By Ismail Omipidan and Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
There are indications that members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, who were looking forward to the party’s national convention this month, following the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria, may have to wait a while longer.
The crises rocking 10, out of the 36 states of the party’s chapters, have stalled plans for the convention, Daily Sun gathered yesterday.
“At the end of the delegates’ election, we had issues with about 10 states. And the president has insisted the issues should be resolved before we hold the convention. Unfortunately, the leadership of the party, in Abuja, is foot-dragging over the petitions that are already before them,” one of the party’s chieftains, disclsoed on Tuesday.
Daily Sun’s investigations, as at the time of filing this report, revealed that there was nothing on ground to suggest that the party would hold its convention any time soon.
In the event the party does not convene a national convention, more than two years after assuming power, the party would have violated its own constitution.
Article 25 (A)(i) of the APC constitution states that “the national convention of the party shall be held once, in two years, at a date, venue and time to be recommended by the National Working Committee and approved by the National Executive Committee, subject to the giving of the statutory notices to the Independent National Electoral Commission and, at least, 14 days notice given to members eligible to attend. “
But, the party has given various reasons in the past why it has not been able to hold a convention, chief among which was president Buhari’s absence.
APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, was optimistic that the party’s convention would hold soon and disclosed that the party would roll out plans for the convention next week.
“Now that president Buhari is back, we will perfect the arrangements we have put in place already and roll out the plans in the next one week,” Oyegun said.
In January 2017, the party’s spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, announced April 29, 2017, as the convention’s date in a statement.
He also said that the decision to ensure that the convention holds in April was taken at a meeting of the party’s NWC in January, and added that the NWC, which Oyegun chaired, also outlined processes leading to the national convention. It will commence with a congress to fill vacancies in the party’s structures across the country.
Again, shortly before Buhari’s return, barely few days to the party’s Delegates’ election, Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, during a joint APC NWC) and meeting of the governors of the party in Abuja, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, assured that the plans were underway to convene the party’s convention.