APC Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun won't be handed the tenure extension he badly wants because godfathers want him gone.
It has been long in coming.
Oyegun and his co-travelers in the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC have been told in clear terms that when their tenure elapses in June of 2018, they would have to make way for a new set of party officials.
Up until the afternoon of March 27, 2018, Oyegun and his team thought they were going to get a one year extension and usher the APC into another election season.
But Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had other ideas. The Jagaban Borgu has been very critical of Oyegun since the Ondo governorship election of 2016. He has written two letters calling Oyegun a disaster and mercenary who should leave the party without delay.
“Oyegun’s transgressions are a warning. He is but the mercenary of forces that seek to return the nation to the old ways”, Tinubu had written.
“To rescue the party, Oyegun must go. He has shown that he and democratic fair play cannot exist in the same party at the same time”, the Jagaban wrote.
After Buhari handed Tinubu the job of uniting a fractured APC back in February, Tinubu accused Oyegun of frustrating that presidential directive.
“Disappointment greeted me when I discovered that you had swiftly acted in contravention of the spirit of our discussions. Instead of being a bulwark of support as promised, you positioned yourself in active opposition to the goal of resuscitating the progressive and democratic nature of the APC”, Tinubu wrote to Oyegun this year.
When Buhari told the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) on March 27 that the tenure extension decision reached a month earlier would be illegal and open the party to litigation, he was taking sides with Tinubu.
Buhari said the tenure extension resolution “contravenes both our party constitution and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“If we deviate from the constitutional provisions, we might be endangering the fortunes of our party. If the tenure of our party executives can be legally faulted, then it means that any nominations and primary elections that they may conduct, can also be faulted.”
APC Governors held a rowdy meeting with President Buhari this week but in the end, the president’s position prevailed.
“We consulted and all the 24 Governors of the APC are on the same page with Mr. President that we are going to respect our party constitution”, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Gov Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, told the press afterwards.
He added that; “We are going to respect the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So, we collectively agreed that we will have congresses at all levels—local, State and national”.
Most APC chieftains have told this writer time and again that Oyegun has only succeeded in polarizing the APC since he became Chairman on June 13, 2014. Everyone who matters in the APC has lost confidence in Oyegun's leadership and his ability to steer the party to pastures new.
The forces against Oyegun have been circling the man for a while now. And Tinubu, who worked so hard to install Oyegun as Chairman in 2014, has been plotting the man's downfall since 2016, one public attack at a time.
When Oyegun departs as APC Chairman in June, you can be sure that party chieftains will celebrate his exit well into the night.