Governors from ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday did not turn up for a meeting called by National Working Committee (NWC) to discuss important national issues.
The meeting was planned to discuss the rancorous relationship between some APC governors over security issues which was said to have caused serious embarrassment to the party and the Federal Government.
Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Simon Lalong of Plateau State were recently locked in media war over the anti-grazing law in Benue.
The law had reportedly sparked crisis between herders and farmers occasioned by loss of lives and property.
Benue governor had also engaged his Nasarawa counterpart, Mr Umaru Tanko Al-Makura.
“Benue governor is in serious disagreement with many governors, most of whom have refused to key into the media war in order to save the face of the party but the situation is going out of hand,” the source said.
Another source said that was the primary reason for calling the meeting “so that all the contentious issues could be resolved.”
He said party chairman, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, wanted to bring all the governors together to fashion out ways of resolving their differences.
“Tension is really, really high because many of APC governors believe that some of their colleagues are simply whipping up ethnic and religious sentiments ahead of 2019,” he said.
The meeting was expected to involve NWC members, the 24 governors and party caucus in National Assembly.
Most of the governors had arrived in Abuja for the meeting but it was abruptly called off over fears that the outcome would likely leave the party more divided.
“When it became evident that APC leadership would not be able to make concrete decision to resolve the problem, some governors backed out of the meeting,” a source close to one of the governors said.
“Some of the governors instead suggested that President Muhammadu Buhari should be more assertive as leader of the party and Commander-in- Chief; he should have been the one to call all APC governors and have a discussion as a family,” he said.
Deputy governor of Osun State, Mrs. Grace Titi Laoye-Tomori, who arrived at APC secretariat at 4: 25pm, yesterday, expressed surprise that the meeting was postponed without proper communication to them.
“We came all the way from Osun and we were not told that the meeting has been postponed,” Laoye-Tomori told the party staff who also seemed to be confused about the development.
But when contacted last night on the issue, APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi, said that it was “unfortunate” that the “routine meeting” could not hold.
Abdullahi, who hinted that there was no reason to worry about the postponement, promised to provide information on the new date, if necessary, after NWC meeting next Monday.
He said, “It’s a routine meeting now. It’s unfortunate the meeting did not hold. There is no serious issue.”
Asked to give information on the likely new date, he said, “We have NWC meeting on Monday. So, if we come out of that meeting, if we have anything, I will let you know.”
Other sources said governors shunned the meeting when they realized that besides security issues, there were moves by the current leadership to ensure that the tenure of NWC is extended beyond June, this year when their four-year term expires.