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Osita Okechukwu allays fear over APC national convention

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Osita Okechukwu

The Director General, Voice of Nigeria (VON) and chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has allayed fear over the party’s national convention billed for this weekend.

He assured reporters on Sunday that the convention would be hitch-free because President Muhammadu Buhari remained the presumptive consensus candidate of the party for 2019 presidential election.

The VON boss said in spite of conflicting reports of parallel congresses, he envisaged a peaceful national convention on June 23 since the party members share a common ground in their support for Buhari.

Okechukwu, who has been elected as a delegate to the convention, also predicted that most of the delegates would vote for former Edo State governor, Adams Oshimhole, as the chairman of the party since Buhari had endorsed him.

“Remember that what we operate is a presidential system where, unlikethe parliamentary system, the supremacy of the party is less profound.

Every president in all presidential systems I know, be it in the United States, tailors the cloth of the party to his size.

“We are lucky that President Buhari is not a power-monger like ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo who during his tenure took ownership of the PDP and was
changing the chairman like rappers – dropped Solomon Lar of blessed memory, Senator Barnabas Gemade, Chief Audu Ogbe and Dr. Ahmadu Ali amongst others.”

Meanwhile, factional chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the APC, Mr. Fouad Oki, has called on the National Working Committee (NWC), President Buhari and the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to resolve the crisis in the Lagos chapter before the convention.

He told The Guardian yesterday that it would amount to illegality if the party should recognise the delegates from the Tunde Balogun-led state executive from Lagos at the convention.

According to him, the party should not make the mistake of using the delegates from the Balogun executive because they were elected on the basis of 57 local governments and 377 wards instead of the 20 local government and 245 wards recognised by law and the constitution of the party.

Oki said based on Article 20 and Subsection 2 of the APC Constitution, the state congress held at Acme, Ikeja on May 19, where Balogun emerged as the state chairman was illegal.

“Unless the party address this issue there is likely going to be a lot of litigations after the national convention scheduled to hold on Saturday.”

But one of the leaders of the party in Southwest and a former governor dismissed Oki’s position that the Acme congress was a nullity.

“There is no way the NWC would not recognize the delegates that the Lagos executive would take to the convention,” he said.


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