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The Progressives Governors Forum, on Tuesday in Abuja, said there was no plan to shift the national convention of the All Progressives Congress from March 26 despite the election timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The forum’s chairman, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, disclosed this to State House correspondents after leading some APC governors to a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, shortly before the President departed for Nairobi, Kenya.
Shortly after INEC released the 2023 elections timetable, there were speculations that a section of the party was pushing for the postponement of the national convention to ensure that the election of party national executives and primaries hold on the same day.
But Bagudu told journalists that the March date will not change.
He said, “Last week, we were in this hall (Villa Briefing Room), about 20 APC governors, and this question came up, and we clearly said we came to discuss the national convention, which is slated for March 26 and are working hard to ensure that on March 26, we have our convention and elect our national officers and that remains the case.”
The Kebbi State Governor also debunked notions that the governors are still divided over the party’s direction regarding zoning and chairmanship.
“There is no altercation. As a body, the 22 governors of the APC are united behind the party and Mr President,” he said.
On the purpose of their visit, Bagudu explained that the governors, among other things, visited the President to congratulate him for signing the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the APC’s victory in some of the bye-elections conducted last weekend.
It was however learnt that APC governors from the South East protested the zoning of the office of the National Secretary to the South West, with Bagudu insisting that it was too late to amend the zoning formula.
The PGF chairman’s position notwithstanding, the South East governors, our correspondent learnt, are determined to air their stance to the party’s National Secretary, Dr John Akpanudoedehe, in a meeting of the APC governors expected to hold on Tuesday night.
Other Governors at the meeting with the President include Aminu Masari of Katsina, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Hope Uzodinma of Imo, Gboyega Oyetola of Osun, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Abubakar Bello of Niger, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, and the deputy governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke.
The Kebbi State Governor also debunked notions that the Progressive Governors Forum was still divided over the party’s direction regarding zoning and chairmanship after what appeared to be a heated disagreement among them as they emerged from the meeting with the President.
According to him, “There’s no altercation, I’m not aware of any. Mallam Nasiru (Kaduna State governor), again last week, answered that look, if by altercation people are talking about differences of opinion before a decision is arrived at, then maybe, that is what people can…but as a body, the 22 governors of APC are united behind the party and Mr President.”
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.