Governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have confirmed the internal crisis rocking the party and their resolve to wade into it.
The governors are working with President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the leadership crisis is resolved and the party restructured so that it can remain strong.
Through their umbrella body: APC Governors’ Forum, the state chief executives, expressed optimism that the planned restructuring would ensure the return of peace and unity in the party.
The APC has been engulfed in a series of crisis emanating from accusations by some party leaders and stakeholders on the role of the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the National Working Committee (NWC) members in the last primary election for Ondo State governorship ticket, as well as their inability to fill the vacant positions in the NWC.
The Chairman of the APC Governors’ Forum and Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who visited the APC NWC members at the party’s National Secretariat on Wednesday, said that the party needs to return to peace, stressing that it must encourage dialogue among the warring factions.
Okorocha condemned bitterness among the leaders and stakeholders of the APC, adding that President Buhari will soon address the NWC members and APC stakeholders on the lingering crisis.
He however praised the efforts of the Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC and insisted that they still deserve commendation, considering the fact that they were the same party leaders that saw the APC through during the last general elections.
The governor said: “I am here to meet with our party leadership to deliberate on what we must do to ensure unity in our party. We noticed that there is so much bitterness among the ranks and members of our party, and there is need for communication and dialogue because where there is no dialogue and communication, war is inevitable.
“You may recall that it was the same National Working Committee and these same party leaders that saw us through during the last election. What that means is that if these people were good enough and never betrayed us during the election period, they should be honoured and I want to assure them that no one will hush them out, but there is need where possible to make amends, which is natural with any human organisation.
“So, the party will be restructured for the purpose of making it stronger and move forward as a people and as a party. Also, very importantly, I came to commend the members of the NWC for their patience, understanding especially during the time of our elections.”
“President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the leader of our party, will be addressing the party leadership in a couple of weeks to come, and from there, we shall take it up to ensure the unity of the party. The APC is a strong party and we must take advantage of the moment. With the visible crisis in the PDP, many good people in the PDP would want to join the APC; they are still watching because they have not seen us show that which we are meant for” said Okorocha.
The APC Governors’ Forum chairman, who called on the party stakeholders to embrace peace, wondered how the party has been currently riddled with internal crisis, noting that it had become pertinent to return it to the unity that won them the 2015 election.
“We were so united before the elections and I do not know why we cannot manage this victory. Nigerians are not going to ask us who is able to defeat one another in this party or who is able to bring down one another, they will as ask us what have we been able to do as a party, and we can do something only when we are united.
“So, I came here to call for the unity of our party and the APC governors are willing to show leadership in this regard by making sure that all the APC NWC, the governors and the National Assembly work together. We urge the NWC to do their best in spite of the situation they are going through”.
Okorocha, spoke after a meeting with the NWC members at the party’s national Secretariat in Abuja. Among the NWC members who attended the meeting were the National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, national Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, Deputy National Chairman, Segun Oni, National Auditor, George Muaghalu, National Organising Secretary, Osita Izunaso, among others.
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