APC Hasn’t Notified Us Of Convention, Says INEC, Party Delays Form Sale

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The All Progressives Congress national convention may not hold in February as planned as the Independent National Electoral Commission has confirmed to The PUNCH that the APC has not informed the commission of any convention.

Section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act says, “A registered political party shall give the commission at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified under this Act.”

In a chat with The PUNCH, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, said the APC had not yet sent any notification. He, however, said the party still had time to do so.

He said, “Before any political party conducts its convention for the election of officers, it is required to serve the commission a 21-day notice as provided by Section 85 (1) the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). Between now and the end of February is more than the three weeks required by law.  Therefore, while the party has not served any notice yet, there is still time to do so.”

Two chairmanship aspirants told The PUNCH that the APC had not announced the sale of forms for all persons planning to contest positions of the National Working Committee.

One of the aspirants said on the condition of anonymity that he was fearful that forms would be sold secretly in order to scheme out some people.

He said, “Currently only Buni and his clique know what is happening in the party. There are 21 elective positions. So far, we are about 11 chairmanship aspirants alone. The APC has neither announced the sale of forms nor revealed the cost of the forms.

It is either they plan not to hold the convention next month or they are planning to sell forms to a few in order to deny others.”

Meanwhile, it was learnt on Thursday that the crisis rocking the party had shown no signs of abating. Apart from in Gombe State where Governor Inuwa Yahaya and Senator Danjuma Goje have agreed to bury the hatchet, about 11 other states including Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Akwa Ibom, Zamfara, Kano are still facing internal frictions.

Attempts to speak with the Spokesman for the APC, Senator John Akpan Udo-Edehe, proved abortive as he ignored repeated calls and three text messages.

Chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, after a meeting with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on November 22, 2021, said the President had approved February 2022 for the convention. However, no exact date was given.

Stakeholders demand progressive govs DG’s sacking, threaten protests

In a related development, stakeholders of the APC under the aegis of the APC Youth Development and Solidarity Forum have called on all governors elected on the platform of the party to sack the Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum, Salihu Lukman, with immediate effect.

They said they were ready to stage a massive nationwide protest if Lukman continued as DG of the PGF.

Their call came on the heels of an open letter authored recently by the DG and sent to party leaders, which he reportedly leaked to the media to achieve his “alleged objective of destabilising the APC.”

The group, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Tobias Ogbeh, noted that what Lukman had done was to practically provide reference materials for “a contrived PDP win in the 2023 general elections.”

The National Coordinator of the group, Chief Donatus Okereke, told journalists in Abuja that the party was clearly not ready for a national convention with the crises engulfing some state chapters, urging the national leaders of the party to ensure “proper and thorough reconciliation” before any national convention is staged.

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