Wednesday, 11 April 2018

APC To Finally Hold Convention Before May 16 2018,Informs INEC

The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress has written a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission on its plans to hold congresses and convention across the country .

Investigations by one of our correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday showed that the letter was written to the commission on Monday .

A member of the National Working Committee of the party , who spoke with one of our correspondents, said the letter was sent to the electoral body immediately after the party ’ s National Executive Committee meeting, which was also attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice - President Yemi Osinbajo ( SAN ) , and governors elected on the platform of the party .

The source , who spoke on condition of anonymity , said the party decided to hold the convention before May 16 , 2018, because of the Ramadan .

He said, “We have sent a letter to INEC concerning the congresses and the convention we are planning to hold .

“While I will not disclose the proposed dates of the events because we want the commission to acknowledge our letter , but I can confidently tell you that we are determined to hold it before May 16 .

“We have checked the Islamic calendar and it showed that the Ramadan might start on that date .

“Due to stress associated with congresses and conventions , we don ’ t want our members to have difficulties attending or playing their roles in the events .”

Also , the party said only the National Working Committee , led by Chief John Odigie- Oyegun , that was constitutionally empowered to select members of the convention committee of the party .

The National Publicity Secretary of the party , Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi , stated this on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH , while responding to insinuations that there was power tussle between Odigie - Oyegun and a national leader of the party , Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, over the selection of members of the APC convention committee .

Abdullahi said he was not aware of any power tussle between the two leaders , adding that the party ’ s constitution was clear on who was empowered to constitute the committee .

He noted that the dates for the APC congresses would be fixed before the end of the week .

Abdullahi said, “The National Working Committee will fix the dates for the congresses as quickly as possible because we now have the mandate of NEC to proceed .

“So we are going to announce the dates as soon as possible. They will be announced probably before the end of this week .

“The party has not selected the members of the convention committee . We are still in the midst of that .”

When asked about the tussle between Odigie- Oyegun and Tinubu, the APC spokesman said, “None that I am aware of. You probably need to ask them . Look, the responsibility to constitute the convention committee is squarely placed in the hands of the National Working Committee , led by Chief John Odigie -Oyegun .

“That is the only organ of the party empowered by the constitution to set up the convention committee.

“But the NWC as a matter of courtesy to our leaders will need to get them involved saying what their input or opinion is . But that does not remove the fact that the primary responsibility to constitute the committee lies with the NWC.”

It was not clear on Tuesday whether Odigie- Oyegun would seek re - election at the proposed convention .

However , a former Governor of Edo State, Mr . Adams Oshiomhole ; a former Governor of Cross River State , Chief Clement Ebri; and a former Governor of Bayelsa State , Chief Timipriye Sylva, were said to be interested in leading the party .

The party had on Monday at its NEC meeting, granted waivers to all members of the party ’ s executive from the ward to national level the opportunity to remain in office and contest any position they want in the party .

Before the waiver was granted , the constitution of the party had stipulated that any member of the executive who wanted to contest any election must resign from his position a month before the election .

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