NWC meeting very early in the morning before NEC amounted to panic on the part of the national chairman.

“Some of us were really amazed when we got the text message. This was the same Oyegun who did not allow us access to the report of the Governor Simon Lalong Committee which was set up by the NWC.

“We had the whole weekend, he did not call for any meeting. Now, he wants to hold a pre-emptive meeting.

“We will go there and listen to what he has in stock for us.”

There were talks last night that Oyegun might seek to recontest based on some governors’ advice. But, it was not clear if he would heed the advice.

If he does, he would have to jostle for the seat again with former Governors Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Clement Ebri (Cross River).

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that pro-Buhari governors reached out to NEC members to accept his proposal for elective congresses and National Convention.

As at Friday, no fewer than 21 governors and their state chairmen had conceded that the party should conduct fresh election into party offices in order to avoid running into legal technicality on the nomination of APC candidates for the 2019 polls.

A governor said he and his colleagues chose to rally round President Muhammadu Buhari because his proposal is the first major advice he would give to the party.

The governor said: “To me, I believe the President is facing a major vote of confidence at the NEC meeting. The issue is not about Oyegun or NWC members but it borders on the extent to which we have respect for the President’s views.”

He went on: “Unlike other past Presidents who will force their views on party members, Buhari was democratic enough to render advice and ask party leaders to consider the pros and cons.

“If Buhari’s advisory is accepted, it will be a sign that his voice counts. But where NEC rejects his proposal, he would have lost the confidence of a key organ of the party.

“You can see why we have regarded the NEC meeting as make or break. An endorsement of Buhari’s idea will also foretell his chances in the party if he chooses to seek a second term ticket in 2019.

“So, some of us do not see it as one person hijacking the party structure or not but as a major test of a vote of confidence in Buhari.

“This is why we have prevailed on him to stay behind and be part of the NEC meeting. We do not want any upset for him as designed by some forces. The President has taken his political fortunes for granted because of his new found democratic disposition but we have asked him to take his destiny in his hands.”

Another source said: “The NEC meeting will chart a new course for APC by confirming our ability to look inward to address our challenges without rancour.

“If we get it right at the NEC meeting, it will strengthen the party

Source:- Thenationonlineng




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