By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Ahead of todayâ€™s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a forum of non-National Working Committee (NWC) members has expressed their support for President Muhammadu Buhari over the controversial tenure elongation for party executives.
The forum had earlier expressed support for the current NWC led by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun to be given another 12 months tenure extension.
THISDAY gathered that stakeholders of APC held several consultative meeting yesterday in Abuja in a bid to achieve a consensus on issues that might likely come up at the NEC meeting.
One of such issues is the modalities for organising a national convention.
At a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, the forumâ€™s Chairman, Alhaji Nasiru Danu, and spokesman of the forum, Jock Alamba, expressed support for President Buhariâ€™s position on the tenure extension, warning that nothing should be allowed to truncate his second term bid.
The forum also dismissed reports that state chairmen of the party were being used to undermine the presidentâ€™s position, adding that no chairman has done anything to oppose President Buhari.
â€œPresident Buhariâ€™s concern for due process is legendary that we could not underrate his concern that since the law is an ass, our most likely 2019 presidential and other electoral victories should not be toyed or placed in jeopardy with legal niceties or put in harms way of fortune hunters.Â
â€œOur position is reaffirmed after a careful survey, which shows that 99 per cent of the entire membership and governors of our great party are in support of the presidentâ€™s second term bid. It is a common position that for the overall interest of our great country that the president should complete the critical infrastructural foundations he is laying.Â
â€œThis means that with all hands on deck, we can avoid the risk of rancorous and conflict ridden intra-party elections which made majority of our leaders to clamour for one year elongation of tenure on the eve ofÂ February 27, 2018, National Executive Council (NEC) meeting,â€ the group said.
The forum, however, called on all APC members and supporters nationwide to disregard â€œa news headline from one of our national newspapers titled: â€˜Governors move to stop plot to use chairmen against Buhari.â€™ â€œThere is no such plot and no chairman is against Buhari, we are all behind Buhari.Â
â€œAccordingly, our forum has the fervent belief that APC like in the 10 December, 2014, presidential primary and other primary elections will work together as a family and disappoint naysayers who are hoping for amageddon,â€ the forum maintained.
Clarifying why NEC members are in support of the presidentâ€™s second term bid, the forum said: â€œWe share the presidentâ€™s unalloyed commitment to the rule of law and fine tenets of internal democracy; firm beacons he is laying to deepen our fledging democracy.
â€œHe has in different fora, as a converted democrat, demonstrated his commitment to democracy as exemplified in the gubernatorial and senatorial elections which opposition political parties won in states like Anambra and Rivers State under his watch.
â€œThis is a stark difference from the mid-term and other election results under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 16 years of do or die politics.â€