National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has stated that the party will wait for President Muhammadu Buhari to return to Nigeria and be part of the planned convention.
His position contradicts the initial resolution of governors and the National Working Committee, NWC, to send a delegation to the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to present suggested convention dates for him to pick from.
Recall that Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong, told newsmen after the meeting that “The issue of the National Convention was raised actually, as it was part of the decisions we took at the last meeting. Unfortunately like you realised, Mr. President is not here.
“But today, we all agreed that we have an acting President the same process should start again through the acting President.”
Lalong noted that though the President as leader of the party normally should attend but that in the present circumstances, the presence of the acting President will suffice.
Governors in attendance were Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Solomon Lalong (Plateau), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) , Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi). Others include: Sani Bello (Niger), Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina), Sen. Atiku Bagudu and Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara).
Others were Deputy governors of Kwara, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Nasarawa and Imo.
But speaking on Monday in Abuja on the midterm scorecard of the APC-led administration, Oyegun declared that the party’s midterm convention would have to wait until the president returns from his medical leave in London.
“The convention is an important activity of the party that the president should not miss. We will hold on so that he can be part of the convention”, he stated.
Oyegun further downplayed the impact of the ill-health of Buhari on governance in the country and the party.
“The thinking that ‘will he be president in 2019’ is really not doing any good, his need today is good health. When we get to 2019, it is for him to decide if he wants to run or if he doesn’t want to run and to consult the party on his decision.
“If he wants to run good and if he doesn’t want to run the country isn’t bereft, the party isn’t bereft of capable hands”, he said.
On Nigeria’s economy, Oyegun said government was working hard to end recession in order to reduce hardship the masses were facing, pointing outrenewed efforts to revamp the power sector.
On criticism by the People Democratic Party (PDP), he stated that while some problems that came in the way of rebuilding the economy were not foreseen, others could be traceable to the mismanagement of the past administration.