Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Technical Committee, Governor Simon Lalong, has assured that if the report of the committee on tenure elongation is diligently adhered to it would douse the whole tension in the party.
Lalong stated this yesterday, while submitting five copies of the Committee’s report to the APC’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun at the party’s national secretariat.
The 10-member Technical Committee on tenure elongation was inaugurated on Tuesday following the stand of President Muhammadu Buhari that tenure elongation was illegal and unconstitutional.
While inaugurating the committee on Tuesday, Oyegun gave them a-3-day time frame to conclude the assignment and submit its report.
He said, “I want to welcome members of the technical committee authorised by NEC. I want to thank you most sincerely for accepting to serve at short notice this job that is going to be intensive because of the limited duration of time to complete the assignment.
“We, on behalf of NEC decided on a team that mixes the top brains in the legal sector with some of the major stakeholders of the party. Some of the issues that have been remitted to you for resolution are strongly legal and at the same time impacted dramatically by political considerations,” he noted.
Other members of the committee were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Governors Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN (Ondo); Sen. Ben Uwajumogu, Hon Kabiru Ajana, Elisha Kurah, SAN; C.J.N. Dakas, SAN and APC National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire, SAN, secretary, and other members.
While submitting the report yesterday, Lalong said, “this report was accepted by all our committee members, including those that have travelled back to their destinations. We did our best within short time to ensure that we got the report ready within the accepted time so that this party can move forward.
“The task appeared not easy when it was given to us, but with God on our side and the very wide consultations we made, this report has solved most of the problems that we were thinking was within the APC. So, that is to tell you that there is democracy in the APC.
“We looked at the meeting of February 27; we looked at also the passion and the commitment of Mr. President towards keeping the party one and also cohesive and so at the end of the day, we made far reaching recommendations.
“We noticed that there were different interests, which is quiet usual when you have a party like this that is progressive and those interests were genuine, but at the end of the day, we were able to marry those interests so that the party can move forward. So, in this report, you will see a lot of it.
“The report will also contain recommendations of certain issues that we think the party should do immediately. And one of them you have already started. That, if these recommendations were going to be useful within the shortest time, the party must summon a NEC meeting. Already we have received notices of NEC meeting for Monday, which is also in line with our recommendations and we want to assure you that at the end of the day, APC is coming back to life,” he said.
Responding, Chief Odigie-Oyegun thanked the committee for expeditiously concluding the assignment, stressing: “The report would lay to rest the ghost that has been hovering over the party.”
The report would be presented to members of National Executive Committee (NEC) at the meeting scheduled for Monday. Recall that President Buhari, at another NEC meeting on March 27, opposed the tenure extension decision, saying it was illegal and unconstitutional. The president had explained that the decision was causing acrimony within the party, with some members not comfortable with the matter, dragging the party to court.