APC Convention – Governors To Meet Monday Over New Date
POLITICS DIGEST- The All Progressive Congress (APC) governors will meet today on the fate of the party’s national convention date, a source revealed.
Having assured party members and the populace of holding a national convention on February 26, the Governor Mai Mala-Buni led Caretaker Committee is reportedly proposing a new date for the APC’s much-anticipated congress.
The caretaker committee is said to have proposed a ‘plan’ to present to President Muhammadu Buhari tomorrow Tuesday after reaching a conclusion today with the hope of postponing the convention to March 12, 2022,
A source who spoke on anonymity during the weekend told newsmen that aside from notifying the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Buni committee has taken no further steps towards having a convention in February as earlier scheduled.
No other steps necessary to show preparation for the convention has been taken by the caretaker committee, hence, the necessity for today’s meeting by the governors,” The Nations quoted the source as saying.
The source said to be close to the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), explained further that the meeting scheduled to hold today will prepare grounds for tomorrow’s meeting of the governors, members of the GovernorMai Mala Buni led Caretaker Committee with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
However, the meeting was supposed to hold last week but was postponed to enable the President to travel to Belgium for the European Union-Africa Union (EU-AU) Summit in Brussels.
The President, however, returned on Saturday and the caretaker committee is planning to have his consent on setting a new date for the convention.
Some governors are said to have disagreed over the development.
Part of the argument for the shift of date being proposed by the caretaker committee, according to reports, is the need to hold the zonal congresses to elect the zonal vice chairmen before the election of the members of the National Working Committee (NWC).
Another point raised by the caretaker committee is that the February 26 date coincides with by-elections in eight APC states.
As it stands, the party is divided over whether or not to go ahead with the convention as earlier scheduled but the Monday-Tuesday meeting will clear the air from all flying rumours over the convention.
Politics Digest gathered some Governors are accusing the Buni led caretaker committee of lack of commitments and has failed to unveil pre-convention activities, including zoning, sale of nomination forms, the inauguration of sub-committees and submission of forms.
Already, APC has wards, council and state executive committees in place. The party’s Directorate of Organisation had been directed to prepare a schedule of activities and budget for zonal congresses.
The date for the zonal congress, however, will be released after the party leadership has secured the nod of President Buhari on zoning and micro-zoning.
Another point of concern raised by the source was that apart from employing the zonal congress to buy more time, the caretaker committee is also making moves to perfect the consensus mode of electing new party leaders and flag-bearers for the 2023 general elections.
Having conducted congresses from the ward to the state level, the line of argument of the caretaker committee was that it will be proper to have zonal leaders of the party determined at their various geo-political zones for proper inclusiveness of party members,” the source reportedly said.
It added: “Hence, they (CECPC) will be proposing to Mr President the need for zonal congress before the national convention.”
Meanwhile, there are also speculations about a likely revolt against Buni.
Some governors are said to have threatened a boycott of today’s session in Abuja. While the development is yet uncertain, the consensus among governors was still on the ceding of the office of the national chairman to the Northcentral.
The fresh proposal to anoint a former Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara as chairman received “little backing” last night.
According to a source, who spoke in confidence, most APC governors were unhappy with the Caretaker Committee for its ding-dong attitude to the convention.
The source said the governors could not fathom why the caretaker committee was yet to raise sub-committees for the exercise.
The source said: “All is not well among APC governors over the convention because the Caretaker Committee is unwilling to stick to the agreed February 26 timeline. The committee wants to have its cake and eat it.
“Apart from funding, the Caretaker Committee has come up with an excuse that some off-season elections will hold on the convention date. It is contemplating a shift to March 12.
Most governors are, however, insisting on February 26 having got wind of a plot to drag the convention till July or August when presidential and other primaries will be conducted. The CECPC members wanted a two-in-one convention.
“There are fears that the shift in convention date was being designed to either favour some members of the CECPC or their cronies for elective offices, including presidential and governorship seats in 2023.
“All these factors have made today’s meeting compelling.”
A governor who spoke to newsmen on the ongoing crisis in the party said that today’s meeting is going to be a make or mar to break the jinx on the lingering convention.
The governor stated further that they will decide today either on going ahead with the convention or a slight postponement which according to him may be the last of such.
He said: “We heard rumours of a new convention date of March 12 but the CECPC has not made recommendations to the PGF. Governors are being turned into ball boys.
We now have pro and anti-convention governors simply because we can’t keep to an agreement on the date we chose because of 2023 ambitions.
“Left to some of us, we have had enough of CECPC unless the President decides otherwise. This is why there is tension among us.”
Meanwhile, another state leader is quoted to have mentioned that those planning to boycott Monday’s meeting have become desperate and trying to ensure that the PGF does not have the quorum after all.
They are afraid that governors may join issues with Buni and CECPC at the meeting,” the anonymous leader said..
Naija News learnt that many governors have insisted on an APC chairmanship slot for the Northcentral instead of the retention of the office by the Northeast.
Reports had it that the same anti-convention forces had come up with the choice of ex-Speaker Yakubu Dogara to “prop up a new issue which could cause fresh confusion in the party.”
Dogara is a good leader but his candidature is not flying because those behind it are mischievous.
“We had got to a point where some governors who didn’t know how APC was formed are trying to foist crisis on the party. They can’t eat their cake and have it,” a governor was quoted as saying.