Bola Tinubu Backs Out, Sends Strong Signal To President Buhari, As APC Bows To Pressure, Sets Date For Emergency Meetings

By Amako Nneji March 25, 2018 14:49

Bola Tinubu Backs Out, Sends Strong Signal To President Buhari, As APC Bows To Pressure, Sets Date For Emergency Meetings

The All Progressive Congress, APC, caucus and National Executive Council, NEC, meetings coming up on Monday and Tuesday, will consider setting up a National Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the party, instead of the National Chairman, John Oyegun.

Findings on Sunday, showed that Tinubu has been unhappy with the tenure elongation of the John Oyegun-led EXCO, and has as a result gone cold on his reconciliation drive in the party.

Recall, that on February 6, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari charged a Tinubu-led Committee with the task of reconciling aggrieved party members, a task the party Leader took very seriously and swung immediately to action.

However, Tinubu’s peace voyage seems to had hit the wall, on February 27, 2018, the day the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, took what many saw as a “divisive decision” to extend the tenure of the party Executives, whose current term of office should have ended on June 30, this year, across all levels.

Tinubu and Oyegun have been at loggerheads for a while, and entrusting the Reconciliation Committee by the President, was seen as a crucial blow to Oyegun’s chances of holding on to the reins of the party, and an indication that the pendulum was swinging in the direction of Tinubu.

However, since the unprecedented move of February 27, which swung the pendulum firmly in Oyegun’s direction, Tinubu has remained silent, and activities of his Committee have ground to a halt.

However, the noise from Tinubu’s camp has been that of discontent over the tenure elongation.

“What Asiwaju is saying is that things should be done rightly, I mean constitutionally”, Tinubu’s Media Aide, Tunde Rahman, revealed.

“Personally, I have looked at the APC constitution, and I did not see where it granted elongation of tenure in whatever form to Executive Committees of parties. Even the 1999 Constitution as amended, speaks about what is right with respect to the periodic tenure of party Executives. That is in Section 223”, he said.

“Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has gone very far about the reconciliation task. That much I can tell you right away. He is even putting together an interim report for submission to President Muhammadu Buhari. I can also tell you, however, that I have heard him say to Journalists who asked him how far he had gone about the reconciliation work, that he would only give the progress report on his assignment to President Buhari who appointed him. And I think we can only be fair to him, if we grant him that indulgence. The President asked him to lead the consultation, reconciliation, and confidence-building efforts in the party, and he would render account to the President”, he said.

Elsewhere, credible sources in the party revealed on Sunday, that the issue of a Caretaker Committee will be raised at the caucus and NEC meetings, with a view to reversing the one-year tenure extension given to Oyegun. This, it was also learnt, was all in an effort to placate Tinubu.

However, facts have continued to emerge that Tinubu may have backed out of the onerous task of protest over the tenure elongation.

“For now, Tinubu has literally backed out of the APC reconciliation  because he feels betrayed by the very people who gave him the task”, a source close to the politics playing out in the APC said.

“Let me put it this way: Tinubu has sent a strong signal to President Buhari that he will not continue with the reconciliation move, provided the tenure extension stands; it has pre-empted whatever effort he would make. The grievance of some people is that Oyegun should go, and the powers that be said Oyegun must stay; so Tinubu is frustrated”, he said.

It was gathered that Tinubu, who had been the lone member of the Reconciliation Committee, had completed his preliminary contacts ahead of announcing names of those he would work with, but had to rescind after the tenure elongation.

“You are right if you say the Committee is dead for now, because Tinubu is the only member till date, and from all indications, he might not go ahead with recruiting anyone unless the party, or rather the Presidency intervenes by going back to the drawing board”, another source said.

Sources within the APC said some Governors preferred Oyegun to take the party to the next general elections, saying they succeeded in convincing President Buhari to agree, a reason adduced for the extension of tenure.

He said, on the other hand, Tinubu and some other Governors wanted fresh personalities to take over the mantle of leadership, as soon as their tenure expires on June 30.

However, despite this, a source said the unusual silence of Tinubu and sudden cessation of his reconciliation trips have been giving party Leaders causes for concern.

This development, the source added, was part of the reasons for likely meetings by the NEC and NWC of the party this week. And one of the solutions on the table, is replacing the Oyegun-led NEC, pending the resolution of the matter.

“Asiwaju is not supporting the continuation of the Oyegun-led NWC. He prefers a Caretaker Committee. The issue will be discussed at the coming emergency caucus and NEC meetings”, the source also said.

The tenure extension for Oyegun may be the last straw that broke the camel’s back in the misunderstanding between Tinubu and Oyegun.

 

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