Exclusive: APC May Postpone National Convention By Two Weeks

There are indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may postpone its national convention already scheduled to hold on February 26 by two weeks.

A credible source in the party, who confided on Thursday, said that the party’s leadership is expected to make the announcement this weekend or early next week.

He added that with just nine days to the original date of the convention, there is nothing really on ground to show that the party is ready for the exercise.

According to him, many of the stakeholders in the party, especially the governors believe that the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) should be given some time as it is “currently handling several knotty issues especially the resolution of the crisis that trailed the Ekiti governorship election, Saturday’s primary in Osun State and the recommendation of the National Reconciliation Committee led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu.”

Another reason he stated for the possible shift is the failure of the APC governors, under the aegis of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), to agree on the ‘Unity List’ which will contain the names of the consensus candidates.

Even though the party announced that the sale of forms would commence on Monday, this week, many aspirants who visited the party’s national secretariat located at Blantyre Street in Wuse 2 area of Abuja were disappointed as nobody attended to them.

“From the feelers we are getting, the convention may be postponed by a minimum of two weeks. Many stakeholders in the party have agreed that it is the best decision to make.

There are lots of knotty issues before the APC caretaker committee which need to be resolved. “One of them is the governorship primaries in Ekiti and Osun states.

That of Ekiti has gone but there are issues that the leadership is trying to resolve especially among the aggrieved aspirants. In Osun, of course, you know it is holding this Saturday and the party is sharply divided into two factions.

“If we are not careful, there may be violence and our party members will be the casualties in Osun.

These are some of the issues before the Buniled caretaker committee and the convention is just less than 10 days from now. “So, it is not as easy as people think, especially those claiming Buni and others want to extend their tenure in office.

The party will soon issue a statement I believe by this weekend. But the general impression in the party now is that it should be postponed by minimum of two weeks”, he said. Imo State governor, Hope Uzodimma, had on Tuesday given an inkling that the event may not go on as scheduled when he said there is nothing wrong if the APC decides to shift its national convention.

Uzodimma when asked to comment on what should be the fate of the party over its inability to agree on the zoning of offices and setting up convention subcommittees with less than two weeks to the date, Uzodimma explained: “Of course, that is the decision of the party and there is nothing wrong even if it doesn’t hold. What is important is that we must have our convention.

We have said it is 26th. If anything, for any reason tomorrow, it is not doable in the opinion of the party, we will move. But that does not mean that there is any intention to move”.

It would also be recalled that Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia State and Senate Chief Whip, had in December 2021 written a letter addressed to the APC leadership entitled, ‘Urgent Appeal for Postponement of APC National Convention’. In the letter, Kalu, who called for the postponement of the national convention, also appealed to the party to consider conducting the presidential primaries and election of National Working Committee of the party on the same day.

Giving reasons for why he wanted the convention postponed, Kalu had warned that holding the convention in February without sorting out the minor disagreements that arose during the congresses would lead to implosion.

However, Kalu’s position was countered by some stakeholders in the party who believe that he was fronting for some people in the party who do not want the convention to hold so that the caretaker committee can remain in office.

Governors Disagree With Buhari’s ‘Consensus’ Candidate Meanwhile, with barely eight days to the February 26 date of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention, there are indications that the National Working Committee (NWC) that will emerge may not enjoy the full support of major blocks within the party.

Sources said that a major disagreement has arisen between the governors voted on the platform of APC and President Muhammadu Buhari on the choice of the consensus chairmanship candidate for the party ahead of the convention.

While the governors are said to favour Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, President Buhari is believed to be more disposed to Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, former governor of Nasarawa State.

This is the first time the president would be opposed by the governors on issues concerning the party.

The roles played by APC governors in the emergence of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole cannot be overemphasised.

It is interesting to note that the struggle to constitute the new APC NWC has opened often ignored cracks along the various tendencies that came together to form the party, namely the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) now on the fringes.

Sources close to APC secretariat explained that the disagreement between Buhari and the governors was the reason the president subtly redirected the APC governors, who were to meet with him, to the caretaker committee on the eve of his departure to Belgium for the EU/AU summit.

The APC chairmanship position, we gathered, had been zoned to North-Central but was micro-zoned to Niger, Benue, and Plateau states since the previous NWC positions were occupied by Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa states.

That zoning arrangement, it was gathered, automatically eliminated aspirants for the chairmanship position from those states including Senator Al-Makura and Saliu Mustapha, both of who have made strong claim for the seat of chairman.

Our sources said that it is for this reason the North-Central governors are presenting the former governor of Benue State and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, as their preferred candidate in the zone.

Based on this unwritten understanding, our party sources said the governors are finding it difficult to concede to the wishes of the president that Senator Al-Makura becomes the national chairman of the party.

“The inability of the governors agreeing with the president had made the president not to have audience with them,” a source said. The source also frowned at the excesses of the governors, wanting to determine who gets what on the political sharing table.

“Every governor wants to become a president or a vice president and this is what has brought disagreement in the fold.

“They think the only way they can achieve this is to decide and determine who becomes the national chairman of the party.

“APC national chairmanship is not for the North-Central alone, therefore should not be left with governors in the zone.

“The argument that the national chairmanship should come from a state without a sitting APC governor is a defeatist argument, as every state aspires to have APC governor.

“The party should come to a point where decisions especially those who occupy the NWC should not be made by the governor alone.”

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