• Says new twist is one less distraction for Buhari
The reported legal threat by some members of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) has been described as another media creation.
Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) and governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, made the assertion while speaking with State House Correspondents in Abuja after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
Governor Bagudu was in the company of four other governors, including the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi; the newly inaugurated Chairman of the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee and governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni; the governor of Niger State, Alhaji Sani Bello; and the Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
Governor Bagudu said they were at the State House to thank President Buhari for the way he resolved the crisis rocking the party, describing it as visionary.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, headed by President Buhari, had ordered the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Responding to a question on the threat by dissatisfied members of the NWC to go to court over the NEC’s decision, Bagudu said it was the media talking, adding that President Buhari acted within the provisions of the party’s constitution when he advised the party to dissolve the NWC.
He said: “The media say a lot of things, but Mr. President is very clear that he received due legal advice. And remember, before the 2019 primaries, Mr President demonstrated to everyone in this country that he will never sacrifice due process for expediency.
“Even when it was convenient to extend the tenure of the then executive so that we don’t have a convention and primary at the same time, Mr President said no, no matter how tough it is, we are going to do the correct legal thing.
“So Mr President will never do anything which the constitutional provisions of party, talk less of the country, does not allow him to do.”
Speaking further, he described the decision to dissolve the party’s NWC and going for a caretaker arrangement as one less distraction to governance for President Buhari, adding that the President’s main preoccupation is to solve Nigeria’s various challenges.
“He is happy that at last we have one less distraction because Mr President is conscious of the mandate given to him by Nigerians. And even though he bothers a lot about his party, what dominate his daily action are economy, security, transparency and the progress of Nigeria. So he’s very happy,” he said.
Speaking about the reason the team was in the State House, the governor said: “We thanked Mr President for all he has been doing for the progressives’ family, which culminated in the visionary and momentous resolution of party disputes that took place on Friday.
“Testimonials, news, commentaries, media from across the country are all happy for what was done yesterday.
“Equally, to appreciate all the gains that had been made under his capable, brilliant and visionary leadership.
“Our country is more food secured, the economy, though challenged by the Coronavirus pandemic and recovering from the 2016 recession, is doing better than most countries in similar situation.
“Accountability has increased tremendously. We are hearing of security gains on a daily basis in all parts of the country, and those are what Mr President campaigned upon and Nigeria has one of the most robust responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, all because of his thoughtful, imaginative and patriotic leadership.
“At the same time, it is to introduce, yet again, the Chairman of our Caretaker and Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, who is a very seasoned administrator and politician, the governor of Yobe State, His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni, and to thank him on behalf of the Progressive Governors’ Forum for deeming it so fit to include three governors in the committee: the Chairman, governor of Niger State and the governor of Osun State, Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola.”