The crisis rocking the sitting All Progressive Party be(APC) may not abate as soon as expected. This is as a result of the tenure extension for the leadership of the party.
A final decision on the tenure elongation saga would be taken today, Monday, April 9th,after last Friday’s submission of the report of a 10-man NEC Technical Committee led by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State.
Ahead of the meeting, the push for John Oyegun to stay or step down at the expiration of his tenure on June 13, has seen the APC split into factions with the all-influential and powerful governors, who control the party’s structures at the grassroots, leading the charge.
Opponents of Oyegun, who are mainly associates of the party’s national leader, Bola Tinubu, were said to be launching fresh strategies to outwit the Edo man.
The camp of Tinubu, which produced Oyegun as National Chairman in 2014, is allegedly pondering the option of a caretaker committee if that is what it would need to stop Oyegun from returning to office.
The anti-Oyegun forces, it was learned, were mobilising to raise allegations of financial malfeasance; a move possibly aimed at gaining the favour of the president.
Oyegun on the other hand, has successfully mobilised the support of the majority of all but one of the party’s governors in the North-West.
In the South-West, where opposition to Odigie-Oyegun is most strident, support for him is, however, almost equally divided.
While Lagos and Osun belong to Tinubu; Ogun and Ondo governors are passionately behind Oyegun.
Both governors were once wholly in support of the tenure elongation for Oyegun and others but are now pro-convention advocates just because the President had a change of mind.
Owing to their blind loyalty to Buhari, they have set out to upend Tinubu’s seeming hegemony in the South-west and show the world that they dictate the tune in their respective states.
Oyegun also has the support of Governor Nasir-el Rufai of Kaduna and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Although both have been quiet lately, they remain a formidable force within the APC.
The main reason they want Oyegun to continue for another 12 months is premised on the fact that the conduct of congresses and a convention in the run up to the elections could throw up more problems for the APC.
A leading member of the NWC disclosed on Sunday, that the NWC is set to go ahead with the recommendations of the Governor Simon Lalong-led committee for fresh congresses but with a caveat that Oyegun should not be stopped from seeking re-election.
“We are set for the NEC, and we should expect a smooth meeting but if they try to stop or disqualify the national chairman, we will tell them that we can spring surprises,” the principal officer was quoted as saying.
Evidently, as the ruling party prepares to hold a make or break NEC meeting that will steer the ship of the party towards 2019, they must remember Nigerians are watching.