The immediate past governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, might be the replacement for Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as the All Progressives Congress (ACP) chairman.
Oshihmole’s emergence came despite South East persuasion that the position be zoned to its interest for the party to maintain inclusiveness.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had yesterday made his stance at the National Executive Committee not to extend tenure for party executives.
Meanwhile, the disruption of the tenure extension scheme for the serving executives has continued to generate reactions with party insiders fuming that the prospect of fresh internal elections just months away from the general election could instigate crisis.
The former governor’s emergence on the frontline of the number one of the ruling party followed his reconciliation with the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
The assertions were, however, fully set aside by Edo State chapter of the party which praised the President’s decision as a step in the right direction. Odigie-Oyegun and Oshiomhole are both former governors of Edo State.
Oshiomhole’s frontline position, Vanguard learned yesterday, 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 helped to turn it into uncertainty.
Ironically, Oshiomhole and Tinubu were at opposite ends four years ago when Odigie-Oyegun emerged as national chairman of the then just emerging party. At that time, Oshiomhole was fully supportive of the aspiration of Chief Tom Ikimi to be national chairman, a move that was itself truncated by Tinubu who successfully pushed forward Odigie-Oyegun for the position.
Ikimi walked away from the party after a public spat with Tinubu, following the election of Odigie-Oyegun as national chairman.
Oshiomhole’s candidacy is being helped by the fact that Odigie-Oyegun is unlikely to contest the position on account of age. 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.