The All Progressives Congress National Executive Committee (APC-NEC) has reportedly given the current National Working Committee (NWC) an approval to continue overseeing the affairs of the party for another one year in the absence of a valid convention. This resolution was said to have been adopted on Monday, April 9, 2018 at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, where the NEC meeting was held. As it is, John Odigie-Oyegun could remain the chairman of the party until after the 2019 elections. Item five of the resolution states that: “If for reasons of inability to fulfill constitutional and or legal conditions requisite for the conduct of a valid elective congress or convention, then the party may as a last resort leverage on the NEC resolution of February 27, 2018 which in our view is lawful in the circumstances”.
The Rivers state chairman of APC, Davies Ibiamu-Ikanya, moved the five-item resolution. It was seconded by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and adopted by NEC members. Though Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the current NWC had previously secured a nod to extend their tenure by one year due to a myriad of internal squabbles in some state chapters. The members also said the extension would help the party minimise the crisis that holding elections in troubled states could throw up. However the plan was put to rest after President Muhammadu Buhari withdrew his support and said it would be better if the party conducts congresses across the country. The president believes doing so would save the party legal troubles ahead of general elections.
The president’s call was seen as a capitulation to Bola Tinubu, a former Lagos State governor and prominent party leader, who has been pushing hard to ease Odigie-Oyegun out of office. However with the latest decision by NEC, it seems the APC has returned the decision of holding the congress for elective positions to Mr Odigie-Oyegun. Other items in the resolution include a “21 days statutory notice for the holding of elective congress and convention be given to INEC immediately”. “The current zoning formula for the party offices be retained”. This was captured in item three Item four said “Requirements of the article 31(iii) be waived in line with the provisions of article 13.4 (xv) to avoid disruption in the management of party affairs at all levels.” This could allow Odigie-Oyegun remain in office until the convention. Considering Odigie-Oyegun’s alledged opposition to the convention, some commentators have said they won’t be surprised if he decided to use the power to his advantage.