House on fire! Tinubu’s letter divides NWC as APC caucus, NEC meet
Tension is mounting as leaders of the All Progressives Congress prepare to hold the caucus and National Executive Council meetings this week.
The meetings, scheduled to hold on Monday and Tuesday, are expected to find solutions to the internal conflicts rocking the ruling party.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered in Abuja, on Saturday, that the contents of a letter written by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, accusing the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, of undermining peace efforts would feature at the caucus meeting on Monday (tomorrow).
Also expected to feature are the seemingly intractable internal wrangles in state chapters of the party, prominent among which include Kano, Kaduna, Kogi and Cross River states.
It was learnt that the letter written by the former Lagos State governor had started creating division among members of the party’s leadership especially members of the National Working Committee.
Opinion is, however, said to be divided among members of the party’s NWC with respect to allegations contained in Tinubu’ letter to Odigie-Oyegun.
It was learnt that some believed that the allegations against the chairman, some of which were contained in a memo signed by the six zonal vice-chairmen which they later denied, were strong enough to pass a no-confidence vote in Odigie-Oyegun.
None of the NWC members agreed to speak on record to SUNDAY PUNCH on the development.
One of such members said, “Most of the opinions expressed in Tinubu’s letter are not new to us.
“If you will recall, some of these things were contained in the memo written to the NWC by the six zonal vice-chairmen which they were latter prevailed upon to step down out of respect for Mr. President and the task of reconciliation he gave to Asiwaju.
“These issues are real. The decision to set up the Tinubu-led committee is an indication that the President is aware that our chairman is incapable of dealing with the issues because he is part of the problem. If we are to take a confidence vote, he won’t survive it.
Asked if a confidence vote is likely to feature, he said, “It is difficult to say. The agenda for such meetings is usually prepared on the go and for such a move to gain traction, you need to buy in the governors and like you know, most of the governors are behind Oyegun.”
Another NWC member, who spoke in a similar manner, said, “We have been warned against turning this whole thing into a media affair but the truth be told, as a party, we can’t afford to allow things to continue like this. There is no sacrifice too much to make to restore order.
Also, another NWC member lamented that the reconciliation in the party appeared complicated.
Speaking on condition of anonymity with SUNDAY PUNCH, he stated, “How do you begin a reconciliation process when a governor is demolishing the residence of anyone who disagrees with him?
“Governors are becoming a law unto themselves because we don’t have a strong party capable of ordering them to toe the line and the President appears indifferent.”
Another NWC member, who has a slightly different view, believed removing the chairman would cause more problems than solving the current crisis in the party.
“Removing the chairman or even sacking the entire NWC at this time will do more harm than good; not just the image of our party but it will further weaken us.
“Since the tenure of this current leadership will end in a few months, the leadership should be allowed to serve out their term which officially ends in June after which the national convention should be held to elect a new set of leaders,” he added.
There are also speculations that the caucus and NEC meetings may be postponed to give more room for more strategic consultations.
Attempts to get a reaction from the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, were futile. Calls to his mobile indicated that it was switched off.
A response to a text message sent to him was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report on Saturday.
The APC National Vice-Chairman, North-East, Mustapha Salihu, however, dismissed speculations that the meetings might be postponed, saying, “The meetings will hold.” Punch