The National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday got the nod for an indefinite extension of its tenure.
The tenure extension followed a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni-led committee at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The panel will cease to function upon the conduct of the party’s more crucial national convention for which no date has yet been fixed.
But the ward, local government and state congresses of the APC will kick off on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the ward level, according to a time table released last night by the CECPC.
The local government congresses will follow three weeks later on August 14 and the state congresses on September 18.
There was no mention of a date for the national convention.
Secretary of the committee, Dr.John Akpanduoehehe, said in a statement that the APC National Executive Committee (NEC), at its last meeting, conferred on the CECPC the power of the National Convention in line with powers provided in Article 13.3 of the Party’s Constitution.
He said the President granted the approval after detailed consideration of the progress report, the schedule of outstanding activities with regards to congresses, the national convention and the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election.
He said the tenure of the caretaker committees at the ward, local government, state and national levels will end immediately elections are held and the executive councils inaugurated.
He said Buni presented to the President a report on the activities of the committee and informed him that during the period under review, the APC recorded an overall success rate of 95 per cent in elections contested by it.
He said the committee also succeeded in forging peace among aggrieved members by “giving all issues and every aggrieved member fair hearing and objectively placing party interests above individual interests.”
Mala was quoted as saying: “Buoyed by the CECPC transparent and objective approach to the problems that bedeviled the party and the renewed confidence and trust in the party, aggrieved individuals and groups who either left or sued the party in various courts, willingly accepted reconciliation and withdrew all litigations against the party.
“With your excellent leadership roles for the party, we are witnessing high-powered defections including serving governors from the PDP to our great party. It is also interesting that the fortune of the party in the last year has greatly improved across the country, and especially in the South-East, which has been the stronghold of the opposition.”
“I am pleased to state that the party is now more peaceful, more accommodating, and more united with greater prospects than when we came on board.”
On the just concluded nationwide membership registration, revalidation and register update exercise, Buni said the committee was able to establish the numerical strength of the party as provided by the party constitution and help strengthen the party’s planning processes for congresses, conventions and general elections.
Over 40 million members, according to him, were either registered as new members or revalidated their membership with the party.
The CECPC National Chairman further informed the President that the Committee has set up a Registration Appeal Committee to hear matters arising from the exercise to ensure that no member is left out.
He also informed the President of newly set up committees to reposition the party, including Sensitization and Mobilisation Committee on Youth, Women and People Living with Disabilities, which contributed tremendously to the success recorded in the nationwide membership registration, revalidation and update exercise.
“A Contact and Strategy Committee was constituted with a clear mandate to meet with all party stakeholders in every state to come up with a generally acceptable and people-based template for the smooth conduct of the Congresses and Convention.”
On the party Constitution Amendment/Review, Buni said the committee constituted to look into ambiguities and loopholes to check unnecessary litigations and promote internal democracy has concluded its assignment after conducting public hearings in all the six geo-political zones with 500 memoranda received from party members.
Besides, Buni said, the CECPC has taken over the ownership of the building housing the APC National Secretariat and approved the naming of the the National Secretariat after Buhari.
Buhari said at the meeting that the party must espouse transparency and adhere to democratic principles to survive.
He spoke of his desire, as well as that of other leaders of the party to leave a legacy of transparency behind. He asked party members to support the CECPC in consolidating the achievements of the party.
Said he: “Now the hard fact: I call on all members to continue to support the Caretaker Extraordinary Conversion Planning Committee as they are set to commence the concluding and the most critical aspect of their assignment: the task of consolidating on all the achievements that we have so far recorded is for all of us, to which we all must be committed.
“You must remember that we all want to live behind a legacy of transparency and adherence to the democratic principles, which the party and the country need to survive and prosper.”
Buhari hailed the committee for reviving, energising and repositioning the APC for its national convention and future elections.
His words: “With the work done by the committee, the party has bounced back to life.
“We are all living witnesses to the crisis that engulfed our great party, leading to multiple litigations and series of defections from the party, which unfortunately presented a feature of selfishness and division.
“At some point, members doubted how you are going to face the country in a general election with such a mindless behaviour.
“It is gratifying to note that with the coming of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and its effective management of the affairs of the party and the pursuit of its mandate, the fighter has bounced back to life and the National Secretariat of our party has once again become a beehive of activities, as it used to be in the good old days before the crisis.
“I wish to assure you that your committee will continue to enjoy my support and that of other stakeholders to ensure that the conduct and outcome of the congresses and National Convention are done in a manner that conforms with our desire to leave indelible footprints of all-round development and a lasting legacy for future generations.”
The President assured the committee that it would continue to enjoy the support of all party stalwarts and members to complete its assignment with the actualization of the national convention and leave an indelible footprint.
At the meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong.
Others were Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el’Rufai; Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola and Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello.
The Caretaker Committee was inaugurated on June 25, 2020 in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomole led National Working Committee (NWC).
It was initially billed to operate for six months.
Its tenure was first extended for six months last December by an emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The Caretaker Committee met on Wednesday to review its activities and consider inputs from state governors elected on the party’s platform for the purpose of working out a time table for its congresses.
Friday’s meeting was a follow up to Wednesday’s
It is expected that the party’s caretaker committees at all levels will give way to the executive councils that will emerge during the local government, state and zonal congresses.
Senator Nwaoboshi defects to APC
Forty-eight hours after his suspension by the Delta State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi, on Friday joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Nwaoboshi’s defection showed that the effort of the APC CECPC was yielding fruit.
He was introduced to Buhari and the CECPC by Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege.
In suspending Nwaoboshi on Wednesday, Delta State PDP spokesman Ifeanyi Osuoza said the action was necessitated by the “recent romance with an opposition party, verbal recklessness and unprovoked utterances of the lawmaker, particularly against the person of the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.”
Nwaoboshi had dismissed his suspension as satirical, hurriedly done, and a laughable caricature.
He said: “Curiously, this irrational, laughable, illegal and unconstitutional action of this bunch of alarmingly anti-democratic forces masquerading as the State Working Committee is against the principles of fair hearing as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution; a document that supersedes all other documents.”