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FULL VIDEO: Inside details of APC NEC meeting outcome

… APC NEC meeting: Govs’ bid to get automatic 2019 ticket for Buhari fails

… President to appoint more ministers, heads of agencies

A move by some governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress to use the platform of the National Executive Council of the party to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term failed on Tuesday.

The APC NEC is the second highest decision-making body of the party after the national convention.

Signs of what was in the offing became apparent early in the day as some governors known to be close allies of the President extended a campaign they began at an event organised by the Buhari Support Organisation in Abuja on Saturday.

In separate interviews with reporters at the APC National Secretariat, the venue of Tuesday’s NEC meeting, the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha; his Plateau and Kebbi counterparts, Simon Lalong and Atiku Bagudu, respectively said only Buhari had what it would take to fly the party’s flag in 2019.

The governors spoke before the commencement of the NEC meeting. Lalong said all the governors had agreed to work towards the President’s re-election in 2019.

He said, “Concerning the issue of sole ticket for Mr. President, I want to say that if Mr. President is performing, well-respected and carrying everybody along, all of us have resolved that we will work for him.”

He then asked a rhetorical question, “Do we have any other person that will challenge the President again? Whatever you call it, as far as we are concerned, we have one President and that is the ticket we will fly.

“I want to assure you that you won’t see a wrangling party after the meeting. From now onwards, it will be focused governance from Mr. President and all the governors from the states. We have all resolved to support Mr. President.”

His Kebbi State counterpart, Atiku Bagudu, who was also responding to a question on whether the governors had resolved to give the President an automatic ticket, said, “The performance of the President in the last two and half years suggests that if he wants to contest, l will certainly support him and l know that our party members feel the same about him.”

However, the governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, expressed a slightly different opinion.

While responding to a similar question, he said, “For anybody to preempt the consensus opinion of the people is to say the least not fair to the vision of our party.

“I can tell you if there is anything that is clandestine, the President will not honour it. So, let’s wait and see as we embark on these meetings.

Also speaking on the issue, Okorocha, who is also Imo State governor, said only a decision by President Buhari to contest the 2019 election could make him drop his personal presidential ambition.

He said, “If Mr. President wants to run for election, he will follow all the processes and if he is the person, we will all support him. In APC, there is no imposition of candidate.

“If Buhari is running, I will allow that man to continue but if he is not running, I won’t sacrifice my Presidential ambition. Mr. President is showing the right leadership and taking the very right steps and there is reconciliation going on even with nobody talking about it. There is the spirit of reconciliation and people understand their role.

During the meeting proper, one of the party members moved a motion asking that a vote of confidence be passed in the President and that he should be endorsed as the party’s candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.

This however failed to sail through. The party members felt that considering the fact that aggrieved members had yet to be pacified, doing so would escalate tension in the party and adversely affect its chances.

*** Buhari confirms plan to reshuffle cabinet, reconstitute boards

Earlier, President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed speculations about an impending cabinet reshuffle and the reconstitution of the boards of federal agencies.

Buhari made his plans public in an address to party leaders during the NEC meeting.

While admitting that the reconstitution of boards had been long in coming, the President explained that the need to ensure the right balance was largely responsible for the delay.

This is coming two years after he took office in 2015.

He said, “I am keenly aware that our supporters are very eager for these appointments to be announced. By the Grace of God, these appointments will be announced soon, especially now that the economy is improving; we will have the resources to cater for the appointees.

“By the same token, the compressed Federal Executive Council will be expanded to bring in more supporters at federal level, with fresh ideas to be injected into the government.

Although almost all notable party leaders attended the event, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was absent.

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