Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has attributed the yuletide period and factional party crisis to why it couldn’t hold its National Convention this year.
APC noted this briefly after a tripartite meeting held on Monday, November 22 in Aso Villa.
Naija News reports that the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, on Monday while speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, announced that APC’s national convention will hold February next year.
According to Bagudu, a committee for the convention will be set up very soon.
The Kebbi State governor was in the company of the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni and the governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru when he made the declaration.
Explaining why the party could not go on with the convention this year like the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the ruling party said the postponement of the exercise till next year was due to the protracted crises in Anambra, Zamfara and other state chapters, logistic challenges, preparation by Christians for Christmas and the proposed governorship election in Ekiti State.
On his part, the party’s Chairman National Caretaker Committee, Mala Buni said there was also the need to concede to President Muhammadu Buhari the honour of picking a date for the convention, following consultations with party stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Bagudu had told reporters that incomplete congresses in four states contributed to the delay of the convention.
He said: “Yesterday, Nov. 21, the Progressive Governors’ Forum met, where we congratulated and thanked the Caretaker Committee for working so hard in leading the party. We also thanked the President for supporting them to deliver on their mandate.
“I also explained yesterday that the Progressive Governors’ Forum discussed the issue of national convention of the party and they mandated us to come and discuss with the President as the party’s leader to give the input of the governors so that the party and the President will consider.
“Part of the inputs we got yesterday was that we still have four states, which are in the process of completing their congresses like Anambra; understandably because of the recent gubernatorial election, Zamfara and two others, because of logistic challenges and then, Christmas is around the corner and early January we will be very busy with Ekiti.
“So, the governors, based on all these, suggested the party and the President should graciously consider February and the President is favourably disposed to the suggestion.”
Speaking further on the outcome of their meeting on Monday, Yobe State Governor said: “The Progressive Governors’ Forum, after their meeting, has suggested February to the party and the President has concurred. So, we are going ahead to plan for the convention in February.
“Nigerians should expect more unity and progress as a result of the forthcoming convention.”
Reacting to insinuations in some quarters that the convention is probably delayed to extend his tenure as the caretaker chairman of the APC, Buni said: “Am I a jobless person who is always trying to extend his tenure? To do what? I have my primary responsibility as a governor to go back to my state and carry out my primary responsibility.”
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