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Monday, 23 October 2017

APC Crisis: How Governors Frustrated Oyegun's Plot to Abort Convention

APC Crisis: How Governors Frustrated Oyegun's Plot to Abort Convention

Chief John Odigie-Oyegun

The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress is battling with internal crisis with national chairman, Odigie in the eye of the storm.

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The last may not have been heard about the crises currently rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This is because Sunday Tribune can reveal that the meeting between the chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the governors elected on the platform of the party, held last Wednesday, was characterised by a stormy session.

The agenda of the meeting called at the instance of Chief Oyegun, was to sound the governors out on the party’s national convention which had been aborted twice this year.

Other issues discussed were the interim report of the party’s Committee on True Federalism led by the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and the report of the committee on APC Constitution amendment presented by its chairman and the party’s national Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire, (SAN).

A party source revealed to Sunday Tribune that the APC constitution amendment committee report was an alleged ploy by Oyegun to justify his move to seek postponement of the convention till March 2018.

While the party’s national legal adviser reeled out about 88 items to be amended in the constitution and ratified at the convention, a livid Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar, stood up to counter Oyegun and Banire as he declared that time was of essence and the party could not use the constitution amendment to seek for a delay in the National Executive Committee, (NEC) and convention meetings which he noted were long overdue.

The governor declared pointedly at the meeting that as a lawyer, he knew the implication of the serious breach on the APC constitution by not holding its convention as statutorily provided.

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“Any agitated member of our party can go to court to seek redress and cause more confusion for us. We must proceed with the October 30 and 31 for national caucus and NEC meetings,” the Bauchi governor reportedly told the gathering.

Abubakar further argued that the meeting of governors and certain members of the National Assembly called at the instance of Oyegun was not known to the party constitution and therefore not superior to NEC.

The source further revealed that Oyegun’s argument that the convention being planned for November be shelved until March 2018 when his leadership tenure was expected to end in order to save cost was equally overruled by the governors.

The Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai also expressed concern over the absence of South-West governors at the meeting and called on the NWC to reach out to them,” the source revealed.

Sunday Tribune investigations revealed that the APC constitution, (October 2014, as amended) stipulates that the meeting of the highest organ of the party, the national convention must be convened once in two years but it has since been observed in the breach by the Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee.

Further investigation, however, revealed that same constitution empowers the national chairman to summon a meeting of NEC, which shall fix date for national convention.

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Article 25 (B)( i, ii) of the party constitution reads:’’The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the national chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-thirds of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than fourteen (14) days notice is given for the meeting to be summoned;

“Without prejudice to Article 25(B(i) of this Constitution, the National Working Committee may summon an emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven (7) days notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend.’’

Sunday Tribune recalls that only the national convention can take decisions on sensitive matters like removal of national officers, election of presidential candidate, ratification of amendment of the party constitution and its policies and programmes.

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