Governors elected on the platform of Nigeria’s ruling party, the APC, met on Sunday evening and decided that the party convention should be held in February.
The APC has been unable to hold a convention and elect new national leaders since its former leadership, led by Adams Oshiomhole, was sacked in 2020. The party has since been led by an interim management committee led by Yobe State Governor Mala Buni.
At their Sunday meeting, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), an umbrella body of CPA governors, assured that the party’s national convention would be held in February.
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi and Chairman of the PGF gave the assurance when speaking to reporters after a closed meeting on Sunday evening in Abuja.
Bagudu, who did not give a specific date for the event, said the February date approved by President Muhammadu Buhari was sacrosanct and still feasible for the staging of the event.
He added that the APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), as the organ of the party, was in the best position to announce the precise date of the convention.
“We are a group of party actors and our party respects the institutions. The appropriate party body that will announce a date for the national convention is the CECPC,” he said.
Bagudu said the meeting passed a vote of confidence on the CECPC led by Buni and two other governors, Governor Muhammed Bello of Niger and Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun.
He noted that the governors had done an amazing job in leading the party successfully and had mobilized people into the fold of the party, saying the PGF was very pleased with their conduct.
“We discussed our next convention and you may recall that I had reason to speak to the press after our visit to President Buhari in November 2021, where the President and the party agreed that the convention would have place in February.
“We have taken information from the reviews and have noted any misrepresentations in the press which we are seeking to correct that the PGF is one body as you can clearly see from the attendance”, Bagudu said.
He explained that the decision of the forum was unanimous, adding that he was united behind the president and the interim committee of the party.
the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that there was immense pressure on the APC Buni-led CECPC to set a specific date for the party’s national convention following Mr Buhari’s approval that the event be held in February.
Some of the party’s key stakeholders had in recent weeks engaged the interim committee over the delay in announcing the exact venue and date of the convention.
Salihu Lukman, the chief executive of the PGF, recently called on committee members to resign if they were unable to lead the party’s national convention in February.
New members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) are expected to be elected at the convention to manage its affairs which are currently handled by the CECPC.
Among those present at the meeting were the Governor of Borno, Babagana Zulum; Jigawa, Mohammad Abubakar; Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; Niger, Abubakar Bello; Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai; Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi; and Kogi, Yahaya Bello.
Others were Governors of Cross River, Ogun, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Osun, Lagos State, Imo, Plateau, Kano State and Nasarawa.
Significance of the Convention
The APC convention is important for the party and Nigeria, as those elected at the convention will largely determine the direction the party takes in the 2023 general election.
The party has been in one form or another of crisis since it took power in 2015, defeating incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.
However, with President Muhammadu Buhari completing his second term, the party must now choose a different presidential candidate, a factor believed to be at the heart of the party’s failure to hold its convention.
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