President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, met with governors elected under the All Progressive Congress, APC, at the Council Chambers of the presidential villa, Abuja at the end of which the governors declined to speak.
The meeting was ostensibly on the crisis engendered by the proposed tenure elongation for the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
The governors were led at the meeting by the chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha.
The president came into the venue at 2.13pm and apologized for coming in late as it had been scheduled for 2.00pm.
“I apologize for coming a bit late,” he told the governors after the rendition of the national anthem.
Apart from the governors, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chief of Staff to the president, Abba Kyari and deputy chief staff to the president, Ade Ipaye were also in attendance.
It was not certain what the agenda of the meeting was but it likely dwelt on the tenure elongation and the president’s position invalidating the earlier agreement by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to extend the tenure.
The meeting lasted for a little over an hour after which all the governors approached by State House correspondents for their comments, declined to speak.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, who attended the meeting in crutches following injuries sustained in a fall from his car, was also heard saying that the governors had been asked not to talk to the media.
However, before the opening of the meeting inside the Council Chambers, the body language of several of the governors suggested that they were not comfortable with something that was up for discussion.
One had been overheard saying angrily in Hausa language, “ba zamu yeda ba,” meaning, “we will not agree.”
Along the same line, another governor was heard saying that they will not allow themselves to be controlled by anybody.
Even though it was not clear who they were referring to, one of their colleagues had arrived presidential villa hours before the scheduled meeting and may have sought to influence the president on the way to go.