•Says party not involved in compilation of board members
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie-Oyegun last night distanced the party from the list of board appointments recently released by the government. He said the party was not involved in the final process leading to the release of the list of appointees.
Odigie-Oyegun who spoke at a dinner for journalists at his residence said even though the party was involved in the initial compilation of the list, it was not involved in the process of vetting the list before it was made public, pointing out that the party would have insisted that a proper check be carried out before the list is made public.
The APC chairman also gave an indication that a new leadership for the party will emerge before the end of June 2018, with the process beginning any moment from now with the National Caucus and National Executive Committee meeting, culminating in the national convention.
Oyegun said the NEC which is expected to hold either before the end of January or early February will fix the date for the elective national convention which is expected to produce a new leadership for the party.
He said the processes leading to the convention is expected to start with ward congresses, the local government and state congresses before the national convention, saying “during the convention, members will be expected to either elect a new leadership of endorse the ones currently in office”.
Speaking on the performance of the Buhari government, Oyegun said that the economy of the country is recovering well, saying “I can say to you emphatically that in the critical areas of development, the policy of the party has remained resolute. We still have a long way to go no doubt about that, but the commitment to change the state of things is what matters.”
He said that the APC government has been working hard to improve on the situation in the power sector adding that a lot have been done to raise generation and has kick-started substantial growth in power generation, while a lot has been to improve on the transmission facilities.
The APC chairman said that at the inception, the party asked for the nomination of 50 people from each state which it submitted to the Presidential committee, adding that between then and now, a lot of things happened and the party was not involved in the last stage.
He said while the issue of board appointments has caused quite a lot of controversies, it is obvious that the not in order in the compilation of the final list, saying,
“We have followed the issue of board appointments and I think that issue has raised a lot controversy already. The only thing I want to add is that it is pretty obvious that the party was not involved in the final stages of the compilation of that list.
“Yes, we sent at the initial stage and I am talking of a period of two years ago. We demanded for every state to make 50 nominations which were sent to the committee in charge of the list for the purpose.
“People have changed parties, people have died, we have three new governors that were not there when the list was compiled. Therefore it was clear that there was obvious need for us to look at the final outcome of the exercise.
“But we are not fortunate to participate on that final stage otherwise it is quite clear such would not have occurred. It is my sincere hope that we will be fully involved in the review that has to now taken place and any other exercise moving forward from this date,” he noted.
The ruling party equally pointed out that considering the fact that this year will be build up to the 2019 general election, the party will hit the ground running, stressing: “I will resume on Monday and we are going to hit the ground running. We all know that this year is obviously going to an active year for elections.”
The dead are Senator Francis Okpozo, who passed on at 81 in 2016. He was named Chairman, Nigerian Press Council (NPC); Deputy Inspector General of Police and elder statesman, Donald Ugbaja (rtd), appointed member of Consumer Protection Council and the founder of Fidei Polytechnic, Very Rev Fr Christopher Utov appointed a member of the board of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research. Fr. Utov was until his death this year, the proprietor of Fidei Polytechnic in Gboko, Benue State, the first private polytechnic in northern Nigeria. He died on March 17, 2017 in India after battling with an undisclosed disease and was buried on April 13, this year, in Gboko.
Umar Dange Sokoto, former emir of Katagum in Bauchi State, who died on December 9, was picked to join the board of the Federal Medical Centre, Azare, also in Bauchi.
Also dead but appointed are Garba Attahiru Kaduna; Dr. Nabbs Igbokwe of Rivers State, Comrade Ahmed Bunza from Kebbi State and Miss Magdalene Kumu from Taraba.