By Terhemba Daka and Adamu Abuh
Abuja — President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday night met with state governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The meeting was held behind closed doors inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A Presidency official who spoke with newsmen on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that the sole item on the agenda of the meeting was how the state governors will work towards the emergence of a former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as the party’s next national chairman.
The party’s national convention where new members of the party’s National Working Committee will emerge has been slated for May 14 in Abuja.
It is not clear yet if the party’s current chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, would be seeking re-election at the convention but the President has resolved to support Oshiomhole’s candidature.
“The President called the meeting with the progressive governors to ask them to back Oshiomhole’s candidature. That’s the purpose of the meeting, that is the president’s position,” the presidency source said.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha also attended the meeting which held at the First Lady’s conference room at the villa.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the APC in Edo State, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd) has faulted the endorsement of Oshiomhole by the South-South caucus of the party, saying the immediate past governor is not an alternative to Odigie-Oyegun.
Airhiavbere, who spoke on the division in the South-South chapter of the APC over the matter, said Odigie-Oyegun remained the best candidate, given how he had been able to keep the ruling party together despite all the challenges it faced after winning the 2015 presidential election.
According to him, Oshiomhole, as a former governor, does not mean that he is going to make a good party chairman because he has not been tested.
“Odigie-Oyegun is not only a former governor as well, but a retired permanent secretary and has proven his worth given the way he brought his experience to bear in running the ruling party,” Airhiavbere said in a statement.
To him, what is playing out ahead of the party’s national convention is an awful way to reward Odigie-Oyegun after all he has done to stabilise the party.
He called on APC stakeholders in Edo State to rally round and support him for a second term, so that he can consolidate on his achievements.