A coalition of All Progressives Congress (APC) support groups says that the party needs a focused, articulate and level-headed leader like Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to forge ahead.
The coalition expressed this viewpoint in a paper issued after its meeting in Lagos.
APC has lately been embroiled in a tenure elongation crisis surrounding the party’ National Working Committee led by Odigie-Oyegun.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently asked APC leadership to consider granting waivers to party executives at all levels that may want to contest in its planned elective convention.
The president while speaking at the party´s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, said this was necessary to forestall disenfranchising some executives.
Buhari had at another NEC meeting on March 27, opposed the one-year tenure extension decision, beginning from June, saying it was illegal and unconstitutional.
The coalition, however, commended Buhari and indeed the party’s NEC for the adoption of the report of the Simon Lalong-led Technical Committee which settled the tenure disputes and provided a win-win roadmap to the party’s congress and convention.
The groups called on the party leaders to rise up and protect the integrity of the party and prevent any individual or group who planned to destroy the Party in order to frustrate the president from seeking re-election.
“Also, party leaders have a duty to support and protect the National Chairman for his selflessness towards Party matters.
“Going by the manner in which the APC was formed, being a coalition of vibrant opposition parties, Odigie-Oyegun’s capacity to manage and balance the contending powerful interests within the APC has been exemplary, even by the estimation of the unreasonable critic.
“ He has continued to moderate the forces at play within the APC with a sincerity of purpose and duty, even in the face of mudslinging, blackmail and baseless allegations directed at him.
“As a recent report published in one of the national newspapers put it, with all presently at play within the APC, one can only imagine the APC without a focused, cool-headed, stabilizing and self-effacing personality like Odigie-Oyegun as National Chairman.’’
The coalition said that following Buhari’s decision to seek re-election in 2019, the need for cooperation and unity among the Partys rank and the strengthening of the APC in preparation for the election had become more imperative.
According to the groups, APC is known for its strict adherence to the law and procedure; hence the need to drop selfish and inordinate ambitions and submit to party supremacy in order to ensure the electoral success.
The paper was co-signed by Prince Danesi Momoh, Coordinator APC Youth Solidarity Network, Comrade Japhet Echegwo, Coordinator Grass root mobilisa for Buhari /Osinbajo 2019, Comrade Kede Michael, South South Youth Movement for Change, Amb. Tega Okokoyoko, Director-General, Buhari Supporters for Change and Ibrahim Usman, APC North Central Buhari/Osibajo Support Group.
Others are Lanre Jimiloyi, Oduduwa for Change movement, Dipreye Victor, APC Ambassadors for Continuity, Comrade Champion Eyigie, Director-General, APC Advocacy for Transparency and Good Governance, Mrs Elizabeth Omokoro, Chairperson, Women for Change network, Yumi Olusuji, President, APC Solidarity Group, Comrade Livinus Chinedu, Convener, Advocacy for Change Initiative and Comrade Jator Abido, Coalition for All APC support Groups.