…We didn’t extend tenure of NWC, says NEC
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – Barring any last minute change, the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun led National Working Committee NWC of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC would Friday know its fate with regards to its tenure.
This is because the party has inaugurated a 10-member technical advisory committee on the tenure of party officers following a resolution of its National Executive Committee NEC.
Inaugurating the committee Tuesday in Abuja, National Chairman of the party, John Odigie-Oyegun, said the committee has till Friday to submit its report to the party.
The committee is to “examine the President’s position as contained in his statement delivered at the NEC meeting of March 27th, 2018 vis-à-vis the resolution of the NEC meeting of February 27th, 2018”.
The committee is to also “assess all the information available and recommend a course of action consistent with the provisions of the Party’s Constitution, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all relevant laws”.
“As this issue is of utmost importance and is extremely time sensitive, I look forward to your report by Friday the 6th April, 2018”, Chief Odigie-Oyegun signed off in the letter in appointment sent to the committee members.
President Muhammadu Buhari had at the 5th NEC meeting of the party on March 27 asked the NEC to reverse its decision to extend the tenure of national and state officials.
The technical committee chaired by the Plateau state Governor, Simon Lalong, has other members as Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Abiola Ajimobi, Governor of Oyo State; Nasir EI-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State; Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State; Sen. Ben Uwajimogu; Kabiru Ajanah; Elisha Kuroh; Prof. Dakas C. J. Dakas; and Dr. Muiz Banire, the party’s legal adviser who will serve as the committee secretary.
Speaking while inaugurating the committee, Chief Odigie-Oyegun said the issue in contention was a constitutional matter but with a lot of political implications.
“Therefore, your job is to bring these two together and advise us on the way we can implement our activities in the next few weeks and months in a way that is politically advantageous to our party, the APC.
“We must observe the law and at the same time emphasize that we try to do things that will be advantageous to the party. We will furnish you with all the documents like the resolutions of NEC, the party constitution and the Nigerian constitution to help you do a good job.
“You are also at liberty to request for additional materials like the statement of Mr President during the last NEC meeting and every other thing to guide you achieve the task you are about to undertake. I am praying, hoping that this is the kind of thing you can accomplish in about three to four days.
“Getting answers from you is crucially time sensitive and depending on which way you advise, we may have to put in motion very serious activities in the party virtually within a week of getting the report and taken decisions. I thank you for accepting this onerous assignment and wish you the very best of luck.”
Chairman of the committee, Simon Lalong dismissed the notion that the talks centered around the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is opposed to tenure elongation.
“The discussion there was not anything against Tinubu. Tinubu’s name was not mentioned in that discussion. The discussion was a NEC decision on the way forward on the position of the President who is also a member of the NEC and that was subjected to discussion. So the issue of whether it is satisfying somebody is not there. Our decision is not going to be final. We will only advice the NEC on the issue.”
We didn’t extend Oyegun’s Tenure
On his part, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, said the controversy was needless since the NEC never extended the tenure of the Oyegun-led NWC and party officials across the country.
“Let me let everybody know that the issue has nothing to do with tenure elongation. You journalists are the ones to advise or lead in the discussions. By law, nobody can extend their tenure. The usage of that word is totally wrong. There was no time at our NEC that we took the decision to get their tenure to be elongated. There was a clear resolution of NEC and all it asked was for the existing committee, not to extend their tenure because we cannot in law extend their tenure, but we can have them work in an acting capacity or work as caretaker for some time not over 12 months. That, on its own is not tenure elongation. It is not the intention of APC to elongate anybody’s tenure.”