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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Tussle for BoT chair resumes

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The embattled National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Oyegun, had resumed work monday amidst speculations that his position may still be shaky.
Ahead of next week crucial meeting of the major organs of the party, there are indications that the struggle for the chairmanship of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) is resurfacing again.
But Oyegun said contrary to speculations, the issue of leadership change is not on the party’s agenda.
The APC leader who spoke to journalists in his office, was beaming with confidence, saying he was taken aback by reports of plots to oust him from office, and that what the party was planning to do was to set in motion a process to organise congress in order to fill vacant positions in the National Working Committee (NWC).
“I’m glad to be back. I told you I was going on a break because I needed it. I had a good break; I had a bit of rest and I am back to the office,” he said.
On whether the meetings of the major organs of the party will go on as scheduled, Oyegun said: “Yes, all the scheduled meetings of the party will run as planned; the caucus on March 21, the BoT on the 22 and NEC on the 24 of this month. Everything will go as planned.”
The APC chairman however said the party is experiencing a challenge in getting the right replacement for its former spokesman who is now the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
According to Oyegun, the search for a qualitative replacement has been on but that it appears the party may have to ignore the existing zoning arrangement in order to appoint a good hand for the job.
“I think arrangements have been completed to hold the necessary congresses to nominate the spokesperson. I think that should be done very shortly. In fact, the issue of getting somebody who can be as close as possible to the outstanding performance of Mohammed has been a major challenge.
“I think that has been the issue. As a matter of fact, if it means making adjustments, a good match is priority number one and afterwards, you can make adjustments in zoning subsequently,” he said.
However, there are indications that moves to effect leadership change in APC cannot be entirely ruled out as feelers from some party members showed that the chairman and members of the NWC were strategising on how to counter such plot.
THISDAY gathered that ahead of next week’s meetings of key organs of the party, the NWC has mapped out plans to ward off any plot that may put their job in jeopardy by making sure that the agenda of the meetings are controlled.
It was also learnt that the choice of a chairman for the party BoT is still giving the party’s leadership sleepless nights. A highly reliable source in the party said of the party organs, it is the BoT that is presently posing a serious challenge on how to handle the various tendencies seeking to hijack it.
“This explains why the party had for long kept the inauguration of the BoT in abeyance to see how things can subside, but at the moment, it seems the tussle can no longer be swept under carpet. We have to face the issue frontally,” he said.
There has been brewing controversy over who among the political gladiators in the APC will clinch the BoT chairmanship seat with several groups canvassing competing interests. Among the likely contestants for the position are the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; protem National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande and former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Abubakar Baraje.


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