National Convention: APC Governors Propose Feb 26, Al-Makura, Musa Lead In Party Chair’s Race

Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Former Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State and the lawmaker representing Niger East, Senator Sani Musa are favoured by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress to emerge as the national chairman of the APC.

A top source in the party said while Al-Makura was being favoured by most of the governors, some strong forces in the Presidency and the Senate were backing Musa.

These came to the fore on Monday as the APC governors at their meeting in Abuja on Sunday agreed to hold the party’s national convention on February 26 and February 27, 2021.

However, the decision on the convention is subject to the final approval of the National Executive Committee of the party led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Electoral Act states that any political party planning to hold its national convention must inform INEC at least 21 days prior.

A top APC official said, “The governors have agreed on February 26 and February 27. So, this will be proposed to the President for approval.”

The PUNCH, however, learnt that the date could be shifted due to the fact that INEC would be conducting six by-elections on the same day.

According to INEC, the by-elections will hold in Akure North/Akure South Federal Constituency, Ondo State; Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency, Plateau; and Pankshin South State Constituency, Plateau.

Others are Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency, Cross River; Akpabuyo State Constituency, Cross River; and Ngor-Okpala State Constituency, Imo.

“The by-elections holding on February 26 may be a challenge but the governors are bent on having the convention in February. The issue now is that INEC needs a notice of 21 days. If the letter is sent to INEC on January 20, it means the election will be held in the second week of February but on February 12, the area council elections will be held in Abuja. So, you see it is dicey,” said a source.

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The APC governors announced after a meeting in Abuja in the early hours of Monday that the February date remained sacrosanct.

The, however, avoided announcing a particular date, saying the forum is only an organ of the party and, therefore, cannot announce a date on its own.

Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, disclosed this while addressing journalists

The meeting which began at about 9pm had in attendance all governors of the Forum except Aminu Masari of Katsina and Muhammad Yahaya of Gombe.

APC

Speaking after the meeting, Bagudu said, “The progressive governors met tonight to discuss numerous issues affecting the forum and member states and we acknowledged some of the achievements in the states and members of the forum as well as the President who visited Ogun and Borno states where he commissioned projects.

“We have had challenges in some states and we commiserated with them. We spoke about our unanimous appreciation for Mr President and especially the confidence he has in the forum.

“We also passed a vote of confidence in the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party chaired by Governor Mai Mala Buni and assisted by two other governors including Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; who have done an incredible job of running our party successfully, mobilising people into the party.”

The governor explained that the forum discussed the February national convention stating that it had unanimously agreed that it would hold in February; as opposed to speculations of an impending postponement.

He said, “We discussed our coming convention which you may recall, I had cause to address the press when we visited Mr President in November. We expressed that both Mr President and the party had agreed that the convention should take place in February.

“So we took inputs about the reviews and we noted all the misrepresentations in the press and sought to correct it.

“The Progressive Governors’ Forum is one united body as you can see evidently from the attendance. And our decision is unanimous. We are united behind Mr President and we thank him. And we are united behind the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.”

Asked what date in February the convention will hold, he said, “Yes, February is still realistic. But we are just one group of stakeholders. Our party respects institutions. It is the appropriate organ of the party, the National Caretaker Committee that will announce a date.

“We have agreed and they will announce a date in February. The announcement comes from the party. It is a party decision. There are other stakeholders that they are consulting with and to show respect and institutional limits, we are not going to overstep our bounds.”

In attendance were the Governors of Yobe, Mai Mala Buni; Borno, Babagana Zulum; Jigawa, Muhammad Abubakar; Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu; Niger, Abubakar Bello; Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai; Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi; Kogi, Yahaya Bello; Ogun, Dapo Abiodun; Zamfara, Bello Matawalle; Ebonyi, Dave Umahi; Osun, Gboyega Oyetola; Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Plateau, Simon Lalong; Imo, Hope Uzondinma; Nasarrawa, Abdullahi Sule, Cross River, Ben Ayade; Kwara, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje; and Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke.

Source: Punch

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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