The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has shifted the timeline for the conduct of its congresses and national convention.
However, the ruling party did not fix a new date for the two crucial exercises, which are precursor for electing new party executives.
It will be recalled that the initial timetable released by the party fixed sale of the nomination forms for Ward Congress for 1st to 7th July; inauguration of Ward/LGA Congress Screening/Screening Appeal Committees for 10th July 2021; Ward Congress for 24th July, Local Government Congress for 14th August 2021 and the State Congress for 18th September, 2021.
But in a letter addressed to the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Mahmood Yakubu, with reference number APC/NHDQ/INEC/19/021/39 and obtained by LEADERSHIP, the party said the decision to shift the congresses and the national convention had since been conveyed to the INEC in an earlier letter.
The letter by the party to the electoral body dated July 6, 2021 was jointly signed by the chairman of CECPC, Gov Mai Mala Buni and secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoehede.
The party said the new dates will be communicated to the INEC.
The letter reads in part: “We refer to our letter reference number APC/NHDQ/INEC/19/021/20 dated 10th June 2021 on the above subject and wish to inform the commission that the party has rescheduled its Congresses and National Convention to a later date which will be communicated to you.
“This serves as a formal notification under the provision of Section 85 of the Electoral Act (2010) as amended.”
Confirming the development, APC Caretaker Committee Secretary, Senator Akpanudoehede, however, said the letter to INEC was not a postponement of the congresses but a fulfillment of the Electoral Act.
According to Akpanudoehede the letter to INEC “is to cure the legal landmine occasioned by Section 85 of the Electoral Act on the issuance of 21 days notice to INEC, bearing in mind that the earlier date we released was not sacrosanct.”
The party has been contending with challenges in membership registration and revalidation in some states before the commencement of the congresses.
A shift of the timeline for the exercise became glaring on Wednesday when the national headquarters of the party in Abuja was unable to distribute the nomination forms for election into various party offices at the ward, local government, and state levels.