The leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party has announced the postponement of its special national convention which was to take place between Sunday and Monday. Sources within the party, however, told Saturday Telegraph that the planned series of events are now to be held between June 6 and June 7 amid internal tensions over whether or not to adopt a consensus method of choosing. the party’s presidential candidate.
Reached by telephone, the national secretary for publicity of the party, Mr. Félix Morka has however promised to get in touch with our correspondent as at the time of the filing of this report. Sources within the party also said the country’s incumbent president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, would be on the radar as a likely contender to emerge as the APC candidate.
A visit to Eagles Square, venue for the special convention by our correspondent in Abuja on Friday revealed that little or nothing has been done by leaders who suggest the event will be held there as planned. This comes just as it emerged that the screening of aspirants who purchased and returned nomination and expression of interest forms, which is a prerequisite for running the convention, had not yet begun at the time. of the filing of this report. Additionally, the National Party Convention Committee is said to have suspended its various activities designed for a successful event, as virtually nothing had been done by it at the time of this report.
The leaders who spoke to our correspondents expressed their desire to mobilize against the consensus method, which they describe as undemocratic and unfair to the many members of the party. Sources within the party told one of our correspondents on Friday that the party did not appear ready for the convention due to be held in Eagles Square, saying: ‘We need to put our house together first.’ According to the source who pleaded not to be named but very close to the national secretariat of the APC, “the problem we are facing now is not the conduct of the convention but the attempts made by certain elements within the party to impose a candidate on the party through the back door.
“As you well know, action generates reactions and our leaders are mobilizing to thwart their moves (consensus builders) in every way possible.” Another Borno state party leader also told our correspondent on Friday that the decision would trigger a crisis in the party, which would be very difficult to resolve before elections scheduled for next year. According to the source, senior party figures who also pleaded not to be named argued that such a decision should have been taken sooner to allow for proper reconciliation with aggrieved members. According to the leader, it would be unfair to force aspirants to move from one part of the country to another to sell themselves and their aspirations to delegates only to have their ambition terminated by a consensual agreement without subjecting them to popularity tests. The leader warned party leaders not to make decisions that would end up boomeranging.
There were plenty of indications that former President Jonathan was back on the radar of powerful elements within the APC who might be working clandestinely for his emergence as the party’s candidate. Experts say the Bayelsa-born former leader may actually be the reason for the APC’s lull ahead of its national convention.
Jonathan is currently playing a cat-and-mouse game with the party, prompting many to suggest that he is indeed interested in picking the party’s presidential ticket. He has been seen dating APC leaders as well as government officials as well as family members of President Muhammadu Buhari in recent times. Friday’s judgment of a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, dismissed the petition of some Nigerians challenging his eligibility to contest the poll, giving further credence to the speculation. The Presiding Judge, Judge Isa Hamma Dashen, in his judgment in a case marked as FHC/YNG/CS/86/2022, held that Jonathan’s right to run for President again cannot be stopped by no retroactive law.