President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday dashed the hopes of All Progressives Congress National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and Imo State Governor, Owekke Rochas Okorocha, as he directed members of the party to prepare for elective congresses and a national convention.
Buhari spoke at the party’s National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja, where he said it was wrong for the party to be attempting to violate Section 233 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and relevant sections of its own constitution on elections of new party officers every four years.
Oyegun and members of his executive had at the last NEC meeting secured a tenure extension of one year.
However, few days after the meeting, the party’s Lagos chapter rejected the tenure extension even though it’s chairman, Chief Henry Ajomale, moved the motion for the automatic renewal.
The extension also benefitted all the state executives even though APC is torn apart at the national level and in many states.
Buhari has also by his action thrown the ambition if Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, to ensure his son in-law, Uche Nwosu, gets the party’s governorship ticket unopposed out of the window.
Okorocha has thrown the state chapter into serious crisis as his deputy, Eze Madumere, has vowed to pursue his governorship ambition irrespective of his principal’s stance.
Other members of the state chapter are also warming up to disgrace the governor.
But with Buhari’s latest volte-face, Okorocha’s plan has hit the rocks.
Buhari’s change of mind us sure to spark a fresh round of crisis in the party as governors and National Assembly members hoping to obtain automatic tickets have become unsettled.
Aksi, speculations that Buhari’s change of mind was influenced by former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would definitely pitch him against many members of the party.
Metrostarng gathered that Buhari moved to stop an impending exodus from the platform to the Social Democratic Party.
Howrver, it may have come too late, given the overwhelming influence of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his erstwhile deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on SDP.
Atiku defected from APC last year when it was clear that subterranean moves were being made to give the party’s 2019 presidential ticket to Buhari.
Another presidential aspirant and former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, is said to be on his way back to his erstwhile fold, the Peoples Democratic Party.
Photo caption: R-L: President Muhammadu Buhari; ousted APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and others before the party’s National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja on Tuesday