The power play in Nigeria’s ruling party may have reached a high with the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) approving a one year tenure elongation for its National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun and all other elected and appointed officials of the party.
This apparently may be a disappointment to a national leader of the party, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who had recently called for the resignation of Odigie-Oyegun.
He had only last week, also wrote to the president that Oyegun is sabotaging his efforts at reconciling aggrieved members of the party.
With this extension, Odigie-Oyegun is sure to supervise the party’s primaries for the 2019 general elections.
The news will clearly not also be a good one for Buhari/APC Anti-Corruption Support Group, which recently engaged in three consecutive working days of protest demanding that Oyegun must exit as the national chairman of the party.
Other APC members like its controversial deputy national secretary, Timi Frank, who had constantly dubbed the national chairman as ‘incompetent’, and has never failed to insist on his removal, will surely find this latest development unpleasant.
Oyegun’s tenure was supposed to expire this year having been elected since 2014.
However, Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, who spoke to newsmen midway into the NEC meeting of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, explained that the resolve to extend the tenure of the party officials was based on Article 13 of the party which gives it such powers.
According to him, state executives of the party in various states also benefit from the one-year extension.
“The NEC met today and major decisions in line with the constitution of the party. We are all aware that the tenure of current NWC and the executive members of this party both elected and appointed come to an end June this year.
“Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the congresses and conventions and considering that our leader Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been charged with the responsibility of reconciling all aggrieved members of our party, we cannot afford to approach the general election with more disputes and crises.
“In line with article 13 which empowers the NEC to carry out the functions of its convention, the NEC has decided to extend the tenure of the current NWC, and other executive committees at various levels for another 12 months starting from June 30th,” Bello said.