Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former governor of Edo State, has been touted as the leading candidate to replace Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.
This comes after the APC said President Muhammadu Buhari’s view cannot change the decision of the National Executive Committee of the party on the tenure extension for Oyegun and other party officials.
Oshiomole’s case has received a massive boost after the Edo State chapter of the party praised the President’s decision as a step in the right direction.
Chairman of the Edo State chapter of the party, Mr Anselm Ojezua, said of Buhari’s decision:
“It was a statement that was timely and justified. By that statement alone, the President has enhanced the profile of our party and saved us the disgrace that was imminent in implementation of that unconstitutional proposal.”
According to Vanguard, Oshiomhole’s frontline position followed his reconciliation with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, national leader of the party whose strident opposition to the tenure extension scheme for the Odigie-Oyegun-led executive derailed it.
Furthermore, Oshiomhole’s candidacy is helped by the fact that Odigie-Oyegun is unlikely to contest the position on account of age.
It is understood that the national chairman who is 79, had seen the prospects of a one-year extension as a fitting anchor for him to leave public service at 80 next year.
“He has not told me, but I doubt it very seriously,” a close associate of Odigie-Oyegun said yesterday.
While the coast seems clear for Oshiomhole, one major challenge could be the muttering by party members on how Buhari shocked members of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party by backtracking from the NEC resolution last February on the extension.
Also, many governors who are known to be supportive of Buhari are backing Odigie-Oyegun for the extra year.
Meanwhile, the APC maintains that President Buhari’s decision cannot change the collective decision of the NEC, as the party challenges the suit filed against the tenure extension of the party executives at the Federal High Court, Abuja.