…As El-Rufa’i heads c’ttee to ‘define’ concept
…Blames Buhari’s illness for inability to hold convention
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA— The All Progressives Congress, APC, has explained its confusion in the face of clamour by some Nigerians for the restructuring of the country, saying it didn’t understand what people meant by it.
Consequently, the party has set up a committee to come up with the party’s own definition of restructuring.
APC said the committee, headed by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, was not to come up with modalities for restructuring the country but to merely define the concept, since it didn’t understand the meaning of the concept as bandied about by some Nigerians.
Party spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, said.“We just finished the meeting with our governors and we considered a number of issues. They include the issue of restructuring, national convention of the party and these regular meetings would be expanded to include principal officers of the National Assembly from now on.”
He spoke, yesterday, in Abuja shortly after a meeting of its National Working Committee, NWC, and its 24 state governors.
Flanked by the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Abubakar Yari of Zamfara State, Simon Lalong of Plateau and Yahaya Bello of Kogi, Abdullahi said: “When we talk about a committee on restructuring, what we are talking about is a committee that will articulate what APC means by restructuring because we have realised that over a couple of days now or weeks, when people use the word restructuring, we don’t know if we are talking about the same thing and people have gone about saying APC promised restructuring.
“So this committee that is set up that will now be chaired by the governor of Kaduna is mainly to define what APC means by restructuring, so that every member will know what we exactly mean”.
Other members of the nine-member committee are Governors of Osun State, Rauf Aregbesola; Kano, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje; Plateau, Simon Lalong; Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun; and former governor of Edo State, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor.
Others are APC National Organising Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso; National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, who will serve as secretary.
Inability to hold convention
Meanwhile, the party has blamed the illness of President Muhammadu Buhari for its inability to fix a tentative date for its midterm non-elective national convention.
Speaking further, Yari said as a prelude to its convention, the party has now fixed July 29 for its nationwide congresses.
He said: “We have been on this matter of convention but you know that as a party, the President is the leader of this party.”
‘’One, before getting to the convention, there is some kind of process, the National Working Committee NWC, must agree on the time and at the same time we have to adopt the report submitted by the national working committee to the larger National Executive Council, NEC, members which the President must be in attendance as a leader of the party and you know the situation of our President.
“We have been fixing time but because of his illness, we are unable to hold the meeting but we have to put a kind of process in place, so that we can at least have a mid-term convention, it is not an elective convention. These congresses that is going to commence on July 29 is to come for this convention to fill some vacancies taken in to the executive side, those that died or went for other appointment. This has nothing to do with PDP. PDP is a party on its own right and PDP is a ruling party. This convention has no connection with the PDP convention,” he explained.
According to Gov. Yari, the governors and party leadership have not also been able to meet with the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, due to his tight schedules both as Vice President and as Acting President.
He, however, expressed optimism that the meeting would hold soon in order to arrive at a date. The governors had after a meeting with the party leadership in May, promised to immediately meet with the acting President towards fixing a date for the exercise.
“We have agreed collectively that we are going to meet with acting president. Acting President should understand that that he is acting in capacity of the President of the country as well as the vice-president. T
‘’omorrow he is going to perform the function of Vice-President as chairman of NEC and the entire issue of security, economy, administration lies on him, so we can not take him as an easy man to deal with. It’s two in one.
‘’Therefore the committee is in place. As we are talking today, we reiterate that we are going to [create room] for other issues and the issue of convention.
“We discussed the election of Osun which we really know what happened, the media and everyone in the party, we know what happened, it was APC, APC, APC. PDP doesn’t have muscle to win elections and we are on top of the situation. It is a wake-up call on dealing on things like that in the future.’’