Following a change in the date for the 2023 general election announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), there are new plots by certain interests within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party to launch in the campaign for the postponement of its national convention scheduled for March 26, 2022.
According to INEC, the notice of election in its offices in the country would be published on February 28 while political parties have from April 4 to June 3, 2022 to conduct their primaries and ensure the resolution of disputes arising from the exercise. .
The APC had postponed its national congress three times before settling on March 26, 2022.
After two postponements in 2021, the Extraordinary Guardian Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Governor Mala Buni, which had previously set itself for February 26 for the much-talked-about party exercise, then agreed of March 26.
Plan gathered that the development however divided the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) on whether the March 26 date should be adjusted or left as is, even if the governors forum plans to hold another meeting with the President Muhammadu Buhari this week during the new INEC calendar.
At the scheduled meeting with the president this week, a reliable source said a decision would be made on whether another date would be set for the party’s national convention or stick to March 26.
The source said, “I am aware that APC governors will be meeting with the president between Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss this new timeline for the party’s primary elections and to make a decision on the national convention.”
In addition, supporters of the new plot point to the new INEC timetable which obliges all political parties to hold presidential primary elections between April 2022 and June 3, 2022, as a reason to extend the life of the Buni-led CECPC. until the end. of May, when the national convention and the presidential primary election are scheduled to take place at the same time.
Two APC leaders who spoke with Blueprint on condition of anonymity said it would be a waste of time and resources to hold a national convention before March 26 and a primary election six or seven weeks after, hence the call for postponement.
One said: “There is no need to hide behind a finger anymore because the CENI has given a timetable when our presidential candidate should emerge, so why rush to the national convention? I think it will be wise to organize these exercises immediately to avoid waste of resources, time and the risk of gathering our members from all States in Abuja within two months.
“Our message is that our presidential candidate and the new National Working Committee (NWC) can emerge at the same time.”
The source said that his group of APC members, in the coming days, will make an official statement to the CECPC chair and leadership.
Another source, a senior ruling party official who corroborated the above position, called on the Buni-led interim APC leadership to fully focus on the emergence of zone leaders while a new date is set to align with the primary election between April and June. .
The source said: “It is now clear that providence has planned that the CECPC of Buni will eventually complete Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC’s tenure, however, we should work against this plan.”
Continuing, she said: “We will come out soon to sell this idea to our leaders on the need to rethink the new date (March 26) of the national convention. We have no hidden agenda rather than ensuring that our party remains stronger after this exercise and we believe that between now and May the interim committee can still resolve more crises, ensure the emergence of leaders of quality at our zonal levels and provide a stronger structure to new NOC members.
INEC warns against early campaigns
Meanwhile, INEC has warned political parties and aspirants to strictly adhere to the campaign start schedule for the 2023 general election, which begins 150 days before Election Day and ends 24 hours before Election Day. .
The chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, said this during a press briefing as he answered questions from reporters on Saturday to unveil the schedule and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election.
Yakubu said there was also the end time for campaigns which he said was 24 hours before the election.
“Allow me to take this opportunity to draw the attention of parties and candidates to the fact that the law provides clear and precise provisions for the commencement and termination of campaigns and that all Nigerians are bound to abide by the provisions of the law, including political parties and candidates,” he said.
He said any political party that operates outside of the deadlines set by the commission, particularly with regard to the nomination of primaries, should not nominate a candidate for the commission.
Yakubu noted that the deadlines were backed by regulations and guidelines that are in the 2022 election law.
“So we expect all political parties to comply. Any political party that fails to meet the deadlines set out in the schedule and schedule of activities, including the conduct of party primaries for nomination contestants, will not be expected to nominate a candidate for the commission “, did he declare.
According to the schedule and activity schedule for next year’s general elections, presidential and National Assembly elections would be held on February 25, 2022, while gubernatorial and state house elections would follow two weeks. later on March 11, 2022.
The calendar of activities and the INEC calendar foresee that the campaigns for the presidential and national assembly elections will begin on September 28, 2022, while those for the governorship and the state houses of assembly will begin on September 28, 2022. October 12, 2022.
According to the INEC, the conduct of party primaries, including the resolution of disputes, arising from the primaries would begin on April 4 and end on June 3, 2022.