State governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress have finally bowed to pressure on the issue of tenure extension for party officials at all levels.
They have now resolved to back President Muhammadu Buhari’s position that such elongation of tenure is illegal.
Some state governors who met with Buhari again on Wednesday disclosed their new position to State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A similar meeting between the President and all the governors had ended in a deadlock on Tuesday.
Those who met the President on Wednesday included governors of Zamfara, Abdulazeez Yari; Plateau, Simon Lalong; Imo, Rochas Okorocha;Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje and Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun.
At the end of the meeting, Yari told reporters that after the Tuesday meeting with Buhari, the governors again met late in the night and decided to round off with consultations with the President.
He said all the 24 state governors have agreed that elections of party officials should hold at all levels as canvassed by the President at the last meeting of the party’s National Executive Council.
Yari said, “We consulted and all the 24 governors of the APC are on the same page with Mr. President that we are going to respect our party’s constitution, and respect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Therefore, we collectively agreed that we will have congresses at all levels – Local – State and National.
“The committee set up by the National Secretariat of our party headed by governor of Plateau State, is presenting its report later today (Wednesday). The governors are also meeting with the working committee today so that we come up with convention committee names as well as timetable of the election.
“So, there is no deadlock in our meeting, we have progressed and very soon you will have the names of the convention committee members as well as the timetable.”
Okorocha on his part insisted that despite the developments of the last few days, there is no crisis in the party.
He urged those peddling rumour of crisis in the party to desist.
“The issue was that some people who believe that we did not have enough time to organise a party congress and run election. Some people felt that it was a good idea but the most important thing is that, if we do that, we will be contravening both our party constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That is the major issue that we have that they call crisis. We do not have virus.
“This morning, we met with Mr. President to fine-tune issues, one regarding the congress and we have resolved that the congresses at all levels and the Chairman of the elongation committee, is also fine-tuning the arrangement in the same line. To this effect, the convention committee will be set out, it will be announced,” he said.
Okorocha also explained that the decision to hold congress and convention did not mean that those who have so far held those positions have done badly.
He said the decision also did not mean that the outgoing officials cannot re-contest.
“We are simply saying that their tenure has ended and those who wish to re-contest can re-contest and can be elected into our party structure.
“So we are all one as family and we are set to go for 2019 elections in victory,” he added.
Lalong also corroborated his colleagues’ position that there is no crisis in the party.
He confirmed that he would be submitting the report of the technical committee he heads to the party leadership on Wednesday.
Buhari had at the party’s NEC meeting of March 27 in Abuja, said NWC’s tenure extension decided at NEC’s meeting on February 27 was illegal and unconstitutional.
The NEC had extended the tenure of the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC and other executive committees of the party across all levels in the country by one year, starting from June.
The President had explained that the decision was already causing acrimony within the party as some of its members who were not comfortable with the matter had taken it to court.