The tenure of the National Working Committee (NWC) and state chapter executives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has not been extended.
This is contrary to the impression created by Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party had granted one year tenure elongation to the John Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC and the state executives.
Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari said last night that “what has been done is a mere expression of interest. The power of the Convention to extend tenure is exercised only by way of a constitution amendment.
“The power of the National Executive Committee of our party cannot go beyond doing so by way of constitution amendment.
“Article 30 of the APC Constitution states: ‘This constitution and the schedules hereto, can be amended only by the National Convention of the party”.
“The process of amending the constitution is also expressly provided in Article 30 sub section 2. This states: “Notice of any proposed amendment by any member or organ of the party shall be given to the National Secretary at least 14 days before the date of the National Convention. The Notice shall be in writing, shall contain a clear statement of the proposed amendment and reasons for it.”
Yari added that “What was done today (yesterday) is only an expression of a desire to extend the tenure of Chief Oyegun-led National Executives.”
Also last night, party spokesman Bolaji Abdullahi said what was agreed at the NEC was the intention to extend the tenure of the NWC and the state executives.
He said the decision would only be consummated after an amendment of the constitution which will be effected before the expiration of the tenure of the NWC. The tenure ends in June..
Abdullahi added that the party had slated another NEC meeting for next month.
Bello had told reporters after the NEC meeting that 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 owing to the need to avoid any confusion in the party’s operation ahead of the 2019 general elections and to give the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led reconciliation committee time to carry out an effective job.
The meeting started when President Muhammadu Buhari arrived at the APC headquarters, accompanied by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. It was attended by governors, members of the National Assembly, state APC chairmen and others.
Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and some governors were absent.
With Bello were National Publicity Secretary Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and the party’s chairmen in Plateau, Rivers, Anambra, Ondo and Nasarawa states.
Bello 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, Senator Tinubu, has been charged with the responsibility of reconciling all aggrieved members of our party, we cannot afford to approach the general elections with more dispute and crises.
“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 believes in ensuring that there are Congresses and convention across board.”
On 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 that 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 are cooperating 100 per cent with our leader, Senator Tinubu.”