The Guardian (Nigeria)
APC Postpones National Convention Over Zoning Worries, Others Insists On Conduct Of Congresses In Line With INEC Dictates
HE Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee ( CECPC) of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) has announced the indefinite postponement of the party’s national convention early planned for October this year.
In a letter dated July 6, 2021 to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, with referenced number APC/ NHDQ/ 19/ 021/ 39, the CECPC informed the commission of its intention to postpone the convention.
The letter, which was jointly signed by CECPC chairman, Mai Mala Buni and Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, stated: “We refer to our letter reference n u m b e r APC/ NHDQ/ INEC/ 19/ 021/ 20 dated 10th June, 2020 on the above subject and wish to inform the commission that the party has rescheduled its congresses and national convention to a later date, which will be communicated to you.
“This serves as a final notification pursuant to the provision of Section 85 of the Electoral Act ( 2010) as amended.”
Although the APC leadership did not disclose reasons behind the indefinite postpone
ment, The Guardiangathered that certain contentious issues, particularly zoning of national offices and the 2023 presidential ticket of the party were behind the move.
The postponement comes against the background of apprehensions within the CECPC that controversies over the zoning of the APC presidential slot for the 2023 general elections could plunge the party into fresh crisis.
It would be recalled that during the recent multiparty 17 Southern Governors’ meeting in Lagos State, the state governors resolved that the 2023 presidential slot should be zoned to the
South for fairness and equity.
But, sources within APC disclosed that the Southern Governors’ stance exacerbated the zoning controversy, with some of the Northern governors alleging that the pronouncement amounts to be a clear blackmail against the party leadership.
However, a chieftain of APC, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, rebuffed insinuations that that the ruling party was at loggerheads over zoning, saying, “to the best of my knowledge, the deferring of the dates of congresses and national convention has nothing to do with zoning.”