…Oshiomole may emerge Acting National Chairman
By Ayo Fadimu
The governors on the platform appeared to have abandoned the embattled National Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as they have resolved to abide by the party’s constitution and hold Ward congresses.
On Wednesday, five APC governors met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the President Villa, Abuja, with a resolve to abide by the party’s constitution and hold Ward congresses.
At the meeting with the President on Wednesday were the Zamfara State governor and the Chairman of Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF), Abdulazeez Yari , Imo State governor and Chairman of APC Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha, , Plateau State, Simon Lalong, , Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje and Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting which held in the office of the president.
According to Governor Yari, “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 to night and we followed up with the consultations with the President now.
“We consulted and all the 24 governors of the APC are in 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.”
Governor Okorocha, on his part said, “I just want to let you know that there is no crisis in the APC at all. And we want to use this opportunity to advise the media operatives to stop spreading rumors of crisis in APC. There is no single crisis in APC.
“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.”
Lalong said, “I’m submitting my report today. There is no crisis in our party.”
Buhari had at the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of March 27 in Abuja, said NWC’s tenure extension decided at NEC’s meeting on February 27 was illegal and unconstitutional.
In the meantime, Nigerian NewsDirect investigation revealed that former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomole has been penciled down to replace Oyegun as the Acting Chairman of the party. Both Oyegun and Oshiomole are from Edo State and both had ruled the South-south state before as elected governors.
However, some governors and powerful cabals within the party who see Oshiomole as a close ally of Tinubu are not comfortable with the former Labour leader leading the party few months to the party’s primary election. The governors, who are often referred to as pro-Buhari governors insist anyone who will be the Chaiman of the party must be totally loyal to the President.
The governors according to sources close to Nigerian NewsDirect are governors of Ogun State Ibikunle Amosun, Kaduna State,Nasir El-Rufai, Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, Plateau, Nasarawa, Tanko Al-Makura , Simon Lalong and Katsina State, Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari.
Nigerian NewsDirect learnt that the pro-Buhari governors would meet next week to finalize on who to present as the new helmsman of the party