From Romanus Ugwu and Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has approved a six-month extension for the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee.
It also approved the dissolution all states, zonals and national party structures as well as the expulsion of former national vice chairman (South-south), Ntufam Hilliard Eta, for failure to withdraw the court case he instituted against the caretaker committee.
Kaduna Governor, Nasir el-Rufa’i, who briefed journalists alongside Governors Hope Uzodimma (Imo) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), flayed call for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over security challenges.
El-Rufai said: “NEC condemns in very strong terms, the call by the PDP leadership and some of their cheer leaders for the resignation of Mr. President. NEC observes that security challenges though regrettable can only be addressed when all interest, civil and military, governments and opposition, security forces and indeed all citizens collaborate irrespective of party affiliation. This is not the time to politicise security.”
Throwing more light on the dissolution of party organs, Akeredolu said: “The NEC at its meeting approved the dissolution of party organs at the polling units, wards, local government, states and zonal levels as well as the non-NWC members. As clearly stated, also the composition of the dissolved EXCOs to serve in their respective offices in a caretaker committee capacity until we complete party registration and conduct congresses.”
On if there was provision for another extension should the caretaker committee not complete its assignment in six months, Akeredolu said: “We have good reasons to extend the live of the caretaker committee. As you are aware, we had put in place caretaker committee and within those six months, we have had serious engagements, the elections in Edo and Ondo states. We were looking forward to the work being completed in six months but with all that they had to cope with, it became clear that we had to extend theirmandate. I can assure you they will complete this mandate within this period. Again, we don’t have so many things that will intervened like COVID, EndSARS and so. Barring all these, we are sure they will complete their task in six months.”
On allegation that decision to give waver for new entrants to contest elections was targeted at certain politicians, El-Rufai replied: “Politicians are trained to look for conspiracies in everything; for those of us that have the opportunity to run government, every policy decision you take has winners and losers, you can never please everybody.”
Uzodinma said it was an incentive which will allow new members and all intending members who will want to run for elections to join the APC.
Meanwhile, Eta has described the decision of the party’s highest decision making body to expel him as an action in nullity as he told Daily Sun on telephone that he would seek legal redress.
He argued that the acting national secretary, John James Akpanudoedehe has no power to convene NEC.
“My expulsion is a matter for the court to decide…I am already in Court. The lawyers amongst them should have told them that they can’t make that pronouncement since I am in court.
“Their action is a nullity because it isn’t even the NEC of the party that met. Their so called acting national secretary has no power to convene NEC,” he noted.
Reacting to the dissolution of the national and zonal executives, Enugu APC State Chairman and the Secretary, Forum of State Chairmen, Dr. Ben Nwoye, said it was in the good interest of the party.