National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said disagreements and debates that characterised activities of the party lately were hallmarks of progressive politics.
He stated this at the party´s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on Monday in Abuja.
The APC has been embroiled in rancour after the Feb. 27 meeting of NEC where one year tenure extension for its National Working Committee (NWC) and executive committees at all levels across the country, was approved.
The acrimony in the party heightened when at another NEC meeting on March 27, President Muhammadu Buhari objected to the teneure elongation on grounds that it was unconstitutional, and therefore, illegal.
Odigie-Oyegun said ´´I must say that disagreements, debates and contentions are the hallmarks of progressive politics. Therefore, let no one tell you that our party was about to collapse only because we disagreed.
´´In the past days, I have read news reports and all manner of comments and opinions that have tried to frame the majority decision of NEC as an attempt to primarily secure tenure elongation for Odigie-Oyegun and the NWC.
´´This is quite unfortunate because nothing could be further from the truth.
´´If anything, what our experience in the last few days has confirmed is that we can disagree without being disagreeable, and that our party may be young, but we remain the bastion of progressive politics in Nigeria.´´
He commended Buhari for what he described as “his rare act of graciousness and humility’’.
He said that even after opposing the tenure extension as approved by the party´s NEC, Buhari allowed further consideration on the subject “which proved him to be a true democrat and a genuine party man’’.
According to the national chairman, where the president would have imposed his will, he exhibited true leadership by allowing himself to be open to alternative opinions, regardless of his personal interest.
He added that the party´s strength would continue to rest on its ability to forge consensus even from apparently irreconcilable issues.
Odigie-Oyegun charged members of the party to be ready to accept alternative viewpoints as president had done, even when such viewpoints did not immediately reflect their preferences.