The National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has approved one year tenure elongation for the current National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and other executive committees at various levels for another twelve months, starting from June 30th.
This is coming as President Muhammadu Buhari blamed the fracas between his Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly as responsible for the slow down of governance process, which he assured will be resolved.
Speaking Tuesday at the third NEC meeting of the governing party, President Buhari also acknowledged that the government has not met the expectations of many party members.
“I must acknowledge the fact that government has not met the expectations of many within our party. But few of us know or appreciated the depth of the wrath when we took office and that we spent the last two years bringing the country out of the mess we met it.
“Furthermore, the stand off between the executive and the National Assembly slowed down the process of government. We are working hard to resolve the differences so that the country can move forward.”
According to the President, the current leadership of the country has successfully stabilised the nation.
Buhari said: “I am happy to report that slowly and steadily, we have managed to stabilize the country and redirect the ship of state. We have restored prudence to the management of resources and confidence in Nigeria has been restored. On February 23, Nigeria floated a 12 year and 20 year Eurobonds in the international market which were both over subscribed. The 12 year bond was, within days over subscribed by 332 percent, while the 20 year bond was over subscribed by 372 percent.
“We have stabilised the Naira and increased our foreign reserve from 20 billion dollars to 40 billion dollars. Inflation rate is down. With considerably less resources available to the country, we have improved all the indices towards a stronger economy.
“Above all, we must pay tribute to the Nigerian people who massively support the government in spite of distractions from proponents of business as usual. Nevertheless, I am not asking us to relax and take things easy. We all know that elections are looming in the horizon. We must therefore get our acts together.
“Accordingly, I implore all members of the party to give the Asiwaju committee full cooperation to resolve existing differences among our members in the states affected. It is perhaps inevitable that there will be differences of opinion within the party. If we resolve them, then we can build a genuinely democratic party. But we must not lose sight of our common purpose as a party to break the mule of Nigerian politics and take the country to new heights.”
While commenting on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s reconciliation panel, Buhari said he has asked the National leader of APC to “lead this process of restoring order, manage differences and strengthen the party.
“Soon, primaries at the wards, local government, states and the centre will be due. I urge all members to take account of the fact that APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any position is not reached. Regardless of the outcome of the primary processes which is imperative, we should all work together to ensure victory for our party.”
While addressing newsmen shortly after a closed door meeting which lasted about three hours, Kogi state governor, in company of other governors and party officials, told newsmen that the NEC meeting decided to extend Chief John Oyegun led NWC, relying on Article 13 of the party’s constitution.
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 June this year.
“Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the Congresses and convention and considering that our leader Sen. Tinubu has been charged with responsibility of reconciling all aggrieved members of our party, we can not afford to approach general elections with more dispute and crisis.
“So, relying on Article 13 of our constitution, which empowers the NEC to carry out the function of the convention, the NEC has decided to extend the tenure of the current NWC and other executive committees at various levels for another twelve months, starting from June 30th.”
In his welcome address, Chief Oyegun had told the NEC that a voice was raised in favour of the NWC members at the caucus meeting held on Monday night at villa.
“My colleagues from the NWC, we have a voice raised on our behalf during the caucus meeting and I want to assure you that as quickly as possible we will have a welfare package before the next NEC meeting so that our welfare can be better catered for.”
At the meeting, the Senate President Bukoka Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and some other key members were conspicuously absent.
Others in attendance include; Minister state for Petroleum Ibe Kachikwu, Kogi state Governor Yahaya Bello, Senator Magnus Abe, Sen. Francis Alimikhena, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Sen Andy Uba, Sokoto state governor Aminu Tambuwal, Benue state governor Samuel Ortom, Borno state governor Kashim Shettima, SGF Boss Mustapha, Bauchi state governor Muhammed Abubakar, Jigawa state governor Badaru Abubakar, Ogun state governor Ibikunle Amosun, Zamfara state governor Abdulazez Yari, Kastina state governor Aminu Bello Masari, Kaduna state governor Nasir El’Rufai, Niger state governor Sani Bello, Senator Sani Yarima, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Hon Ado Dogiwa among others.