Sunday, June 17, 2018 4:01 pm
The Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has expressed confidence that the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention holding on June 23in Abuja will be hitch-free.
Speaking on the forthcoming convention, Okechukwu told newsmen in Enugu on Sunday that there was no call for alarm.
He allayed fears that the intra party crisis arising from the various congresses in some states of the federation would not becloud the national convention.
The party chieftain maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari remained the presumptive consensus candidate of the ruling party for 2019 Presidential Election.
According to him, in spite of conflicting reports of parallel congresses, there will be a hitch-free national convention, since the entire tendencies within the party share a common ground in their support for President Buhari.
Okechukwu, who was elected as a delegate to the convention, equally predicted that most of the delegates would vote for former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshimole, as the chairman of the party since Buhari had endorsed him.
“To be honest, in spite of conflicting reports of parallel congresses, one envisages a hitch-free national convention of our great party, APC, on June 23.
“This is because we have President Muhammadu Buhari, who from every index is the presumptive consensus candidate, come 2019 Presidential election.
“Mr President is more like a guardian post for our great party. He is the canopy covering us all from bad weather.
“Remember that what we operate is a presidential system, where unlike the parliamentary system the supremacy of the party is less profound.
“Every President in all presidential systems I know, be it in the United States, tailors the cloth of the party to his size,” Okechukwu said.
The DG noted that all the tendencies and factions had a common ground, which was the endorsement of President Buhari.
“In addition, those who lost in the congresses are not only loyalists to Buhari, but are aware of the truism that they were swimming against the tide of the provisions of APC’s Constitution.
“The constitution mandated the National Working Committee, subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee to make rules and regulations for nomination of candidates.
“Nobody has the right to reverse the national delegates list validly elected during the local government congress,’’ he said.
According to him, with such iconic leader like Buhari, loyalty is enhanced. Loyalty to one leader minimises intra-party conflict. It could have been different if we have two strong presidential contenders.
“Our collective support for Mr. President makes it easy for reconciliation in APC before the 2019 general elections.
On alleged plans to disqualify some NWC members at the convention said he was not aware of it.
“More so, I am aware that President Buhari canvassed for waiver for members of the National Working Committee, which was upheld by the National Executive Committee on March 27, 2018.
“Secondly, Gov. Aminu Masari Screening Committee to the best of my knowledge did not disqualify or recommend disqualification of any of them.