By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA — There will be no vacancy in the Presidency in 2019, members of the National Caucus of the All Progressives Congress, APC, declared on Tuesday night in a seeming lure to President Muhammadu Buhari to seek a second term.
The national caucus, comprising serving and former governors, the National Assembly leadership, and selected members of the national executive of the party, at the meeting said the endorsement of President Buhari for a second term would help to stabilise the polity in the face of what members described as the 16-year rot inherited from Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Meanwhile, the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has dismissed insinuations of a threat against his position, just as the caucus, Tuesday night, constituted a committee to resolve all pending issues in the party.
One of the issues agreed on at the meeting, Vanguard learned yesterday, was that President Buhari should be given opportunity to seek a second term. Though the issue of a second term for the President was generally agreed, caucus members, however, also agreed that it would be too early in the day to kick start a second term campaign for the President.
Vanguard learned that the issue was brought up as a way of resting restiveness among some party leaders, who have been divided over their various aspirations for 2019.
The positioning by different party leaders on 2019 has been blamed for the problems that led to the crisis in the National Assembly and also the inability of the party to inaugurate its Board of Trustees, BoT, till date.
“With Buhari contesting in 2019, those who have been squabbling will now have to queue up behind him and put the interest of the party ahead,” a source privy to the development revealed yesterday.
Remarkably, leading senators in the party on Tuesday night met in Abuja where they also pledged to unify themselves in the face of the prospect of losing their influence to the more united PDP caucus.
Odigie-Oyegun dismisses threat to his office
Meanwhile, Odigie-Oyegun speaking to reporters at the end of the caucus meeting on Tuesday night dismissed reports of pressures on him to resign his office.
He said: “I am not aware that my office is under threat. I led the party to the State House. It amazes me, occasionally it annoys me. That is one of the things you have to endure when you are in a position like mine.”
Noting the trend of the meeting, Odigie-Oyegun said that a committee had been constituted to resolve all the crises in the party.
Speaking on the performance of his party’s government almost one year after taking over power, the national chairman pleaded for time on the part of Nigerians. He said the government would come on full stream when the 2016 budget is passed.