Williams Anuku, Abuja
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressive Congress(APC) especially the politics revolving around tenure elongation of the John-Odigie Oyegun led National Working Committee appears to have deepened as governors who met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, could not arrive at a common decision on the matter.
Buhari had at the recent National Executive Council meeting of the party opposed tenure elongation for Oyegun, citing that such moves would breach the constitutional provisions of the party.
The crisis may have also played out at the colloquium organized in honour of former Lagos state governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as Oyegun was conspicuously missing at the event.
Most of the governors elected on the platform of the party who met with Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, wore long faces when they emerged from the meeting which lasted for close to two hours.
They simply declined to comment on the outcome of their meeting when State House correspondents approached some of them.
The meeting started exactly 2:15 and ended at 3:30pm. It began with an opening prayer by Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong and his Kebbi state counterpart, Atiku Bagudu.
The bone of contention was not unconnected with the tenure elongation of John Odigie-Oyegun led executive and the proposed care-taker committee to be led by former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole.
It was gathered that majority of the governors are in favour of tenure elongation for Oyegun.
Efforts to get comments from the governors of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, Plateau, Simon Lalong as well as Kaduna governor, Nasir El-Rufai, simply met a brick wall as they all insisted they had reached an agreement not to comment to the media on the contending issues.
While the meeting lasted, President Buhari had temporarily left the governors to decide on the next date the meeting will reconvene, while the Zamfara Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Abdul Aziz Yari, proposed April 9th and 10th, El-Rufai, challenged him on why he picked those dates.
According to a source privy to the meeting, he said the meeting became rowdy at a point as each of them tried to make his position known and the governors stormed out of the meeting venue.
Our correspondent observed that some of the governors emerged from the venue of the meeting wearing a frown, while others in order to douse the tense atmosphere, held their lips, indicating they were not going to comment.
One of the governors leaving the venue of the meeting was heard telling his colleagues with him, “some people who think they are tall, think they can control us, it will not work.”
Earlier, before President Buhari entered the Council Chambers for the meeting, the governors had formed a circle round, the Chairman of APC Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, and were seen arguing.
Some were overheard saying “what they are bringing to the table today we will not allow it to stand. This is a coup and we will not allow it to stand.”
All the APC Governors were in attendance including, the governor of Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun, who later joined 30 minutes after the meeting had commenced.
Before the meeting commenced, El-Rufai was spotted at the presidential villa as early as 10am. He had walked straight to the President’s office apparently to have a first hand meeting with him before the enlarged meeting formed a quorum by 2pm.
The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, was however seen spotting crutches, owing to an accident he sustained during the Easter holiday.