Growing concern in Nigeria's ruling party as key members shun national leader's 66th birthday

It is no longer news that the ruling party's national leader, Tinubu and the party's national chairman, Oyegun are not in good terms.

There are growing concerns in the Nigeria's ruling party, All Progressive Congress, as key members shun the party's national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu's 66th birthday.

While President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, nine state governors and six Federal ministers attended an annual colloquium organised to celebrate Tinubu's birthday, other key members of the APC were absent at the event.

Top on the list of absentees at the colloquium are the All Progressives Congress Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Other notable APC members absent were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and the Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi.

The crack in APC

Both politicians have been avoiding each other even after the national leader had openly condemned some of the activities and ideas of the national chairman saying they didn't conform with the ideologies of the party.

The rift between the two party giants had degenerated to branches of the ruling party leading to President Buhari's decision to appoint Tinubu on the mission to resolve all conflicts and rancours in the party ahead of the 2019 general election.

Though it is unclear why all of key members of the ruling party were absent at Tinubu's 66th birthday, but Oyegun is at the centre of a one year tenure elongation granted to the executive of the party at all levels, which Tinubu had openly opposed.

Crack in party became obvious at last NEC

On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 during the 5th National Executive Council meeting of the APC in Abuja, the crack in the ruling party became obvious with President Buhari tilting towards Tinubu's take on the tenure elongation of executives of the party at all levels.

The president had faulted the decision of the party’s NEC to grant one year extension to the party executive, citing a breach of relevant sections of the party’s constitution, as well as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), as the basis for his opinion.

This move saw Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and the party national legal adviser, Muiz Banire opposing the president's view.

The two senior legal practitioners had maintained that the president's view and take of the matter is sub judiced.

However, President BUhari asked the party’s NEC to rescind its earlier decision so as not to give the opposition the grounds on which to reap from the crisis which is likely to result from the constitutional breaches.

The president's take on the matter had elicited a nod from Tinubu, who hailed Buhari.

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