The National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has approved the extension of the tenure of the John Odigie Oyegun led National Working Committee and state executive committees of the party for any other one year with effect from June 2018.
Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello who briefed newsmen after the meeting which was supposed to draw up a timetable for the conduct of party congresses leading to the National Convention of the party said the decision was taken in line with article 13 of the party which allows the NEC to exercise the powers of the National Convention.
He said the tenure extension was taken in view of the need to avoid any confusion in the operation of the party ahead of the forthcoming general elections and to give the Asiwaju Tinubu led reconciliation committee to carry out an effective job.
The meeting which started at exactly 11.06 when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived the APC headquarters accompanied by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and ended at about 2.12 pm was attended by state governors, members of the National Assembly and state Chairmen among others.
However, the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara as well a few state governors were conspicuously absent.
The Kogi governor was accompanied by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and Chairmen of the party in Plateau, Rivers, Anambra, Ondo and Nasarawa states.
The party was silent on the conduct of its national convention and the amendment to the party constitution.
He said: “At the end of the National Executive Council meeting today, a major decision was taken in line with the constitution of our party. We are all aware that the tenure of the current NWC and the executive members of this party both elected and appointed comes to an end in June this year.
“Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the Congresses and convention and considering that our leader Sen. Tinubu has been charged with the responsibility of reconciling all aggrieved members of our party, we can not afford to approach the general elections with more dispute and crisis.
“So, relying on Article 13 of our constitution, which empowers the NEC to carry out the function of the convention, the NEC has decided to extend the tenure of the current NWC and other executive committees at various levels for another twelve months, starting from June 30th.
“Let me tell you that this will not stop the convention of the party. But to go into elective Congresses is what we are trying to avoid relying on the constitution of our party. As a matter of fact, Mr. President believe in ensuring that there are Congresses and convention across board.
“However, how would you manage the crisis that will arise thereabout? Let me give you instances, in Ekiti and Osun states, there state congresses were postponed similarly in 2014 ahead of the elections, just two states to avoid crisis talk more of the whole country. So, that is why this decision was taken.”
Speaking in the timeline for the Tinubu committee, he said “I don’t have the terms of reference that was given to our leader and I want to believe that there is no committee tthat is set up without timeline. So, I’m not in the position to tell you the timeline given to that committee.
“Also, every member of this committee whether one man committee or multiple man committee, I want to assure you that every members of APC, we are cooperating 100% with our leader Sen. Bola Tinubu.”
Those who attended the meeting include President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Governors Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Sani Bello (Niger), Kashim Shettima (Borno), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Nasir El Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Ibrahim (Bauchi), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos) Samuel Ortom (Benue), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo).
Others present are Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawal, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachukwu, Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, Deputy Senate Whip, Francis Alimikhena, Senator Magnus Abe, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, Sen Andy Uba, Senator Sani Yarima, House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, House Whip, Hon Ado Dogowa, state Chairmen of the party among others.