By Clifford Ndujihe & Omeiza Ajayi
The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has picked holes in allegations that the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, does not want to conduct the national convention and is plotting to shift the exercise using security report.
Secretary of the CECPC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, who assured party faithful of a world class convention, however, said that the committee will not be stampeded into taking wrong steps that will destroy the party.
Noting that President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Mai Mala Buni, who chairs the CECPC and members of the CECPC, are not contesting for any position in the convention, Akpanudoedehe debunked insinuations that the CECPC does not want to conduct the convention.
Meanwhile, governors of the party rose from their make or mar meeting on Sunday night in Abuja with a resolution to go ahead with the national convention of the party in February.
They also passed a vote of confidence on Buni. Read the full story of the meeting’s outcome HERE.
Indeed, members of the CECPC will meet tomorrow to thrash out issues.
Some top chieftains of the party had alleged moves to procure a security report against the conduct of the national convention, next month.
A section of the party claimed at the weekend that the convention would be held on February 25.
The claim was discountenanced by another section which observed that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, will be conducting six bye elections on February 26th in four states and may not monitor the convention as its staff would be deployed for the bye elections.
Besides, APC has candidates in these elections and leaders of the party in the four states are expected to be at the convention. It is improbable they would be taking part in the bye elections and national convention at the same time.
Also, some stakeholders on the aegis of APC Rebirth Group claimed that there are plots to extend the convention date beyond February 2022.
The stakeholders also called on governors who are members of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC to immediately resign their appointments.
Apart from the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni who chairs the CECPC, other governors on the committee are Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the APC in Abia State, Chief Ikechi Emenike, has faulted media reports that he was absent at the meeting of the National APC Reconciliation in state, saying he wrote the committee.
APC must avoid self-destruction
Looking at the allegations, Secretary of the CECPC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, said that the Buni-led CECPC would not allow aggrieved people ‘’to stampede it into destroying the party or taking wrong steps.”
Another leader of the party, Senator Abubakar Dada, said APC members should be cautious less they destroy their own house
Sources at the party’s headquarters said, “the CECPC is planning seriously towards a convention.
“The only thing is that they want to make sure it is appropriately timed to frustrate the expectations of defeatist tendencies within the party.
‘’The party was in turmoil during the tenure of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, which encouraged President Buhari to rescue the party through the creation of the CECPC led by Governor Buni.
“Substantially, the party has been transformed from having 19 governors to 22 and majority of National Assembly members.
‘’The party embarked on hugely successful membership registration exercise that recorded over 40 million members thereby making the APC the largest political party in Africa.
“Subsequently, the party embarked successful ward, local government and state congresses across the country.”
Senator Akpanudoedehe said a party that has recorded all these achievements is on ‘’a sure-footing to conduct the best national convention Nigerians have ever witnessed.” It is just a question of time.
All APC leaders agreed to hold the forthcoming convention. The disagreement is the timing. While some want it like yesterday regardless of the consequences, the managers of the party are advising caution.
Senator Akpanudoedehe picked holes in allegations that the CECPC does not want to conduct the national convention.
According to him the allegations are balderdash because none of President Buhari, Governor Buni or any member of the CECPC is contesting at the convention and assured APC faithful of ‘’a world class convention.”
Also, a leader of the APC cautioned leaders and members of the party against self-destruction.
Said the party leader: “A former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Adamau Mua’zu once said that the PDP started failing when they became complacent with power and believed that no power can take PDP out of power.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan quickly left power because he could not take the behaviour of PDP members who felt victory was for him alone and took things for granted.
“Now, the APC is taking the rulership of the party for granted and pulling the party from various angles.
“Leading leaders of the party are eager to pull the party down if their wishes are not met. Some want to control the party executive as if it is a private estate. Some want to be national chairman at all cost regardless of what the party says.
“Others have made up their minds to leave and want to use the national convention as an excuse to walk away. Some are being sponsored to use the national convention as a ruse to create a parallel national exco.
“When the convention did not come according to their timetable, one of these groups was sponsored to say they are now a parallel CECPC.”