Dr. John Odigie-Oyegun, a former Governor of Edo State was on Saturday morning elected as the first substantive chairman of Nigeria’s mega opposition party, the All Progressives Congress.
He took over from Chief Bisi Akande who has occupied the position in interim capacity since APC was formed last year.
Oyegun, who was widely believed to be the preferred candidate became the only aspirant standing for the position after his main challenger, Timipre Sylva, a former governor of Bayelsa state who was the preferred candidate of APC Governors from the Northern part of the country was persuaded to step down.
Street Journal gathered that the Bayelsa State Governor and two other aspirants stepped down following intense negotiations and horse trading between party leaders which spanned at least three days in Abuja.
Specifically, it was learnt that Sylva stepped down after the governors were convinced on the need to support Oyegun for the position at an enlarged meeting of the elders of the party some hours before the commencement of the convention
The election of Oyegun was subsequently ratified by delegates.
Also, Mai Mala Buni from Yobe State also emerged as the new National Secretary of the party.
Mala Buni replaced Tijjani Tumsah who was the interim National Secretary of the Party.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, shortly after voting began announced that leaders from the northeast geopolitical zone, where the position was zoned to, had agreed on the candidature of Buni and had been able to convince Kashim Imam, a former presidential liaison officer to step down.
Also, former Governor Segun Oni of Ekiti State was elected as APC Deputy National Chairman (South). The former Governor of Ekiti State who was a former Vice-Chairman (South-West) of the PDP joined the APC a few weeks ago.
A former National Secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Lawal Shuaibu, was elected Deputy National Chairman (North) at the Convention.
In the same vein, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was returned as the National Publicity Secretary of the party as he had no challenger.