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Nigeria: Governing APC Sets February 19 as Tentative Date for National Convention

There are indications that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has tentatively settled for Saturday, February 19, 2022, as the date for its national convention. A competent party

There are indications that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has tentatively settled for Saturday, February 19, 2022, as the date for its national convention.

A competent party source hinted at this development at the weekend, saying although the date has not been communicated to other party members and stakeholders, it was however agreed to at the highest level of the party to hold the national convention on February 19, 2022.

The party leadership, THISDAY gathered last night, has also resolved, albeit with the consent of President Muhammadu Buhari, to zone the national chairmanship of the party to the north, while the national secretary has been moved to the south.

Also, in what seemed like borrowing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) template, the APC leadership has also agreed to swap positions of the sacked Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee of the party between the North and the South.

This, notwithstanding, the party leadership has remained silent on the presidential ticket, because according to sources, it was not yet a prerogative of the party.

In the same breath, some eleven national chairmanship aspirants of the APC have agreed to meet this Thursday, December 16, to brainstorm on how to move the APC forward ahead of the national convention.

However, on the choice of February 19 as the party’s best bet for the convention, THISDAY source hinted that since the primary election for the Ekiti State governorship election might likely be held around January 22, the party did not want the aftermath of the exercise to drag into the convention activities.

In other words, depending on the possible controversy that might trail the Ekiti governorship primary, especially, if there was a need for a rerun, the February 19 remained tentative as it could go a week before or after, technically.

Besides, since the original four-year-term of the sacked Oshiomhole NWC was meant to end in February, the date therefore fits the party’s calendar for the national convention to elect new NWC members.

Consequently, the president was said to have approved the zoning of the chairmanship to the north, while the national secretary of the party has been zoned to the south.

But the party leadership has deliberately avoided the presidential arrangement within the party or whether or not the party zoning arrangement would inform the zoning of the presidential ticket of the party.

In a related development, the chairman of the Annual Public Lecture Summit of the APC Press Corps, Mr. Babatunde Ayeni, has said the event slated for 16th December, 2021, would be chaired by the Chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.

Ayeni, in a statement issued yesterday said, the annual public lecture with the theme: “Towards Ensuring Enduring Democracy”, was a platform designed by the APC Press Corps to contribute to the intellectual development of the nation’s democracy.

Ayeni noted that a chieftain of the party and the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, would deliver a keynote address titled: “APC Beyond 2023: The Tasks Ahead – The Role of Stakeholders.”

According to him, “The summit aims at providing workable templates for good governance and serves as a medium for deepening democratic norms and institutions by engaging key players in politics, public administration, academia, and economy.”

Ayeni noted that reports and recommendations from the lecture would be made available to the party and interested members of the public, adding also that the summit was designed to avail all the national chairmanship aspirants the opportunity to share their views, present their plans and programmes on how to move the party forward.

The eleven chairmanship aspirants includeed former Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Mr. Saliu Mustapha; former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Tanko Almakura; former governor of Borno State, Senator Alimodu Sheriff; the lawmaker representing Niger East in the Senate, Senator Mohammed Musa;former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari and former governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda.

Others are the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume; former Borno State governor, Senator Kashim Shettima; former governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje, Mr. Sunny Moniedafe, and Mohammed Etsu.

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

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