A member of the national caucus of the All Progressives Congress who pleaded anonymity has disclosed on Sunday that APC would hold its national convention in October, adding that with the numerous problems from membership registration, and other crisis in state chapters of the party, the national convention cannot be held earlier than October.
Last June, Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee was dissolved, the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Committee was constituted, and the caretaker committee was given six months to conduct the party’s national convention.
On December 8, 2020 the tenure of the caretaker committee was extended in order to allow for membership registration. TOS learnt that there was a plan to extend the tenure of the Buni-led caretaker committee again and those pushing for the extension based it on the fact that the panel had yet to conclude the data capturing required in order to finalize the membership registration and revalidation.
It was also gathered that the issue of logistics would also be a huddle as the President Muhammadu Buhari had insisted that public funds should not be used to fund party activities. Some members who were against the tenure extension said the additional time would weaken the image of the party.
It was also learnt that although consultations were still ongoing about the zoning formula, multiple sources within the party hierarchy confirmed the party’s plan to commence the sale of forms for the various party offices by the end of June.
The member of the party’s national caucus said, “To be realistic, if we want to do a thorough job like I’m sure we want to, we cannot hold this convention before October.
“As we speak, we are still processing the raw data collected from the states after the just concluded membership registration and revalidation. We need to have the database which is required for the national membership register.
“If you recall, that was what our party was doing in Lagos in 2014 or thereabouts when the DSS (Department of State Services) under the Jonathan administration disrupted it. This whole exercise is designed to rebuild and update the database.
“You also have the issue of the ongoing reconciliation of party leaders and members across board. No party member would want us to enter into the convention with a divided house. To the best of my knowledge, members of the Buni-led committee are eager to conclude their assignment and move on but they cannot leave their job half done. That is where we are.”
An Enugu State chieftain of the party, Osita Okechukwu, who spoke about the possibility of the convention holding in June, said fresh evidence available to him indicated that the issue of logistics had yet to be fully sorted out.
He said, “Logistics is still a major factor. I am aware that Mr President has made it clear to all party members that under his watch, public funds would not be used to fund party activities. President Muhammadu Buhari is a stickler for respect for the rule of law and adherence to financial regulations.
“The party must look within to generate funds to fund its activities; this is a major factor. I am however confident that the caretaker committee under the leadership of Governor Mai Mala Buni remains committed to delivering its mandate.”
Spokesman for party supporters, under the support of Concerned APC Members, Abdullahi Dauda, said, “We have known from the very beginning that this delay tactics will stretch to this time. The committee was initially given six months to reconcile aggrieved members and convene a national convention but the committee added another function to its original mandate.
“The registration of members was not part of their mandate; they included it and got another six months. We can only wait to see what they want to do this time after the second six months expires.”
Recall, the pioneer Interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, had warned the committee against yielding to the temptation of sitting tight.
Akande said, “Please, permit me to make two observations. The first is that in normal circumstances, a caretaker executive committee for a political party is an abnormality. If not carefully controlled and expeditiously managed, most aberrant authorities end up in contempt and disgrace.”