Amidst controversy that has continued to stir disagreement amongst members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) party, the party has slated February 2022 as its National Convention date. Since June 2020 that marked the sacking of the National party chairman of the progressive, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the APC affairs was handed over to the caretaker committee led by the Yobe state Governor, Mai Mala Buni. In a manner that other members of the progressive tagged as illegal, there has been a move for the removal of the Buni lead Extra Ordinary caretaker Committee challenging its legality as a sitting Governor and as acting party chairman all at the same time.
In a dramatic manner, the National Secretariat of the APC was taken over by the police last week Wednesday when aggrieved members made an attempt to stage a protest demanding Buni to step aside.
Accordingly, the fixing of the February was announced by, Abubakar Bagudu, the Governor of Kebbi state, in his capacity as the chairmen of the progressive Governors Forum, the meeting which president Buhari witnessed.
Governors of Jigawa state, Yobe state and Ekiti state were all present during the meeting. Bagudu stated that his reason for fixing February next year was to give ample time to some states that are marred by controversy to settle their dispute as well as celebrations of yuletide in December.
The kebbi state Governor in his statement said, “The Progressive Governors Forum discussed the issue of the national convention of the party and they mandated us to come and discuss with the president, as party leader, to give the inputs of the governors so that the party and the president will consider in agreeing on a date for the national convention.
“Part of the inputs we got was that we still have four states, which are in the process of completing their congresses. Anambra, understandably, because of the election, Zamfara and two others that because of logistics challenges are yet to complete, and then Christmas is around the corner, and then early January will be very busy with Ekiti.
He added, So, the governors, based on all that, made an input that we think the party and the president might graciously consider February, and the president is favourably disposed, and I’m sure the party, because the chair of the caretaker committee was part of the delegation, he heard that, and I’m sure they will conclude between him and the president. But we have made the input of the governors known. It was favourably considered by Mr President,”
While making clarification, the Governor of Yobe state revealed that though no specific date has so far been chosen in February because the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) position has to be sorted for by the stakeholders.
Buni said, we have to consult widely, and part of the reasons why even the governors met yesterday, 20 of the 22 governours attended. So, it is in consultation to that effect. So, it is a well consulted, well thought out plan.”
One of the elders of the party disclosed that the date was deliberately fixed to calm nerves, saying, “It is expected that the Senator Abdullahi Adamu reconciliation committee would have concluded its work before then. By the time that is done, the party would be united.”
The Senate president who was also in attendance said, “You know that we have impending issues in our party. We have our congresses still to be conducted in a few states. And of course, going forward, how we’re able to reconcile the different shades of opinions that disagree in the party.
“We’re also very desirous of ensuring that the APC is so stable before the convention, ultimately, because we want our convention to be hitch-free. We want every member of this party who comes to attend the convention to do so with a clear mind that whoever becomes the chairman, for example, whatever leadership emerges is a leadership that has the respect of everyone in the party, because we want Mr President to continue to work with a solid and strong party, APC.” Ahmed lawan added.
However, a former Vice Chairman, South-South of the party insisted that the Buni committee as far as the law is concerned remain an illegal committee.
He said, “If they like, let them conduct the convention after the 2023 general elections, it will still not legalise their actions.”
Meanwhile, in his opinion, Osita Okechukwu, the DG Voice of Nigeria (VON) who is also a chieftain of the party said, the February slated was a good date for the party considering the issues on ground.