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The 36 state chairmen of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have endorsed tenure extension for the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun led National Working Committee (NWC). The state party chairmen also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election in 2019.
A communiqué signed by Chief Henry Ajomale, the Lagos State APC chairman, passed a vote of confidence on President Buhari, the party’s National Chairman, Chief Odigie-Oyegun and other leaders for what they called numerous achievements despite challenges so far experienced in the country. They said the decision was taken after a thorough appraisal of the APC government.
The communiqué, issued by the Forum of APC State Chairmen after their meeting in Abuja yesterday, also backed the Senator Bola Tinubu led peace and reconciliation committee and urged the panel to expedite action in reconciling members of the party. The forum also called on all members of the party to give maximum support to the committee to achieve sustainable peace in the party.
Part of the communiqué read, “The forum hereby also resolved as follows: In view of the short period between the time available for the proposed party congresses and INEC published time-table for conduct of party primaries and general elections, the forum resolved that the tenure of the present officers of the party at all levels be extended by 2 years to avert challenges in the party.
“In view of the reasons as adduced above, and the fact that the present constitution as amended in 2014 has not been fully tested in the short life of the party, the forum resolved that the proposed amendment of the party constitution be suspended.” Today’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting is expected to endorse the proposal of the state party chairmen, after its consideration last night by the national caucus of the ruling APC which met at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. It would be recalled that Daily Trust had earlier reported plans by APC leaders to extend the tenure of the current NWC.
PDP squandered $500bn in 16 years – Buhari
Buhari said the Peoples Democratic Party squandered $500 billion oil earnings in 16 years. “Nigeria was fast heading for a state of collapse. It is easy to forget the fuel subsidy fraud, arms fund diversion, depleted excess account savings, depleted foreign reserves, massive unpaid debts to contractors and suppliers amidst failure to invest or even maintain our infrastructure namely railways, roads, electricity, in spite of having earned over US$500 billion from Oil & Gas alone, during the 16 years of PDP rule. Lest we forget, we must always remind ourselves of the dire situation in which we came to office.
“Therefore we must not be shy in projecting our tremendous achievements from 2015 to date. The territorial integrity of Nigeria is no longer under threat. A number of security challenges still exist, but they exist in even the most well policed and well secured countries. I am confident that the measures we are taking will tackle the acts of rural banditry, herdsmen/farmers conflicts, communal clashes, kidnappings and other crimes,” he said.
APC must brace up for tough challenges in 2019 – Oyegun
“I wish to note that the road so far has not been smooth sailing, but we have weathered the storm. We must brace ourselves to face and overcome challenges that will come our way this year, and they are going to be tough. Elections are generally very emotive,” he said. He said he fully supported the Asiwaju Peace Committee constituted to reconcile all aggrieved groups within the party and encouraged all members to support the committee.
Our correspondent reports that Senate President Bukola Saraki and Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed were among top party members absent as of the time of filing this report (10:00pm). The meeting, which started at 8:00pm, was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, state governors, members of National Working Committee, members of the National Assembly, members of National Executive Council, former governors, ministers among others.
Battles ahead of APC – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that there are battles ahead of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 general elections. He said the reconciliation committee headed by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu must be given maximum support and cooperation with a view to getting the party united in purpose and in shape.
The president said this at the Presidential Villa in Abuja last night at a meeting of the national caucus of the party. He spoke about the party differences in various states, saying “To this end, I have appointed a committee, headed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a leader of the party, to reconcile differences in various states. We hope the committee will be given maximum support and cooperation to enable it to satisfactorily carry out its work and get the party united in purpose and in shape for the battles ahead.”
President Buhari said for the APC to succeed in winning the 2019 general elections, the constitution of the party must be strictly followed in all actions and decisions. He said the party could not have been victorious in 2015 without the unity of purpose exhibited in challenging and defeating an incumbent government.
Buhari said, “This unity and success are needed now more than ever because elections are now looming.” The President said he was aware of opinions and criticisms about the pace of his government. “In particular, the delay in appointments to boards of parastatals. Many boards have been inaugurated so far.”
He said now that the INEC had come out with the timetable for elections in 2019, the party should prepare itself for congresses at wards, local governments, states and the centre. He said party leaders should also ensure internal democracy and avoid short cuts and illegal manoeuvres, which had characterized the opposition party “with the consequences that they are now divided.”
“The APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any candidacy is not reached. Regardless of the outcomes of the primary processes, it is imperative that we all work together to ensure the victory of our party.”
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