Uncertainty has again enveloped the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged plot by the party’s national leadership to hoodwink members into accepting extension of its much expected national convention.
Specifically, party stakeholders are accusing the Mai Mala Buni-led national caretaker committee of hatching another plot to deceive party members and buy time in order to further propagate its “selfish agenda” of continuing “the extension of its six months mandate which is now running to the 19th month”.
Reacting to reports that the convention had been slated for February 25, the party stakeholders under the aegis of APC Rebirth Group said they had been reliably informed that the caretaker committee was behind various news report planted in the media that the convention had been fixed for the said date.
In a statement issued yesterday by its spokesman, Engr Aliyu Audu, the APC Rebirth Group said after realising that “no less than six states will be going to the polls for various bye-elections on the 26th of February, 2022, decided to plant a February 25th date in the media knowing fully well that the convention cannot be taking place at a time bye-elections in which the party would be participating will also be taking place across different states in the country.
“The real plot is to use the planted February 25th date to buy more time, pretending it has no knowledge of the forthcoming bye-election; by which time it will be left with no option but to postpone the much awaited February convention to another date,” Audu stated.
The the party stakeholders noted that the caretaker committee is planning “to do this either by arranging a group of people to obtain a kangaroo court injunction hiding under the guise of exclusion by virtue of the bye-elections or simply ride on the excuse of limited time if any other date in February is to be chosen.”
The statement further alleged: “In any case, the purported February 25th date, just like many other decisions that have been taken by the Caretaker Committee, was not a collective decision by members of the Committee. This is the reason it opted to plant the date in the media rather than coming out with an official position. We wonder why other members of the CECPC have continued to tolerate the unilateral decision making and dictatorial excesses of the Chairman of the committee.
“We are bringing this new plot of the CECPC to public attention, just as we have done in many other instances, in order to reawaking the consciousness of party members to the reality of Buni leadership of APC and to call on all those concerned to prevail on him not to toy with the February date for the national convention.
“If the CECPC is serious about holding the national convention, February 19 is a good date and the time to start preparing for it is now. Rather than planting dates and stories in the media, the CECPC should come out with a clear position and timetable for the much awaited national convention.”
Accordingly, the stakeholders recommend February 19 2022 as appropriate date for the convention.
They warned that “any attempt by the Buni-led Caretaker Committee to move the convention any further under any guise will be resisted by all means possible.
“The APC Rebirth also use this opportunity to call for the rejigging of the membership of the Caretaker Committee. Aside from the obvious travesty of being in contravention of section 183 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria which forbids sitting governors from the membership of the committee, the continuous stay of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State especially is a disrespect to our laws and morals.
“The governor, who will be standing as an aspirant in the forthcoming governorship primary election in Osun State cannot be a judge in his own case. He should therefore relinquish his membership of the Caretaker Committee, considering that CECPC may prepare and most likely conduct the primary election for the number one seat in Osun State.
“With our established reputation for respecting laws and rules, the APC cannot continue to disregard a clear constitutional provision as regards the composition of the Caretaker Committee. It is therefore incumbent on all APC leaders, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, to prevail on all the governors in the party’s Caretaker Committee to resign forthwith,” they concluded.
Convention: APC Governors In Closed Door Meeting
Meanwhile, Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) under the auspices of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) last night met to deliberate on some knotty issues within the party, particularly its national convention which has been shrouded in controversy.
This is coming just as uncertainty has again enveloped the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged plot by the party’s national leadership to hoodwink members into accepting extension of its much expected national convention.
The meeting if the progressive governors which started at about 8:30pm took place behind closed doors at the Kebbi state Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro.
Although the outcome of the meeting was still unknown as of the time of filing this report, LEADERSHIP gathered that discussions on the date for the national convention and zoning of party offices topped the meeting’s agenda.
The party had been in disarray over the date for the convention, with some party stakeholders insisting that it must hold on February 5, while others are maintaining their ground that it should hold on a later date simultaneously with the party’s presidential primaries.
There were indications at the weekend that the leadership of the APC had bowed to pressure and settled for February 25 as a new date to hold the convention instead of February 5.
Our sister publication, LEADERSHIP Weekend, reported on Saturday that the party’s Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) headed by Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, had conceded to the demands of party stakeholders to hold the convention at a later date in February instead of on the 5th as earlier scheduled, hence the decision to shift it to February 25.
The meeting last night, it was learnt, was convened to either ratify the February 25 date for the convention or shift the exercise to March.
This followed fresh protest by party stakeholders that the February 25 date is a ploy by the national caretaker committee to buy time since the period coincided with the by-elections in various states slated on February 25 and 26 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Among governors in attendance at the meeting were the party’s caretaker committee chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State; Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger).
Others are Mohammed Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Babajide Sanwoolu (Lagos), Simon Bako Lalong (Plateau) and Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa).