From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Abuja
A revolt by some governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday led to the postponement of the controversial National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party.
The aggrieved governors took on the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu for issuing an illegal resolution to remove APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole.
They declared that the NEC meeting was illegally convened, vowing not to attend it or allow it to hold.
They urged Bagudu to lead them to President Muhammadu Buhari having resolved that the NEC meeting should not hold because it was illegally summoned.
It was a bad day for anti-Oshiomhole group when they realised that it was President Buhari who ordered the party chairman to query Deputy National Secretary Victor Giadom who had hijacked the secretariat of the party.
Some governors were said to have beaten a tactical retreat from the two Abuja meetings having realised that Buhari was ready to ask the APC to enforce discipline on Giadom and other errant party officers.
Before meeting with the President, the APC governors met at about 11am at the Kebbi State Lodge in Asokoro.
It was a rowdy session following resentment against Bagudu, who they accused of using the forum for a hidden agenda.
It was gathered that Governors Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Hope Uzodinma (Imo), among others, flayed Bagudu for issuing a resolution for the removal of Oshiomhole without the knowledge of the Forum.
A source said: “One of the governors asked Bagudu to tell the Forum where and when a meeting was held to sack Oshiomhole.
“The enraged governor said the resolution amounted to nothing but a forged document because the Forum never met on Oshiomhole’s fate.
“They threatened to remove him as the PGF chairman if he would continue to use the forum to personal interests.”
Bagudu is believed to be nursing presidential ambition in 2023.
The source added that: “The governors resolved that Deputy National Secretary Giadom has no constitutional authority to convene NEC meeting going by the Article 25 B(i) and (ii) of the APC Constitution.
“They all resolved not to attend the NEC meeting or allow it to hold because it is illegal.
“The article states: The National Executive Committee shall meet every quarter and or at any time decided by the National Chairman or at the request made in writing by at least two-third of the members of the National Executive Committee provided that not less than fourteen (14) days’ notice is given for the meeting to be summoned. Without prejudice to Article 25(B)(i) of this Constitution the National Working Committee may summon an emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time, provided that at least seven (7) days’ notice of the meeting shall be given to all those entitled to attend.
“A helpless Bagudu was dumbfounded by the revolt of most of the governors who were mostly pro-Oshiomhole. He was also helpless because most of his co-plotters were absent.
“Having been more experienced in politics than Bagudu, the absentee governors had felt the pulse of President Muhammadu Buhari and decided to beat a tactical retreat.
“Some of the absentee governors got to know that it was the President who mandated Oshiomhole to query Giadom for issuing a NEC meeting notice illegally and without consultations with the NWC.
“These absentee governors were also not ready to flex muscles with the President over the NEC session.
“Bagudu later pleaded with his colleagues to allow peace to reign. “
Another source gave a different perspective to the shift.
He added: ”The atmosphere was charged and the aggrieved governors said the only way for peace to reign was for Bagudu to lead them to the Presidential Villa to tell the President that the NEC meeting was unconstitutionally summoned and it cannot hold.
“This was why the governors went to the Villa to inform the President of their decision.
“They got the backing of the President instantly and the NEC meeting was shelved.”
Four of the APC governors absent at both the Forum’s meeting and the Villa meeting are: Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe) and Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna).