A meeting of President Muhammadu Buhari and governors under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday ended in deadlock without any decision reached on the tenure elongation crisis rocking the party.
The APC governors who met behind closed doors with the president at the presidential villa maintained sealed lips on the outcome of the meeting.
But LEADERSHIP gathered that the APC governors were divided on whether to extend or disengage the leadership of the party when their tenure expires in June this year.
A dependable source at the meeting told our correspondent that, while the issue of tenure elongation was inconclusive, the president and the governors agreed that the technical committee inaugurated by APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun should rather be given the opportunity to decide on it.
The source who did not want his name in print said, “In the continued search for a lasting solution occasioned by the quagmire generated by the recent tenure extension of the leadership of the governing APC, both at the national and states level, state governors elected under the party’s platform met with President Muhammadu today (yesterday).
“The governors were divided over the issue of tenure extension for the APC national executives and could not reach a consensus over the issue. They had to adjourn so as to get a unified front after it was resolved that the technical committee inaugurated today (yesterday) should decide on the matter).
The source further said also at the meeting, President Buhari told the APC governors who urged him to declare his intention to seek reelection in 2019 that there was no way he could do that in the heat of the tenure elongation crisis.
“Baba (Buhari) told them that he will come out to speak on whether he will run or not after the resolution of the tenure elongation controversy”, he stated.
All this is coming after the president had at the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on March 27 declared that the tenure elongation of the party’s executives was illegal and unconstitutional.
Oyegun Inaugurates Technical Committee On Tenure Extension
Meanwhile, the national chairman of the APC yesterday inaugurated the much-expected technical committee on tenure elongation.
The committee is saddled with the task of making recommendations to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party on issues arising from the one-year tenure extension of the party’s leadership at the national and state levels.
This is just as the committee has insisted that the extension which was agreed upon at the February 27 NEC meeting was not to elongate tenure of the NWC and state chairmen, but merely an adoption of a motion to allow the party leadership to work in acting capacity for 12 months.
President Buhari had at the last NEC meeting charged the APC leadership to come up with a speedy resolution of the naughty issue, which he said may adversely affect the fortunes of the party if it goes unchecked.
Inaugurating the 10-member technical committee chaired by Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, John Odigie-Oyegun tasked the committee members on the need for speedy deliberations as the party’s next move hinges on their recommendations.
“Your job is to look at the issues and advise us on how to implement our activities in the next few weeks and months in a way that is politically advantageous to us, the APC, and at the same time pay due difference to the niceties of the law”, Oyegun said.
Speaking to journalists after the inauguration, a member of the committee and Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, made some clarifications on the issue of tenure elongation.
He said, “ There was no time at our NEC that we took a decision for tenure to be elongated. If you look at it, search and make enquiries, all what the NEC asked for was for the existing committee to work in an acting capacity or work as caretaker committee for a period not more than 12 months.
“So, there is nothing like tenure elongation. Their tenure will end as expected according to law. That is why the legal officers at the meeting kept using the word “effusion”. What happens thereafter is what we are discussing now. It is not the intention of APC to elongate anybody’s tenure.”
Other members of the 10-member technical committee include Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; Senator Ben Uwajumogu; Hon. Kabiru Ajana; Elisha Kurah (SAN); C.J.N. Dakas (SAN) and APC national Legal Adviser, Dr Muiz Banire (SAN) as Secretary.