Buhari, Intrigues, Govs’ Maneuverings Hamper APC National Convention

  • Party cites inconclusive congresses in four states
  • Buhari, governors agree on February date

BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – Deference to President Muhammadu Buhari, intrigues, and obvious maneuverings by the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) have been advanced as reasons behind the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)’s inability to organise its national convention before the end of 2021 as initially planned.

Officially, the party says the shelving the exercise to next year’s February is due to the protracted crises in Anambra, Zamfara, and other state chapters; and obvious logistic challenges.

Also added to the list of pressing issues that make it unsuitable to host the Convention are preparation for the Christmas and New Year festivities as well as internal plans for the June 2022 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State.

This is as the PGF meeting chaired by its Chairman and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, expressed satisfaction and passed a vote of confidence on one of its own, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, for ably steering the affairs of APC Caretaker/Convention Committee (CECPC).

Putting the decision to postpone the Convention in perspective, Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, claimed that party stakeholders conceded to President Muhammadu Buhari the honour of picking a date for the convention as the defacto APC leader.

A tripartite meeting involving the President, the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), led by Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, and National Caretaker Committee held at the Presidential Villa over the Convention, resolved to hold the exercise in February 2021 but stopped short of mentioning any specific date.

Bagudu, who explained the shift in the initial time frame given to the Caretaker Committee, told State House correspondents that it would have been difficult going ahead with incomplete congresses in four states of the Federation.

According to him; “Yesterday, November 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 the national convention of the party and they mandated us to come and discuss with the President as the party’s leader to give the input 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 and the President should graciously consider February, and the President is favourably disposed to the suggestion.”

On the PGF’s meeting, Governor Bagudu 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 more unity and progress as a result of the forthcoming convention.”

Vote of confidence

The PGF meeting was also hands-on in passing a vote of confidence and expressing satisfaction with the APC National Caretaker/Convention Committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, saying; “The Progressive Governors Forum met at the Kebbi State Governor’s lodge. Among issues discussed were good governance and other issues considered developmental in the polity.

“We passed a vote of confidence on the caretaker committee that has done a wonderful job, chaired by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and two other governors who are members of the committee.

“We appreciated their conduct of the congresses that took place in both wards and local governments as well as the state congresses and the efforts they have been making to ensure that anybody who is aggrieved or feels dissatisfied is respected and invited.

”Such individual is invited and calmed down and urged to support the party. Sometimes electoral processes are not without annoyance, but we are happy with the conduct of the caretaker committee”.

The governors were however silent on the zoning arrangement for party offices at the national level and the 2023 presidential election.

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