At the heart of the matter is whether the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, should be allowed to stay in office beyond this June, when constitutionally his tenure is expected to expire.
That is the favoured position of President Muhammadu Buhari and most people who support his reelection bid.
However, there are several members of the party who are at loggerheads with Oyegun and want him to go. Chief among those is the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu. On Sunday, Tinubu’s media aide, Tunji Rahman said the APC leader’s grouse with Oyegun is not personal.
“What Asiwaju is saying is that things should be done rightly, I mean constitutionally. Personally, I have looked at the APC constitution and I did not see where it granted elongation of tenure in whatever form to executive committees of parties. Even the 1999 Constitution as amended speaks about what is right with respect to the periodic tenure of party executives. That is in Section 223,” he said.
Those opposed to Oyegun prefer a convention to be held or for a caretaker committee to be constituted.
When the national caucus of the APC met last night at the presidential villa, Tinubu and his all, Bisi Akande, stayed away. Also absent was the governor of Osun state, Rauf Aregbesola and the governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, who are also opponents of tenure extension for Oyegun.
The caucus meeting is usually the agenda setting meeting for the NEC meeting which will take place today. And the big topic is: Would the APC NEC ratify tenure extension for Oyegun? If the chairman’s tenure is extended, it could have ramifications for the unity of the party going into the 2019 general elections.
Oyegun said after last night’s caucus meeting that the issue of his removal was not discussed.
“No, the meeting concluded the agenda we started the last time we met which we did not complete. Today we discussed true federalism, something a lot more serious, a lot more serious,’’ he said.
House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, however disclosed that Oyegun’s tenure extension will be on the agenda at the NEC meeting and “whatever NEC decides, that will be binding on all of us as faithful members of the party.”
Other issues to be discussed at the NEC include:
- Amendment of the APC constitution
- The Nasir El-rufai report on federalism
The meeting last night was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, APC National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, and other party’s chieftains.
State governors present at the meeting included those of Ogun, Edo, Lagos, Benue, Bauchi, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Ondo, Adamawa, Kano, Jigawa, Kogi and Kebbi.