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APC Governors Meet Oyegun And Saraki Over Party Crisis

Governors elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) moved to address the grievances in the party which are threatening its cohesion.

There have been calls on the party’s National Chairman Chief Odigie-Oyegun, whose tenure expires in 2018, to resign for his purported inability to resolve the crisis rocking the party.

Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) and Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, who met with the Odigie-Oyegun-led APC National Working Committee (NWC) yesterday, said the party leadership needs to make some amendments to enable the party forge ahead.
Okorocha also met with the Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara where he said President Muhammadu Buhari would soon meet the APC leaders to address the problems in the party.
The APC has moved from one crisis to another since it took over as ruling party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in May last year. The crisis started with the emergence of Saraki and Dogara against the wish of the party.
Some chieftains of the party have accused Oyegun of not exerting his influence on how the country is being run.
Recently, the party’s National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, asked Oyegun to resign, accusing him of working against democratic fair play in the handling of APC governorship primary in Ondo State, which produced Rotimi Akeredolu as the party’s candidate.
Besides, the APC is yet to have a Board of Trustees (BoT), which is seen as a serious setback for a ruling party.
While fielding questions from journalists after a closed door meeting, Okorocha said the talks focused on the need to restructure the party and ensure unity among its members.
“We noticed that there is so much bitterness among the ranks and members of our party and there is a need for communication and dialogue because where there is no communication and dialogue, war is inevitable,” he said.
“You may recall that it was the same National Working Committee (NWC) and these party leaders that saw us through during the last election. What that means is that these people were good enough. I want to assure them that no one will bully them out or hush them out. But there is need to make amendment which is natural with any human organisation.
“So, the party will be restructured for the purpose of making it stronger and to move forward as a people and as a party,” Okorocha said.
When asked to explain what he meant by party restructuring, he said: “No one is going to boot anybody out. Where there is need for amendment, we shall make amendment in order to save the party and move it forward.
“In every human organization, it comes a time when they restructure. It could be to add more people, it could be to strengthen the party at all levels. And, of course, you know that these people are duly elected people, whose tenure will expire by 2018. So, where there is need for restructuring, restructure.
“I have come to reassure them, because sometimes, when you have the fear or worry that you are not stable, you begin to react in a negative way. But if you know you are stable, you will put in your best,” he said. He said “I came here for a call for unity. The governors are willing to show leadership in this regard by making sure all the members of the NWC, the APC governors and National Assembly work together to ensure the unity of our party.”
On party funding, he said the APC leadership intended to ensure that every member sponsored the party, saying “we want to make sure that every stakeholder will be part of it. It is not a question of whether the governors will sponsor the party or the President.”
After the meeting, Okorocha also met with Senate President Bukola Saraki over the party’s crisis.
He told newsmen that “Nigerians expect so much from us but yet we seem to be in crisis within ourselves. Not crisis made by the opposition parties but crisis created by ourselves for ourselves and which has kept us in total difficult position that we are not making the headway we need to make as a party.
“One wonders then what went wrong. Where did we get it wrong? And after these troubles and after the much hope we have given to Nigerians, we still cannot work together as a party, as a family.”
“So, I am here Mr. President of the Senate to call for unity among us and our party. And to sheath our sword in whatever form anger has gotten to us.
“We noticed and we know that we are a party in majority at the National Assembly and we are a party with majority in the number of governors - state houses of assembly - but we notice there is no cordial relationship between the Governors, the Executive and the legislature,” he said.
He said President Buhari has also agreed to address the leadership of the APC.
“But before then, I think all the rough edges must be smoothened,” he said.
Responding, Saraki said the APC National Assembly caucus would look into all the issues raised.

After a closed door meeting with the House leadership led by Dogara, Okorocha said he had dialogued with the National Working Committee of the party, members in the Senate and House of Representatives and was certain that there would be light at the end of the tunnel.
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