APC convention date shaky, party battles crises in 13 states
The ruling All Progressives Congress has yet to decide on the date for its national convention, The OUR SOURCE has learnt.
It was gathered on Tuesday that among the issues delaying the convention was the fact that the Anambra and Zamfara State chapters of the party had yet to conduct membership registration/revalidation as well as congresses.
The APC leaders, who confided in our correspondents, said multiple cases arising from the party’s state congresses contributed in no small measure to the uncertainty over the convention date.
Party members in no fewer than 13 states, where parallel congresses were held, on Tuesday, said they would not withdraw court cases they filed to challenge the congresses.
Other aggrieved members stated that although they did not file any suit, they expected party leaders to ensure justice in resolving the crises that arose from the congresses.
The APC had on July 31, 2021 held its ward congresses, followed by local government congresses on September 4, and state congresses on October 16.
It was gathered that the national convention, which was initially scheduled to hold in December 2020, was postponed till June 2021 after a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the party, which was presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on December 8, 2020.
The Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee was inaugurated in June 2020 and given six months within which to conduct the convention.
It was given an additional six months on December 8, 2020, which expired in June 2021. However, when this lapsed on June 26, 2021, another NEC meeting presided over by Buhari approved an indefinite timeline for the committee to achieve its objectives.
The new Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, shortly after his election at the party’s national convention on Sunday, mocked the APC over its inability to hold a national convention.
Ayu said the ruling party had produced 92 chairmen in the 36 states of the federation.
Sources in the APC said on Tuesday the party would not rush to hold its national convention and land itself in a bigger crisis.
“We have many things to resolve. It is after we have done those things that we can announce the date for the convention,” a party leader stated.
•• If we hold convention and leave out some states, they can go to court – National Secretary ••
The National Secretary of the CENCPC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said the party needed to tidy up some things before holding its convention.
For instance, he said the party had not conducted membership registration and revalidation in Anambra and Zamfara states.
Akpanudoedehe stated, “Go and look at our party constitution. If we hold our convention and exclude only one state, then someone can go to court and say they were left out.
“You know because of the Anambra State election, we did not conduct our membership registration and revalidation in Anambra.
“We did not do the same in Zamfara State too. We have to conduct these in the states before the convention. Every state must be carried along.
“There is no way you can exclude one state and say it is a valid convention. There are a lot of things we need to tidy up before the convention; congresses must be tidied up. Appeals must also be tidied up to guide the process of the convention.
“It is not because some people are agitating for a convention that we will rush to do something that will create more problems. This new car (APC) that we have bought, we cannot give it to a careless driver to go and crash it; we cannot.”
The national secretary also said unlike the PDP, the APC was not likely to hold zonal congresses.
When asked if the APC would hold zonal congresses, he stated, “You are bringing the PDP template. The APC doesn’t do zonal congresses; every national officer is elected from the state; if it is something that we will consider, we will let you know. It is not something we are considering; it is not what we do, but it is something to think about.”
On the issue of parallel congresses, the party scribe said, “I said it before and I want to repeat it, there is nothing like parallel congress in our party.
“The constitution spells it out so; Article 18 empowers us to hold congresses, as well as articles 19 and 20; that is the position of the party.
“We have a President in the person of Muhammadu Buhari, who is known worldwide as a respecter of the law. We also have a chairman, in the person of Governor Mai Mala Buni, a gentleman to the core, who equally insists on proper things being done; you cannot present illegality before these men and expect to succeed.
“We set up committees to go to states to conduct congresses, anything outside this, you are on your own; to even ask any question about the so-called parallel congresses is an attempt to destroy the APC.
“Any person or group within our party, who has an issue with the congresses, has an opportunity to seek redress at the level of appeal; that is why appeal committees were set up. Those who feel aggrieved one way or the other can take advantage of the Senator Abdullahi Adamu committee.
“You cannot do something outside the constitution and expect to succeed. I have said so many times that we are structured.
“I will repeat for the last time, anything outside what we have done in terms of ward, local government and state congresses is a nullity; that doesn’t mean where we have disagreements we will not intervene; that is why we have the Adamu committee.
“The APC is a family; we are bound to have disagreements among our family members, but we will reconcile ultimately; that is the beauty of our party that is progressively democratic.”
He also mocked the opposition PDP for saying it was prepared to defeat the APC come 2023.
“How can a party, while it was in power, one of its ministers bought a brassiere for millions of naira using public funds talk about beating a party, which is using public funds to rebuild the nation and restore hope?” Akpanudoedehe queried.
Aggrieved members of the party under the aegis of Concerned APC members, however, advised the party’s leaders to take a cue from the opposition PDP to conduct a convention that would restore its democratic credentials.
The spokesman for the group, Abdullahi Dauda, in a telephone interview in Abuja, on Tuesday, said, “We have no excuse not to have elected party leaders by now.
“We are the progressives, but recent actions and inactions have called to question our credentials; we need to have our convention sooner and not later than December this year.”