Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), on Tuesday, inaugurated a 10-man technical committee to find lasting solution to the contentious extension of the tenure of the current national and state officers of the party.
Speaking while inaugurating the committee comprising of no fewer than four Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said that while Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state will serve as the committee chairman, APC National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire, will serve as member and committee Secretary.
According to Oyegun, other members of the 10-member Technical Committee included the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Barr. Boss Mustapha; Governor of Oyo State, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi; Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai; Governor of Ondo State, Olurotimi Akeredolu, SAN; Sen. Ben Uwajumogu; Hon. Kabiru Ajana; Barr. Elisha Kurah, SAN; Barr. C.J.N. Dakas, SAN.
Addressing the committee members, Oyegun said: “I want to welcome members of the technical committee authorized by NEC. I want to thank you most sincerely for accepting to serve at short notice this job that is going to be intensive because of the limited duration of time to complete the assignment.
“We, on behalf on NEC decided on a team that mixes the top brains in the legal sector with some of the major stakeholders of the party. Some of the issues that have been remitted to you for resolution are strongly legal and at the same time impacted dramatically by political considerations.
“Therefore, your job is to bring these two together and advice us on the way we can implement our activities in the next few weeks and months in a way that is politically advantageous to our party, the APC and at the same time face due difference to the niceties of the law.
“We must observe the law and at the same time emphasis that we try to do things that will be advantageous to the party. We will furnish you with all the documents like the resolutions of NEC, the party’s constitution and the Nigeria constitution to help you do a good job.
“You are also at liberty to request for additional material like the statement of Mr President during last NEC meeting and every other thing to guide you achieve the task you are about to undertake. I am praying, hoping that this is the kind of thing you can accomplish in about three to four days.
“Getting answers from you is crucially time sensitive and depending on which way you advice, we may have to put in motion very serious activities in the party virtually within a week of getting the report and taking decisions. I thank you for accepting this onerous assignment and wish you the very best of luck.
“The chairman, Governor Lalong, has successfully done a lot of very sensitive assignments in the past and each time you have always come out in flying colours and I am sure this will be yet another one.
In his reply, Governor Lalong told newsmen said: “What necessitated setting up this committee was the resolution of the NEC to look into the issue and advice the party especially the NEC on the way forward to resolve this issue.”
He dismissed insinuations that the composition of the committee was in favour of the NWC, stressing: “I think the discussion about elongation was not against Tinubu. We are concerned about the way forward for the party and the position of the President on the issue.
“The issue of whether it is satisfying somebody should not be there. He is a member of the party and at the end of the day our decision is not final but subject to the ratification of NEC.”