… Party ratifies october 31 for NEC meeting
The frosty relationship between the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and major stakeholders in the party in the South West came to the fore on Wednesday when state governors from the zone boycotted the meeting called by the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun led National Working Committee (NWC).
The meeting with the governors was held with members of the party at the National Assembly in attendance as well.
The meeting was held behind closed doors.
Checks by newsmen revealed that of the APC controlled five states in the South West, only Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, was represented by his deputy, Agboola Ajayi.
In attendance were seven governors and four deputies in total.
Those at the meeting were Imo State governor and chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha; his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir el Rufai and Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar.
Others were Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Godwin Obaseki (Edo) and Abdullahi Jibrilla Bindo (Adamawa) as well as the Deputy Governors of Ondo, Kano, Kogi and Nasarawa states.
Speaking with newsmen at the end of the meeting, Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said the governors were very busy with the day-to-day administration of their states, noting that it was the reason for their absence.
He said: There is no communication gap. Two other deputy governors sent words that their flights were cancelled because of weather problem. The same thing applied to the governor of Sokoto State who sent words that his flight was cancelled due to difficulty in weather.
“So, there is no communication gap whatsoever. In the past, the governors have been attending. Governors are very busy people and it is always very difficult for us to have time to be on the field in addition to running our states.”
Asked by reporters for the governors’ position on recent remarks by former interim chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, that the APC 2019 presidential ticket was open to all aspirants, Governor Abubakar said it was not discussed at the meeting.
“This meeting has not deliberated on that but the APC has a constitution and that is one of the items that was discussed on the amendment of the constitution of the APC in review to faithfully hold the constitution of the APC in line with democratic principles, and we will abide by the provisions of our constitution.”
The Bauchi governor further revealed that the meeting also ratified October 31, 2017 earlier chosen by the National Working Committee for the conduct of its National Executive Committee meeting.