The national chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun, on Monday denied claims he instigated the tenure extension for selfish reasons. He said the near-unanimous decision was made to stave off the possibility of rancour within the ranks as the 2019 election draws near. He said the claims were “quite unfortunate because nothing could be further from the truth.” He said during the national executive council (NEC) meeting that held today in Abuja.
Read his full speech below:
“Mr President, Your Excellencies, it is my pleasure to welcome you and all members of the National Executive Committee of our party to this important meeting.
Members will recall that at the meeting of February 27, we requested the NEC to approve a timetable for congresses and the convention ahead of the expiration of tenure of the current executive. However, rather than approve the timetable, members expressed concern that if we embarked on the congresses as planned, the process could precipitate a series of rancour, which might be difficult for the party to manage ahead of the coming general elections. It was therefore resolved with a near unanimous votes of 104 to 4 that the current executives of the party at all levels be allowed to continue in acting capacity for a period not exceeding twelve months starting from June 2018.
However, at the subsequent meeting held on March 27, Mr. President informed NEC that he had had the opportunity to review the decision of February 27 and had become convinced that the decision taken by NEC, to the effect that party executives at all levels be allowed to continue in acting capacity at the expiration of their tenure was neither supported by the constitution of our party nor that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Even as he canvassed this position, Mr. President graciously announced that he was open to alternative viewpoints and refused to foreclose further debate on the matter. Given this opportunity, NEC unanimously agreed that a committee be inaugurated to further examine the issue and advise the party on the way forward so as to ensure that whatever decision that we take will not only be in the best interest of the party, but will also be seen to comply with extant provisions of our laws. The committee was duly constituted under the leadership of His Excellency, Simon Lalong, Governor of Plateau State. I am happy to inform NEC that the committee has concluded its assignment and we are now in a position to report back to NEC.
Your Excellencies, distinguished members of NEC, let me seize this opportunity to thank Mr. President for his rare act of graciousness and humility. By allowing further consideration of the subject matter even after announcing his preference, Mr. President has proven to be a true democrat and a genuine party man indeed. Where he could have imposed his will, Mr. President has exhibited true leadership by allowing himself to be open to alternative opinion, regardless of his personal interest, so far as they are consistent with the rule of law. Mr. President, we thank you.
In the past days, I have read news reports and all manner of comments and opinions that have tried to frame the majority decision of NEC as an attempt to primarily secure “tenure elongation” for Oyegun and the NWC. This is quite unfortunate because nothing could be further from the truth.
We are looking for ways to minimize rancor in the party ahead of the next general elections, and we are looking for ways to save the party from potential legal booby traps. These are both valid considerations. The challenge that we have faced has been how to reconcile the two in the best interest of the party.
On a personal note, I have had to endure virulent media attacks, malicious insinuations and outright character assassination. However, the responsibility imposed on me by my position as the National Chairman of the party, demand that I rise above my personal pains and refuse to yield to the temptation to react in a manner that potentially complicates the situation for our party. However, I will like to urge everyone else to remember that regardless of our ambitions and personal interests, the party is greater than all of us.
Mr. President, Your Excellencies, distinguished members of NEC. The experience of the last few days has made clear to us the enormous task in our hands as we go into the elections next year. If the progressive ideology that we stand for must be an enduring political order in Nigeria, we who occupy this space now, as founding fathers, must be willing to make real sacrifices to lay a solid foundation for generations to come.
These sacrifices require of us to discipline our personal ambitions and selfish interests. If we do this, it would be easier for us to forge consensus and reach compromise, even on issues that appear to divide us.
I must say that disagreements, debates and contentions are the hallmarks of progressive politics. Therefore, let no one tell you that our party was about to collapse only because we disagree. Our strength however will continue to rest on our ability to forge consensus even from apparently irreconcilable issues. If anything, what our experience in the last few days has confirmed is that we can disagree without being disagreeable; and that our party may be young, but we remain the bastion of progressive politics in Nigeria.
Therefore, as we settle down for the business of today, we should bear in mind these principles and be ready to accept alternative viewpoints, just as Mr. President has done, even when these viewpoints do not immediately reflect our preferences.”
JUST IN: Buhari Signs 2022 Amended Electoral Act
President Muhammadu Buhari this Saturday afternoon May 21, 2022, signed into law the recently amended 2022 electoral act
The electoral act has been a bone of contention for a while as the House of Representatives, Senate, and other politicians were excluded from voting in their parties’ primaries by the 2022 electoral act.
Following the omission, both the Senate and House of Representatives last week convened emergency sessions where they amended the act to provide for statutory delegates to vote and be voted for in the forthcoming political parties’ primaries and conventions.
However, with few days left for the primaries to take place, politicians have been pressuring the president to sign it to avert a crisis.
The bill was eventually signed today, May 21.
This was confirmed by a member of the House of Representatives Emeka Chinedu representing the Ahiazu/ Ezinihittee Mbaise federal constituency in the House of Representatives
Chinedu said “I can confirm to you that Mr. President signed the bill into law this afternoon and we are all happy about it as it will give us and other statutory delegates the power to vote at the primaries.
