By Ibidapo Balogun with NAN report
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, may have survived subterranean moves to unseat him, as the National Executive Committee of the party which met on Friday in Abuja passed a vote of confidence on him.
In its first meeting after the election of President Muhammadu Buhari, the NEC passed the confidence vote on Odigie-Oyegun, who has been under fire from party members to resign.
APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the party’s decision while briefing newsmen about details of the NEC meeting.
The embattled chairman had repeatedly said he did not take bribe to install the leadership of the 8th National Assembly.
Mohammed said: “The National Legal Adviser of APC came to seek the approval of NEC as to certain categories of members who should be members of the Board of Trustees.
“The approval motion was moved and it was unanimously adopted.
“Subsequently, the NEC and the governors passed a vote of confidence on the leadership of the party.”
Mohammed said the NEC had also provided an enabling platform to look into the National Assembly logjam and that the meeting rose with two firm resolutions.
He said: “The President of the Senate and the Speaker also pledged to find lasting solution to the logjam.
“Two points were unanimously agreed on today.
“One was the issue of party supremacy.
“It was agreed that the party should be supreme.
“Secondly, this government must work.
“It must deliver on its campaign promises and bring about the change the people of Nigeria want.”
Mohammed admitted that there was a problem but emphasised that the NEC had provided an enabling environment to resolve the party issues.
He said: “We have a problem and we must find the best way to resolve it.
“This house, which is the APC, must not fall.
“The less we say about the logjam, the better for the nation.
“Let us dwell on issues that can move the country forward, bring about cohesion, not just in the party but in the polity.
“I cannot say yes or no that the Senate president and the speaker have been accepted because I will be pre-empting NEC, but the party is working to resolve the crisis.”
When asked about the perceived slow pace of President Buhari, Mohammed said: “It is just a perception.
“This is the first time there will be a transition.
“He is not slow.
“I can assure you that in the next few weeks, very soon, there’ll be a rash of appointments.”
Mohammed said part of the progress the government had made was the directive given to some agencies to pay monies directly into the Federation Account and close other illegal accounts.
He listed the agencies as the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigeria Ports Authority, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said Buhari’s integrity and character had attracted more friends for Nigeria than a few years ago, adding that the fight against insurgency would see vast improvements soon.
Also, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State expressed optimism that the crisis bedevilling the party was almost over.
Okorocha said: “Many people think that there will be problems between APC members at this meeting, but I’m assuring Nigerians that we have met and discussed what affects us and we understood ourselves.
“We also reiterated our support and loyalty to our leadership.
“We are also going to meet on the National Assembly crisis and it will be resolved amicably.
“So I can confidently say the crisis rocking the party is almost over now.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that APC chieftains, former and serving governors and lawmakers were in attendance at the meeting.