APC February Convention Uncertain As Crises Persist In States
The much anticipated national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may not hold in February owing to multiple crises in many state chapters of the party which the national reconciliation committee set up by the party has been unable to resolve, Daily Independent has gathered.
President Muhammadu Buhari last month granted approval that the convention should hold in February following recommendations by the Progressive Governors Forum. However, no specific date and venue has been announced for the convention almost a month after the president gave the approval.
Some chieftains of the party had told Daily Independent that unlike the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that announced a specific date (October 30 and 31) for its national convention and successfully conducted the exercise on that date, the APC is uncertain that its convention will hold in February, but only made the announcement to douse tension among party stakeholders.
According to them, concerns among party members that the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State is planning to stay in office until June 2022 so as to finish the term of Adams Oshiomhole, the former national chairman, made the APC governors to quickly announce February as the month the convention will hold.
In September, the party setup a National Reconciliation Committee headed by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, former Nasarawa State governor, to reconcile members who were aggrieved by the outcome of the party’s congresses.
Other members of the committee are Otunba Moses Adeyemo, former Oyo State deputy governor (Secretary), and Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Inter Governmental Affairs; Sullivan Chime, former Enugu State governor; Ali Saad Birnin kudu; Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, former Speaker, House of Representatives; Alh. Suleiman Argungu; Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule and Dr. Mrs. Beta Edu.
Like the former national reconciliation committee headed by Chief Bisi Akande which could not do anything tangible before its disbandment, Daily Independent gathered that the Abdullahi Adamu-led committee has not been able to achieve much since its inauguration in October.
A chieftain of the party, who is also presidential aide, said, “Even though we don’t expect a total reconciliation, we expect the national reconciliation committee to have at least 80 percent success before the convention can hold. But that seems an impossible task given the fact that December is coming to an end and we only have January next year before the convention will hold in February.
“By now, I expect the party to have announced a date and put in place convention committee but that has not been done. I want to believe they want the reconciliation committee to finish its job and submit its report before doing that”, he said.
Another credible source informed Daily Independent that the reconciliation may not be achieved given the ego battle between some state governors, ministers and former governors.
“I don’t expect any reconciliation in Kwara State. The Buni caretaker committee has recognised Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak as the leader of the party in the state and the party is firmly in his grip. However, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, who believed he facilitated the victory of APC in the state appears to have been pushed aside.
“In APC, any state where the party has a governor, the governor is automatically the party leader. But there are some exceptions like Lagos State where Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the party’s leader despite the fact that the party has a governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. I think that is what Lai Mohammed wanted in Kwara but the Buni-led committee recognised Governor AbdulRazak as the party leader. I don’t see how these two men and their supporters can reconcile.
“In Zamfara State, the national leadership has recognised Governor Bello Matawalle, who recently decamped from the PDP to APC as the party leader in the state. This has also not gone down well with the former state governor, Abdulaziz Yari, and a former senator, Kabiru Marafa. I also don’t see how the reconciliation committee can bring these men together before the convention”.
“Don’t also forget what is happening in Anambra between Senator Chris Ngige and Andy Uba as well as in Osun between Governor Gboyega Oyetola and his predecessor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. It is an ego fight and I don’t think there conciliation can achieve any thing. Even in Lagos, the home of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the national leader, there are factions in the party. I think only President Buhari who is the supreme leader can summon an enlarged meeting and talk to these gladiators. But unfortunately, the president is busy trying to achieve much in the little time remaining for him in office”.
In a related development, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, Chief Whip of the Senate, has urged the national leadership of the party to consider postponing the national convention slated for February.
The former Abia governor also appealed to the party to consider conducting the presidential primaries and election of National Working Committee of the party on the same day.
In a letter addressed to the national chairman, Kalu warned that holding the convention in February without sorting out the minor disagreements that arose during the congress would lead to implosion.