APC aspirants push for postponement of national convention

From Fred Itua, Abuja

Aspirants vying for different positions ahead of the national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have urged the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to shift the Congress for the sake of peace, unity and success of the party in the 2023 general elections.

The Mai Mala Buni-led CECPC had fixed the national convention of APC for Saturday, February 26, amidst many controversies and court cases arising from the conduct of state chapter Congresses and intention to halt the Saturday’s exercise.

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Various wings, organs and stakeholders of the party had earlier advised Buni and his committee to sheath the proposed convention, but the Yobe Governor appears adamant to go ahead with the exercise, as planned.

The ‘Forum of Aspirants for 2022 National Convention’, in a strong-worded letter of advice to Governor Buni and his committee on Saturday, urged him to “critically examine the various agitations in different states of the country”, adding that, “the feelers are not pleasant, and with the benefit of hindsight, it would indeed spell doom if the party goes ahead with the national convention under such circumstances.”

The open letter, which was signed by Maxwell Yakubu Gowon, an aspirant for the position of national youth leader and chairman of all aspirants forum, and Mohammed Bala Mohammed, an aspirant for national secretary who also doubles as secretary for the Forum; also faulted the Senator Abdullahi Adamu report, which they described as worsening situations in the party, rather than proffering solutions.

Part of the letter reads: “We note with excitement how you have been able to reposition the party in record time by reconciling all warring factions that hitherto refused to shed their swords in the tussle for control of the party structure.

“As a body with considerable standing in the affairs of the party, we are constrained to issue this advisory to you in light of the recent happenings in the party with regards to the forthcoming national convention slated for 26th February 2022.

“This advisory is hinged on the facts before us regarding the suitability of holding the party’s national convention on the proposed date. We are duty-bound to ensure that the party avoids, by all means, necessary actions that would reduce its chances of electoral success in the forthcoming general elections.

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“In case you might not be aware, a lot would be at stake should the party go ahead with the planned national convention. The issues you have strived to resolve are still looking at us in the face, and it is common knowledge that all is not entirely well in the party.

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“We know that issues such as this are commonplace. However, it is our opinion that it would spell doom for the party should the party go ahead with the national convention now. We are concerned about the party’s future, and it would be detrimental if we do not bring to your notice the dangers of going ahead with the national convention.

“In case you might be aware, the Abdullahi Adamu led Reconciliatory Committee did not help matters in the task assigned to it. Instead, it further complicated the issues at stake by refusing to look at issues holistically but instead relied on rumours and hearsays in coming to a conclusion in its report.

“The implication of the above statement is that those that were meant to be reconciled ended up infuriated by the actions of the reconciliatory committee. The signs in this regard are evident for every well-meaning member of the APC to see. But they have elected in their wisdom to downplay these contentious issues in the report submitted.

“This, in our opinion, is a great disservice to your efforts at positioning the APC for electoral success. As you may be aware, the public space has been flooded with narratives that paint the APC as a party of strange bedfellows whose interests are propelled primarily for self-aggrandisement.

“Mr Chairman may wish to critically examine the various agitations in the different states in the country. The feelers are not pleasant, and with the benefit of hindsight, it would indeed spell doom if the party goes ahead with the national convention under such circumstances.

“As a party, we must be mindful of the burden of expectation placed on our shoulders in providing credible leadership to the country. Suppose we can’t put our house in order. In that case, we do not have any moral justification for promising the country credible leadership because charity must begin from home.

“We must also be mindful of the embarrassing litigations that have bedevilled the party at the state and federal levels. As embarrassing it is already, we would be doing ourselves a great disservice if the party leadership under your watch goes ahead with the planned convention.”

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