By Emmanuel Mogbede, Ikechukwu Iweajunwa
National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said that extension of the party`s National Working Committee (NWC)’s tenure by the National Executive Committee (NEC) was done in good fate.
He stated this on Wednesday in Abuja while reacting to the development in an interview with newsmen.
Reacting, Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State described the extension of tenure for Odigie- Oyegun as well as state and local government chairmen of the party as a `welcome development.’
The national chairman explained that the decision was to give the party room to face the serious task ahead, especially the 2019 general elections.
The NEC of the party, at its meeting on Tuesday in Abuja extended the tenure of the Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC by one year, starting from June.
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi, who announced the development to newsmen at the end of the NEC meeting, had said that the decision was taken in line with the party´s Constitution.
He explained that it was to ensure that peace prevailed within the party’s hierarchy ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“Considering the time left for the party to conduct all the congresses, we cannot afford to approach general elections with more dispute and crises.
“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,’’ Bello said.
He explained that the tenure extension included the party´s other executive committees at various levels, but stated that the action would not stop its non-elective National Convention slated for July.
Okorocha, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo, also congratulated state and local government chairmen of the party whose tenure were extended alongside Oyegun.
He said that the action would not have been possible without the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, APC governors and other critical stakeholders.
He said that Oyegun and his team had been challenged by the extension arrangement to do more work and ensure everybody was carried along.
Okorocha also debunked the speculations that he was against the tenure extension.
According to him: “I, Gov. Rochas Okorocha, have received the news making the rounds that I am against the tenure extension.
“I want to say emphatically that I was never against tenure extension and it would not have been achieved without the support of governors and other stakeholders,” he said.
Okorocha added that the speculations of his being in opposition to the extension were being sponsored by those against his government and urged them to refrain from such evil attitude.