The All Progressives Congress National Working Committee on Monday met with the Presidency as part of efforts to counter moves of some governors, who had begun moves to change the party’s decision on their Edo State counterpart, Mr Godwin Obaseki.
The APC NWC members led by the National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, arrived at the Presidential Villa, Abuja at 4.30pm for a meeting with the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari.
When the meeting ended at 6pm, Oshiomhole, in an interview with the State House correspondents, said there was no way the party leadership could have bent the rules for anybody and allowed right of first refusal for those aspiring to contest when the party’s constitution did not make provision for it.
He said since the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), did not enjoy such a favour when he was seeking re-election in 2019, party leaders could not change the rule for others.
It was gathered that some governors, who were sympathetic to Obaseki, had reached out to the Presidency to seek its intervention in the Edo State APC crisis.
The APC screening committee on the state governorship primary had, on Friday declared Obaseki and two other aspirants ineligible to contest the party’s July 22 governorship primary.
The panel explained that Obaseki was, among others, disqualified because of contradictions in his credentials.
The governor, who rejected the decision of the committee, said he would not appeal his disqualification because he did not believe he would get justice from the Oshiomhole-led NWC.
The governor has been meeting some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, in what is generally believed to be preparatory to joining the opposition party.
A highly placed APC official privy to the NWC’s meeting spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The source said, “Some governors approached the Presidency to seek a political solution to the disqualification. At the meeting with the chief of staff, the NWC presented documents, including the Edo governor’s credentials, the screening committee relied on before disqualifying Obaseki. The party officials presented three reports: Those of the screening committee, appeal committee and the NWC. The national chairman defended the decision of the party on Obaseki.”