THE All Progressives Congress, (APC) National Executive Committee, (NEC) on Tuesday granted a year extension to the party national working committee under the leadership of Chief Odigie Oyegun.
At the end of the meeting, held at its national secretariat, the party leaders resolved to put on hold the planned elective convention expected to be conducted in June. Tenure of APC NWC was expected to terminate in April.
Tribune Online findings revealed that the decision to grant the national officers was put to a vote. 104 members of NEC seconded the motion for an extension while 4 voted against.
States chairmen of the party will equally benefit from the extension. With the development, Chief Oyegun and his team will supervise the primaries that will pick the party standard bearers for elective positions ahead of forthcoming general elections, including the presidential convention.
Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello who was mandated to brief newsmen said the decision was taken to avoid a crisis that an elective convention, barely a year to the general election could throw up. He further noted that it could complicate the existing internal dissension within the ruling party.
He said: ‘’At the end of the NEC meeting today, a major decision was taken, in line with the Constitution of the party. we are all aware that the tenure of the current NWC and the executive members of this party, both elected and appointed comes to an end June this year.
“Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the congresses and convention, 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 elections with more disputes and crisis.
“And relying on Article 13 of our Constitution, which empowers the NEC to carry out the functions of the convention, the NEC has decided to extend the tenure of the current NWC and other executives committee at various levels for another 12 months, starting from June 30.
“Let me tell you that this will not stop the convention of the party but to go into elective Congresses is what we are trying to avoid relying on the constitution of our party, as a matter of fact, Mr President believes in ensuring that there are Congresses and convention across the board. How would you manage the crisis that will arise thereabout?
Let me give you instances, in Ekiti and Osun states, their state congresses were postponed similarly in 2014 ahead of the elections, just two states to avoid a crisis, talk less of the whole country. So, that is why this decision was taken.’’
Governor Bello said a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu would still continue with the reconciliation of aggrieved members that he has been saddled with and said every genuine member of the party was willing to cooperate with him, in deference to the admonition of President Buhari.
“I don’t have the terms of reference that was given to our leader and I want to believe that there is no committee that is set up without a timeline. So, I’m not in the position to tell you the timeline given to that committee. Also, every member of this committee whether the one-man committee or multiple man committee, I want to assure you that every member of APC, we are cooperating 100% with our leader Sen. Bola Tinubu.’’
Earlier in his remarks, President Buhari thanked the national working committee for its conscientious efforts to put the party in good shape and extended similar appreciation to the state executive.
He also enunciated the determination of his administration to fulfil its manifesto and turn the economy around despite the enormous challenges it has to contend with.
“Let me first put on record my appreciation to the party leadership in Abuja and the states for their stewardship in the party affairs. In particular, I commend the national chairman for steering the party from success to success. From our resounding election victory in 2015, we have won elections in Edo, Kogi and Ondo states as well as the much
improved performance in Anambra elections and the party has moved from the party in government to the party of the Nigerian people.
“Much credit is due for our APC state chairmen for stabilizing the country and to our Armed forces and the police and other security agencies for stopping Boko Haram in the country and driving them from their bases. No country no matter how well secured can isolate acts of terror as we have seen in the United States, Europe, Asia and here
in Africa. We must support our security agencies to safeguard our country so that the job of development as outlined in our manifesto can proceed without too much interruption.
‘’We cannot afford to fail in reminding Nigerians where we came from in 2015. I am happy to report that slowly and steadily, we have managed to stabilize the country and redirect the ship of state. We have restored prudence to the management of resources and confidence in Nigeria has been restored.
“On February 23, Nigeria floated a 12 year and 20 year Eurobond in the international market which was both oversubscribed. The 12-year bond was, within days oversubscribed by 332 percent, while the 20-year bond was oversubscribed by 372 percent. We have stabilized the naira and increase our foreign reserve from 20 billion dollars to 40 billion dollars. The inflation rate is down. With considerably fewer resources available to the country, we have improved all the indices towards a stronger economy.’’
President Buhari further pleaded with the gathering of party chieftains to cooperate with Asiwaju Tinubu to ensure the success of the task before him.
“We all know that elections are looming on the horizon. We must, therefore, get our acts together. Accordingly, I implore all members of the party to give the Asiwaju committee full cooperation to resolve existing differences among our members in the states affected.
“It is perhaps inevitable that there will be differences of opinion within the party. If we resolve them, then we can build a genuinely democratic party. But we must not lose sight of our common purpose as a party to take the country to new heights. Therefore, we have asked Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead this process of restoring order,
manage differences and strengthen the party.
“I must acknowledge that the face of government has not met the expectations of many within our party. But few of us know or appreciated the depth of the rot when we took office and that we spent the last two years bringing the country out of the mess we met it. Furthermore, the standoff between the executive and the National Assembly slowed down the process of government. ‘’We are working hard to resolve the differences so that the country can move forward.’’
National chairman of the party, Odigie Oyegun appealed to the party leaders to bury their differences, ahead of the general elections. On the forthcoming Osun and Ekiti governorship elections, he declared that all hands must be on deck to ensure victory for the party, as he noted that both elections would serve as a signpost for the chances of the APC in the 2019 general elections.
“Let me welcome you to this first NEC meeting of the year 2018. I don’t think it is late to say that it is a very wonderful year, a year of achievements, year of fulfilment and year of thanksgiving. We had a very successful caucus meeting on Monday and by God’s define mercy we are conducting our first NEC meeting of the year today.
Let me start by saying a very massive thank you to our President and Vice President. I must also thank our governors that have been wonderful, supportive and available at every point.
I want to also extend my warm thanks to my colleagues, chairmen/leaders of the party in the state for being too supportive all these many months despite the challenges and difficulties we encountered.
“We obviously have a very tough year ahead of us. It is the year of challenges, a multiplicity of activities beginning from the month of April when the processes for replacing officers of the party whose tenure will expire by June, the process of conducting challenging elections in Ekiti in July, in Osun in September.
“These elections are precursors of the national elections. It is, therefore, necessary that we treat them with great seriousness because they are elections we should do everything to win. They are signals and signposts, indicators of what is to come in 2019. Preparations are also well underway for those elections.
“In an atmosphere like that, contests whether at party level or primaries to select candidates for all positions from the House of Assembly members to the exalted position of Mr President always present challenges.
“I want to make a passionate appeal that everything is done to minimize the stresses within the party. We must do everything to minimize the disputations within the party and do everything to ensure that we are in fighting shape come 2019.
For that reason, I want to say once more that we are fully behind and in support of the initiative taken by Mr President in setting up a team headed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to effect such a reconciliation that is
necessary within the party.
“We have had challenges, we have had storms and weathered the storms.
We have a government that took over in a very difficult circumstance but today, we can proudly say that the basic foundation of a new Nigeria economy is finally in place.
We are not talking now of a foundation that is based on easy money, not a foundation based on crude which for a long time sent all of us to sleep but an economic foundation built on the sweat and labour, resources- material and otherwise, of the Nigerian people. That is the foundation that lasts. The economic indices tell a clear story.”
The post APC NEC endorses one-year extension for Oyegun’s NWC appeared first on Tribune.