The All Progressives Congress, APC, National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting ended Friday without the expected fireworks as key leaders of the ruling party were absent from the well publicised event.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Vice President Yemi Osibajo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and former interim national chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande did not attend the meeting were a vote of confidence was passed on the embattled national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
At the meeting, Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari urged leaders of the party to close ranks and quickly resolve the party’s internal crisis within the party so that the APC would not end up disappointing Nigerians.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement, quoted the President as warning the NEC members to guard against a situation where, having won the battle of the last general elections, the APC now runs the risk of losing the ‘war’ of party unity and internal cohesion.
The President also voiced his belief in the supremacy of the party’s change pact with Nigerians over the personal ambitions of its members.
“As human beings, we are not perfect, but let us do our best to eventually win this ‘war’ so that we can get on with the urgent task of delivering on our electoral promises to the nation,” the statement quoted Buhari as saying.
Chief Odigie-Oyegun, who had been under fire to resign his position for allegedly taking bribe to install the present leadership of the National Assembly, which allegation he has vigorously denied, had a vote of confidence passed on him and the National Working Committee, NWC of the party.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, while briefing newsmen after the meeting said: “The National Legal Adviser of APC came to seek the approval of NEC as to certain categories of members who should be members of the Board of Trustees.
“The approval motion was moved and it was unanimously adopted.
“Subsequently, the NEC and the governors passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the party.”
Mohammed said the NEC had also provided an enabling platform to look into the National Assembly logjam and that the meeting rose with two firm resolutions.
He said: “The President of the Senate and the Speaker also pledged to find lasting solution to the logjam.
“Two points were unanimously agreed on today.
“One was the issue of party supremacy.
“It was agreed that the party should be supreme.
“Secondly, this government must work.
“It must deliver on its campaign promises and bring about the change the people of Nigeria want.”
Mohammed emphasised that the NEC of the party had provided an enabling environment to resolve the issues in contention.
He said: “We have a problem and we must find the best way to resolve it.
“This house, which is the APC, must not fall.
“The less we say about the logjam, the better for the nation.
“Let us dwell on issues that can move the country forward, bring about cohesion, not just in the party but in the polity.
“I cannot say yes or no that the Senate president and the Speaker have been accepted because I will be pre-empting NEC, but the party is working to resolve the crisis.”
When asked about the perceived slow pace of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mohammed said: “It is just a perception.
“This is the first time there will be a transition.
“He is not slow.
“I can assure you that in the next few weeks, very soon, there’ll be a rash of appointments.”
Mohammed said part of the progress the government had made was the directive given to some agencies to pay monies directly into the Federation Account and close other illegal accounts.
He listed the agencies as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigeria Ports Authority, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said Buhari’s integrity and character had attracted more friends for Nigeria than a few years ago, adding that the fight against insurgency would see vast improvements soon.
Also, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State expressed optimism that the crisis bedevilling the party was almost over.
Okorocha said: “Many people think that there will be problems between APC members at this meeting, but I’m assuring Nigerians that we have met and discussed what affects us and we understood ourselves.
“We also reiterated our support and loyalty to our leadership.
“We are also going to meet on the National Assembly crisis and it will be resolved amicably.
“So I can confidently say the crisis rocking the party is almost over now.”