Majority of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Governors, were absent at a meeting called by the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, and the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC.
Before now, there were reports making the rounds that majority of the APC Governors may likely work against President Muhammadu Buhari, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Oshiomhole had earlier said that 20 new Governorship Candidates of the party, and 9 sitting Governors, were expected at the meeting, which he said was being held to get to know the 2019 Governorship Candidates.
However, it was observed that only two Governors were present: Niger State Governor, Sani Bello; and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.
The party kept mum on why its invited Governors were absent at the meeting.
At the meeting, the APC urged its Candidates to run inclusive and issue-based campaigns. It also warned its Leaders in the States, against supporting Candidates of other parties.
This warning came as the APC Govenrors in States like Ogun and Imo, have already declared their intention to support Candidates of other parties for some elective positions.
Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha of Ogun and Imo States, respectively, could not get their preferred Candidates to emerge as Governorship Candidates of the APC, and thus encouraged them to join other parties, will their full support, and against the APC Governorship and other Candidates in their States.
The consultative meeting of the APC NWC, was presided over by Adams Oshiomhole, and attended by some of the party’s Governorship Candidates, State Chairmen, and State Secretaries. The event was held at the party’s National Secretariat, in Abuja.
“I call on Governorship Candidates, to run an issue-based campaign, based on the unprecedented achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, which is evident in all the States of the Federation”, Oshiomhole said in his opening address.
“The party’s Governorship Candidates should run an inclusive campaign, by bringing on board former Aspirants, and domesticate ongoing peace and reconciliation efforts undertaken by the National Working Committee, NWC.”
Oshiomhole also said that the meeting would enable the Candidates seek clarifications from the National Leadership of the party, on any matter they thought was important.
“We are obligated as a party, to market between now and 20th of March, 2019, not only to our party members, but to all Nigerians who are of voting age”, the Chairman said.
“I thought it is also helpful that the Candidates themselves know one another.”
Speaking on the outbursts that followed the primaries, he noted: “I guess in some States, some of the Executives were able to maintain that level of neutrality, and in some other States, the story was different, as we read in the newspapers of some State organs interfering with the process. So, we imagined that there could have been some cries and some quarrels.”
He stated that the Candidates have a more important role to play, as their actions will help the reconciliation process.
Oshiomhole stressed that the State Chairmen should work with the Candidates, not only for the Governorship, but for all the elections, whether they like them or not, noting that the window for substitution has closed.
He assured that all that is needed for the victory of the party in the election on the part of the party, and on the part of the NWC, will not be spared.
“We will play our parts, and we should have far more Governors after next year’s election, than we have at the moment.