In a move that may likely create confusion for the ruling All Progressives Congress, two governors on the party’s platform have concluded plans to convene an illegal National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the governors, one from the North and the other from one of the Southern states, are bent on convening the meeting so as to force the idea of congresses at all levels – local, state and national, on party members.
The APC constitution provides for a minimum of two weeks notice or seven days in the event of an emergency, before a NEC meeting could be convened.
However, a competent source told our correspondent that “a letter of invitation for the meeting scheduled to hold Monday, 9th April has been backdated to accommodate the minimum mandatory 7 days notice stipulated by the law”.
Our source, who cautioned against holding the illegal NEC meeting, expressed the fear that should the governors have their way, there will be more confusion as some members are likely to contest such illegality in the court of competent jurisdiction.
Another competent source told our correspondent that the two governors who have been championing the move to do away with the John Odigie-Oyegun led executive of the party have created the impression that constituting a caretaker committee for the party was illegal.
“In actual fact, it is not illegal to have a caretaker committee arrangement. States like Osun, Ondo, Edo, Ekiti and many others currently have caretaker committees” our source who is a chieftain of the APC said.
Continuing, our source said: “The governors are rooting for congresses and once congress take place, considering the fact that we are few months away from the general election, it will create more confusion.”
He urged relevant party stakeholders to do all that is possible in preventing the illegal NEC meeting from taking place.
Meanwhile, governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) indicated yesterday that they are on the same page with President Muhammadu Buhari on the idea of tenure extension for the John Odigie-Oyegun-led leadership of the party.
The party is insisting that it is the NEC that has the statutory powers to make decisions that are binding on the APC, as all other views hitherto expressed were personal views.
Giving reasons why another NEC meeting had become necessary, the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, told journalists after a closed door meeting between the APC governors and the NWC, which lasted about two hours at the national secretariat, that it was to avail the recently inaugurated technical committee the opportunity to present its report for a decision to be taken.
He said, “Today, the governors and the National Working Committee of the party decided to sit and look at the issues that are seemingly dividing us. I want to say to you with absolute satisfaction and pride that all the issues you have been commenting about in the last two days have been completely and totally resolved.
“We are back in business as one united and happy family. I want to say also that yesterday we set up a technical committee as ordered by NEC. From the very first minute that we called them to session, they have worked nonstop because I emphasised when I was inaugurating them that their report was time sensitive.
“I am glad to say that the chairman of the technical committee has reported that his report will be ready this evening or tomorrow morning.
“This report will be placed before NEC and appropriate decision will be taken. Thereafter, we will announce to you the further steps that we are going to take resulting from NEC’s consideration of the recommendations when we receive them.
“The bottom line is that the APC leadership is back as one happy united and focused party strongly behind our president and strongly behind our governors in all the states.”
Also speaking, APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said, “It is left for the NEC to decide and if the committee recommends that the position of NEC should be maintained then there would be no need for an elective convention and then the president and those who are concerned that the decision we have taken is correct or not will have more confidence in the position of the party.
“But if the committee recommends that congresses should be held then NEC will consider the report and at the same time decide whether to reverse itself. However, as I speak with you, there is no evidence whether the Committee will recommend this way or the other way”.
The governors who were at the meeting with NWC include Abdulaziz Abdullaziz Yari (Zamfara), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and deputy governor of Niger State, Mohammad Ahmed Ketso.