• Odigie-Oyegun reveals why tenure was extended
• Okorocha congratulates National ChairmanThe opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday launched yet another barrage of criticisms against the All Progressives Congress (APC), concluding the ruling party has finally crumbled, wrecked by a “presidency cabal.”
It was reacting to Tuesday’s APC National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, which extended by a year the tenure of embattled National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the National Working Committee (NWC).
“From the outcome, it is clear that the party has finally collapsed, lost all democratic credentials and can no longer provide level playing ground for its members or even other Nigerians to freely aspire for any position of their choice, particularly, the presidency, governorship and National Assembly positions in the 2019 general elections,” the PDP stated.
It described the resolution of the meeting as the “worst kind of corruption in a political party,” wondering how President Muhammadu Buhari, “the African Union anti-corruption champion,” could have “directly superintended” the session. It accused the APC of “overthrowing its constitution and democratic processes, all in the bid to shut out other contenders in the presidential race, a development which further confirms that the president has lost popularity even in his own party.”
In its statement by National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said: “Whereas, the APC constitution provides for a four-year tenure for officials of its organs and enshrined a re-election or re-appointment at the expiration of the said tenure, the Buhari presidency muzzled the APC NEC and imposed an illegal one year tenure extension for the Oyegun-led NWC, a fiat that is not provided for in the party’s constitution.”
According to the PDP, the APC is “so dysfunctional that under the grip of the presidency cabal, the party in contravention of its own constitution does not have a Board of Trustees (BOT), which explains the reason it lacks conscience and failed completely in delivering good governance to the nation.” It also observed with dismay that while the APC constitution allows for quarterly NEC meetings, the party has only held five since it was formed in 2014.
The PDP said: “It is certain that the APC is no longer a credible platform but an appropriated one, where only those anointed by the presidency cabal can have the opportunity to aspire for any position within its ranks. The APC has been seized and is irredeemably damaged ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“The confusion and lawlessness that were the hallmarks of the outcome of the APC caucus and NEC meeting signpost the failures inherent in the incompetent, blundering and corrupt Buhari-led administration, which has brought so much hardship and violence to our dear nation.”
Odigie- Oyegun, meanwhile, has shed light on why his tenure was elongated. He told reporters in his office yesterday: “I think the reason for not wanting to hold some of these elective congresses this year is very clear. We have a lot of work to do during this one year and each one has the potential of causing a crisis. That has
always been once there is an election; it always creates its own issues.
“So, we just felt we could defer some of these issues or the party felt some of these challenges could be deferred for one year for the serious task before us, which is the national elections.” But APC’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Timi Frank, condemned the extension, describing it as laughable and a reinforcement of the belief that the PDP fares better on internal democracy.
“I am personally disappointed. This has clearly shown that APC is an undemocratic party, a party, which has been in existence for three years but has never obeyed its own constitution,” Frank said in a statement, challenging anybody to show proof any demand of the party’s constitution had ever been “religiously obeyed.”
Notwithstanding, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha “delightedly” congratulated Odigie-Oyegun and the NWC members in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuemeodo.
The governor noted that the “lofty action” would have been impossible without the “able leadership” of Buhari, state governors and key stakeholders at the NEC meeting. He wished Odigie-Oyegun and his team a successful tenure and urged them to see the development as a challenge to do more for the progress and victory of the party.