By Uche Amunike
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention has finally been slated for March 26, in spite of the seemingly unending crisis that has rocked its boat in recent times.
In the last 24 hours, different dates have been announced, both for the APC National Convention and the Zonal Congresses, thereby, giving the impression that critical APC stakeholders did not reach a consensus on time.
Speaking to Newsmen at the National Secretariat in Abuja, the Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John Akpanudoedehe stated that sale of forms to prospective aspirants gunning for positions in the National Working Committee (NWC) will take place on March 9 and 11, 2022, while the inauguration of newly elected officers will be for March 31 and Zonal Congresses for March 12.
His words: ‘After deliberation and agreement with the CECPC, we have agreed and approved that activities of the national convention commence from March 24 and terminate on March 26. The convention activities commence on February 24 and will terminate at Eagles Square on March 26. In between the convention, we have agreed to have zonal congresses,’ he said.
The APC National Convention was earlier fixed for Saturday, but the party informed the Independent National Electoral Commission of it’s decision to hold its Zonal congresses, March 26.
In a letter addressed to the INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu and jointly signed by CECPC Chairman, Mai Mala Buni and Akpanudodehe, they submitted that the decision was in furtherance to Article 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended and in compliance with Section 12.6 of it’s constitution. It was however not specified in the letter when the APC National Convention would be conducted.
This development was as a result of the proposed conference between President Buhari and APC governors on the zoning of party positions and probable agreement on the date for the convention.
The latest position taken by the party which gave a general impression that the Buni-led committee pointedly wanted to hold on to their position succeeded in splitting party stakeholders.
On his part, one of the party chieftains Mr Yekini Nabena who was in full support of the position taken by the committee and maintained that Buni should not be forced into taking an action that will favour the interest of self-centered members of the party.
He warned some party stalwarts who he described as ‘fifth columnists’ to desist from undermining the national leadership, even as he condemned such acts of insubordination and sponsorship campaigns of calumny against the national leadership.
He also opined that the APC leadership had identified some ministers and governors allegedly behind setting unwarranted Media attacks against the Buni-led committee.
Hear him: ‘I appeal to our leaders at all levels to trust the CECPC leadership and eschew every form of action that will portray APC in a bad light.
“Those sponsoring fifth columnists against the APC chairman and the party leadership are like political vultures who feed on dead meat but currently there are no dead meats for them to eat’.
‘The party leadership knows them and at the appropriate time, actions will be taken against them according to APC constitution.’
Mr Sunny Sylvester Moniedafe, who is a chairmanship aspirant, stated that he was in support of the decision of the party, while noting that as long as all stakeholders were carried along by the party leadership, he had no objections whatsoever.
The APC Rebirth Group, led by comrade Aliyu Audu, however described the decision to carry out zonal congresses as alien to the party’s constitution and further stated that it was a part of the calculated attempt brother caretaker committee to make their tenure longer. He likened it to a case of abuse of power and reign of impunity while stressing that Buni will stop at nothing to destroy the party.
The group called on president buhari to intervene in the issue and save the party from destruction.
Hear them: ‘Buni and his CECPC have shown unpardonable deceit, incompetence, disregard for the President, disrespect for the party constitution and blatant abuse of power and privileges. It is, therefore, time for the committee to be disbanded immediately to salvage the party and our hard-earned democracy’.
‘If, for whatever reason, Buni and his CECPC are allowed to continue to run the party, in accordance with the dictates of their personal interests and hidden agenda, then the APC would have betrayed the sacrifices all party members and other well-meaning Nigerians made to entrench progressive governance and democracy in the country’.