- Some All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains have raised an alarm concerning the party's upcoming national convention
- They alleged that there is a plot to achieve tenure elongation through the backdoor for current members of the party's National Working Committee (NWC)
- They questioned the NWC members’ role as supervisors and contestants in the convention
A report by This Day suggests that all is not well within the ruling APC despite the resolutions agreed to at the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party on Monday, April 10.
According to the report, not all stakeholders appear to be satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, with some chieftains of the party warning that the congresses and convention of the ruling party may be deliberately set up or frustrated in order to extend the tenures of executives of the party by subterfuge.
At the meeting, the NEC also granted a waiver that would enable the current party leadership to seek re-election while retaining their various positions.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, who chaired the technical committee set up by the party last week to review the tenure elongation issue, had cited Article 31(111) of the APC constitution, which states: “Subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee may in special circumstances grant a waiver to a person not otherwise qualified under if, in its opinion, such a waiver is in the best interest of the party.”
The NEC also approved the recommendation of the Lalong-led committee, which advised that in the event that there is a problem and the congress and convention becomes inconclusive, the party will ask the current leadership of the APC to remain in office, but in an acting capacity.
However, the approvals given by the NEC of the party may not have gone down well with some of its stakeholders.
According to them, the proposed congresses and national convention of the APC may be deliberately set up or frustrated to achieve tenure elongation through the backdoor.
The sources, who preferred to remain unnamed, said the approvals had a hidden motive – to sustain the one-year tenure elongation initially granted APC national and state executives.
Citing a memo by the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, which encapsulated the report of the Lalong committee and was approved by the NEC at its Monday meeting, the sources revealed that the national leadership of the party had anticipated certain circumstances that might make the decision to hold congresses and the national convention impossible to implement.
Oyegun, it was gathered, referencing the findings of the Lalong committee set up by him, had maintained in the memo that the February 27 decision of NEC neither violated the constitution of the party nor the Nigerian Constitution.
The fifth point raised in the memo by Oyegun, as approved by NEC, stated that the February 27 decision would be upheld in case of unforeseen contingencies arising from the congresses/convention.
The memo stated: “If for reasons of inability to fulfill constitutional and or legal conditions requisite for the conduct of a valid elective congress or convention, then the party may as a last resort leverage on the NEC resolution of February 27, 2018, which in our view is lawful in the circumstances.”
But a party source, who spoke on the issue, disclosed that the approved recommendation, also contained in the Lalong committee report, may become a trigger for disaster, especially if the proposed congresses and convention are not held or stage-managed.
“I suspect a plot to frustrate and subvert the congresses and convention, especially since waivers have been given to the NWC (National Working Committee) to supervise the exercise and re-contest in the intra-party elections.
“In such circumstances, those conducting and supervising the congresses and convention will either formulate rules to favour them as contestants or there may be no commitment to successful congresses and the convention. Which ever way, the exercise can be programmed to achieve tenure elongation through the backdoor,” he said.
Other recommendations approved by the NEC include a 21-day statutory notice for the holding of elective congresses and the convention to be given to INEC immediately; the current zoning formula for party offices be retained; requirements of Article 31(111) be waived in line with the provisions of Article (13,4(xv) to avoid disruptions in the management of party affairs at all levels; and all pending suits in respect of this matter be withdrawn.
Meanwhile, youths under the aegis of Younger Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (YSAPC) have called on Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to constitute a formidable team that will include them to help his reconciliation assignment in the ruling party.
They made the demand during a press briefing on Tuesday, March 13, in Abuja through one of the leaders, Dominic Alancha, on the outcome of their meeting.
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