by Aljazirah news | November 23, 2021 6:09 am
After months of speculations and agitations, the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, has finally been fixed next February to hold its national convention.
This came barely eight hours after a nocturnal meeting of the governors elected on the party’s platform Sunday night in Abuja.
Chairman of Progressives Governors Forum, PGF, and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, had hinted after the meeting that they would seek an audience with President Muhammadu Buhari to fix a date for the convention.
Hence, after a meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Bagudu on Monday told journalists they had agreed to hold the statutory event by February next year.
The meeting with Buhari was also attended by the Chairman of APC Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni, who is also the Governor of Yobe State, as well as Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State.
Bagudu, who was not specific on the exact date for the convention in February, said the convention was shifted because four states were yet to complete their congresses.
He said: “Yesterday, Nov. 21, the Progressive Governors’ Forum met, where we congratulated and thanked the Caretaker Committee for working so hard in leading the party. We also thanked the President for supporting them to deliver on their mandate.
“I also explained yesterday that the Progressive Governors’ Forum discussed the issue of national convention of the party and they mandated us to discuss with President Buhari as the party’s leader to present the inputs of the Governors so that the party and the President will consider.
“Part of the inputs we got yesterday was that we still have four states which are in the process of completing their congresses like Anambra; understandably because of the recent gubernatorial election, Zamfara and two others, because of logistic challenges and then, Christmas is around the corner and early January we will be very busy with Ekiti.
“So, the Governors, based on all these, suggested the party leadership and President Buhari should graciously consider February and the President is favourably disposed to the suggestion”.
The National Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said: “The Progressive Governors’ Forum after their meeting, has suggested February to the party and the President has concurred so we are going ahead to plan for the convention in February.
“Nigerians should expect unity and progress as a result of the forthcoming convention”.
On insinuations in some quarters that he might be delaying the convention to extend his tenure as the Caretaker Chairman of the APC, Buni said.
“Am I a jobless person who is always trying to extend his tenure; to do what? I have my primary responsibility as a Governor to go back to my state and carry out my primary responsibility.
“What I am here to do is ad-hoc and of course to reposition the party and that is exactly what we have been able to achieve”.
Recall that following the growing outrage in the party, some individuals and groups have urged Buni to conduct a national convention of the party.
One of such is APC Rebirth Group otherwise known as Concerned APC Stakeholders.
In a statement over the weekend, the group charged Buni to vacate the seat while the ovation was loud.
“We believe that it is high time Governor Buni conducted the convention and allow a new leadership to take over or allow those who are willing to do so take the centre stage”, the statement signed by the Convener of the group, Aliyu Audu, quoted.
It noted, it was high time Buni, who is also Yobe State governor, did so in order to douse the brewing acrimony in the party.
The statement which also congratulated the politician on the occasion of his 54th birthday added that the occasion presents the politician to write his name in gold if conducts the convention in the nearest future.
It also commended his stride as a politician of note for stepping up to the challenge of leadership at a period the party was going through what seemed like insurmountable.
“Indeed, his courage to accept that responsibility was commendable, and we thank him for his thoughtful decision.
“However, in the spirit of His Excellency’s birthday celebrations, which also represents a day for reflection, we call on Governor Mai Mala Buni to reflect on the journey of the APC as a party so far and to consider the present yearnings of the majority of the party members”, it stated.
It added that Buni has a chance to make history by being someone who prioritises the interest of the majority above self-interest and the general good above the good of a minority clique.
“Our wish is that history remembers him as someone who deepened Nigeria’s democracy by obeying the undisguised wish of the majority of our party members that yearn for a new leadership for APC.
“No one would say His Excellency has not done his best as the chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee. Party administration anywhere in the world is a demanding job that requires both energy and temperament.
“But this is the job that Buni has done for over a year and half, and we thank him for his service to the party.
In the same vein, it stressed that while the issue of legality or otherwise of Buni’s leadership of the party has not yet been decided, it noted that he would not await a judgement, either in his favour or against him, before doing the needful.
“In the spirit of his birthday celebrations, we pray that God would touch the heart of His Excellency to save all members and stakeholders of our progressive party the needless acrimony and strive that his continued stay as caretaker chairman of the party is causing us.
“As someone who has served and still serving the APC, both as a former secretary and now as a Caretaker Chairman, it is our believe that Governor Buni loves the party as much as any other patriotic members and would therefore hearken to the voices of reason calling on him to quit lest the party disintegrate as a result of his protracted stay”, the statement added.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the party and Director General, Voice of Nigeria, VON, Osita Okechukwu, has described the decision of the party leadership to hold the convention in February as a welcome development.
He said it would ensure a more united, harmonious and dynamic APC.
According to a statement signed by him yesterday, “His Excellency Buni led CECPC needs to bequeath the incoming EXCO a more United, Harmonious and Dynamic APC at the eve of crucial 2023 general elections”.
“Don’t forget that 2022 is the eve of general elections, which will be midwife by legislative, gubernatorial and presidential primaries”, it quoted, stressing. “A new EXCO needs seamless take off”.
“Rushing to a December 2021 national convention with a broken house is best avoided. Methinks the decision to fix our broken house is excellent”, it stated.
Source URL: https://aljazirahnews.com/finally-apc-to-hold-convention-february/
Copyright ©2022 aljazirahnews unless otherwise noted.