“The amendment was swiftly done by the national assembly members to legally provide a place in the Act for statutory delegates of political parties to vote during their congresses and conventions.
“It will indeed do a lot of good for the upcoming party primaries,” he said.
Why I Won’t Support Northerner As APC Presidential Candidate – Lalong
The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said he is backing the presidential ambition of a former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, saying he won’t back any of the aspirants from the North.
Lalong made the declaration in Jos when Amaechi was in the state to woo delegates in the state ahead of the party’s primaries.
Lalong said Amaechi had contributed immensely to the state in no small measure and would receive full support from Plateau leaders, including former Speakers of the House of Assembly, and current state lawmakers.
In a statement made available to our correspondent on Saturday, Lalong was quoted as saying, “Amaechi has all the qualities of a good leader, and would save the country from its insecurity problems, as well as bring development to all parts of the country, adding that Plateau State has benefited a lot from Amaechi and it’s payback time.’’
Lalong stressed that Amaechi had all it takes to tackle insecurity in the country. He said Ameachi had relationships with the security experts and the former security chiefs and would engage them.
He recalled that Ameachi helped party chieftains in the northern states, especially Plateau State, to join and register with the APC. He also said that the former minister spoke for the state at the Federal Executive Council meetings whenever it needed the urgent intervention and approvals from the Presidency.
“Sir, you invested in Plateau State, that is why you are going to reap in Plateau State. We came back, we had security issues, you were our minister. For most of the approvals you saw from the President, it was this man (Amaechi) that was pushing for us. Amaechi was our minister, not minding that he is from Rivers State. We got almost everything.”
Lalong disclosed that he received ample support for his re-election bid from Ameachi, He also said “They mentioned railway, but you brought Shipper’s Council to us, you restored our inland container to us, so many things that you did. As I’m talking, the first set of people you took to China, seven of them are Plateau boys, and very soon they are coming back as experts in engineering. We can go on and on.
“We had already taken a decision; all former members of the Houses of Assembly decided that wherever you go, we would follow you. So, if you calculate the number of former Speakers that we have in Nigeria, I think you already have 30 percent votes,” he said.
Also, the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Yakubu Sande, declared bloc support for Amaechi.
“I have the privilege to move this historic motion and say categorically, that members of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas, we have super delegates and national delegates, all represented today, and what I’m doing today is an endorsement by the delegates of Plateau State,” Sande said.
2023: I’m Qualified, I Eat ‘Garri’ Daily – Amaechi To Niger Delegates
Former Minister of Transportation and presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Rotimi Amaechi, has stated that he is more experienced than any presidential aspirant in Nigeria, especially because he came from a very low background.
Amaechi made the statement when he met with delegates of the APC in Niger State on Thursday ahead of the party’s primary elections, saying that he could easily connect with the poor as he used to, and still, eat ‘garri’ three times a day.
The former minister stated that, apart from his vast experience, having served and delivered as Speaker, Governor, Minister, and Director-General of two successful presidential campaigns, there existed a difference between him and other aspirants, a fact that he was a better-experienced politician and a people-person.
“Another difference between me and them is that I am a politician, they’re not. The difference is that I can walk to you and I’ll talk, discuss with you.
He added that his humble background had allowed him to understand the plight of the common person and relate easily with them.
“I can connect easily with the people. I wasn’t born into a rich family. My father was a poor man, and the only English my mother knows how to speak in pidgin English. I ate garri three times a day, and I still eat garri three times a day till today, so I know poverty”, he said.
He told the people of Niger that he understood their problem of insecurity therefore he had an idea of the problem bedeviling the state.
“I know what you’re suffering, I was governor of Rivers State when they were kidnapping two months old children, and I never slept until everybody slept.
“But in six months, we brought down insecurity in Rivers State,” Amaechi said.
He opined that now is the time for the people of the North and all Nigerians to stand by him, as he did for the country when he supported the emergence of President Buhari, Muhammadu Buhari, without looking at whether he was from the North or South.
“When everybody was fighting me, saying ‘he’s supporting a northern candidate, he’s supporting a Hausa/Fulani candidate,’ I remained steadfast that I was supporting a Nigerian candidate. Now it’s your turn to,” he said.
BIG STORY2 days ago
Hausa Community Seeks Reversal Of Okada Ban, Promises Sanwo-Olu Massive Votes
BIG STORY4 days ago
I Won’t Retire From Politics Until I Rule Nigeria – Tinubu Vows
BIG STORY4 days ago
BREAKING: Many Feared Dead As Explosion Rocks Sabon Gari In Kano [VIDEO]
BIG STORY2 days ago
JUST IN: Lagos Issues 14-Day Eviction Notice To Alaba Rago Occupants [PHOTO]
BIG STORY5 days ago
BREAKING: Embattled Ex-EFCC Chair, Ibrahim Magu, Promoted To AIG
BIG STORY2 days ago
Five-Year-Old Redeemer Pupil Drowns During Swimming Lesson In Ikeja
BIG STORY4 days ago
JUST IN: Akinwunmi Adesina Rejects N100m APC Presidential Form
BIG STORY3 days ago
2023: Ganduje Refuses To Endorse Amaechi For Presidency