The Guardian (Nigeria)

APC Postpones National Convention Over Zoning Worries, Others Insists On Conduct Of Congresses In Line With INEC Dictates

- From Leo Sobechi and Adamu Abuh, Abuja

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.”

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