There are strong indications that the northern governors in the All Progressives Congress have withdrawn their support for the elongation of the tenure of the party’s National Working Committee and the party’s stakeholders are looking beyond the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to lead the party. This is going by a Punch report.
The report states that key supporters of the party’s National Chairman, especially northern governors, had paused their earlier decision to sink or sail with the chairman, Oyegun.
A highly-placed leader of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media on the issue, said the President’s move during last Tuesday’s National Executive Council meeting was akin to a “checkmate in a game of chess.”
“President Buhari is the main reason why Chief (Odigie-) Oyegun lasted this long as chairman, many may not know or simply choose to disagree with this fact. Some of our governors, who felt comfortable with Oyegun’s leadership style, aligned with certain interests at the Villa to convince the President on the need to allow Odigie-Oyegun to complete his term despite resistance from people like Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu. The argument then was that we should not behave like the Peoples Democratic Party where party chairmen were changed almost every year. They further argued that removing Odigie-Oyegun at that time, no matter his perceived indiscretions, would create some sort of instability within our party. It is not easy to convince President Buhari, but once he is convinced about something, he supports it wholeheartedly. Being the leader that he is and a person who swore to uphold the constitution, when his attention was drawn to the adverse consequences of this constitutional breach, he sought a legal opinion. His legal team, including the Vice-President, convinced him and he chose to err on the side of caution.”
The party leader also said, “most of our northern governors are aware of the President’s principles on such matters and have since fallen in line. What is before us now is the setting up of the various congress and convention committees and agreeing on who the next chairman is.”