Since the February 27, 2018 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of All Progressives Congress (APC), which gave John Odigie-Oyegun led national working committee members of the party one year tenure extension, all has not been well with members of the ruling party in the country.
While some party members had openly voiced their opposition agaist the tenure extension by going to court to challenge it, others however chose to work from the background to thwart the arrangement.
One man who is particularly not comfortable with the tenure elongation, is former Lagos State Governor and national leader of APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinibu.
For some time now, Tinibu and Oyegun are not political pals. In fact, there is a cold war going on between them. Tinibu has some misgivings against Oyegun, who allegedly was used by the Presidency to frustrate his electoral victories, particularly in Kogi and Ondo states.
When Tinibu was appointed by President Buhari to undertake shuttle diplomacy to reconcile warring factions of APC across the country, in the course of his assignment, he saw Oyegun to be the obstacle, undermining his efforts, and he appropriately complained to the President.
Thus,, to give Oyegun a one year tenure extension where he would be presiding over the party’s primaries for all elections slated for next year therefore, would be asking Tinibu to commit political suicide. That was why he was particularly opposed to the tenure elongation granted Oyegun by the NEC of APC.
But Tinibu did not dance in the open. He used the powerful Lagos State chapter of APC to express his displeasure. The party had at the end of an emergency meeting openly disagreed with the tenure elongation granted Oyegun and his team, pointing out that it was against the constitution of both the APC and that of the country.
At the same time, Tinibu practicality abandoned the assignment given to him by Buhari, to reconcile warring party members as the cracks within the party continue to widen.
Not done, Tinibu absented himself from the caucus meeting of APC, where crittical issues affecting the party were discussed. That was when Buhari knew mthat there was fire on the mountain. Already he had been rejected by 18 coalition groups from his home region, including the powerful Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), for nonperformance. Therefore, to lose Tinibu would be another catastrophy.
Exactly one month after the APC NEC meeting which granted Oyegun and his team tenure elongation, Buhari made a U turn. He told the NEC meeting that he had made consultations and found out that elongating the tenure of Oyegun and members of his executive was illegal and a violation of both the constitution of APC and that of the country, which clearly stipulates that there must be elections every four years to produce new officers.
This is a capitulation to Tinibu and his, position. Since Buhari is desperate about recontesting in 2019, he can’t afford to ignore Tinibu, because he is the only man nós standing. Everye other person has abandoned him.