•Confusion over National Secretary’s resignation
•I can’t speak for him— Gov Bello
•We won’t resign until Buhari says so —Akpanudoedehe
•We can’t go to the convention as a divided entity —APC Senate caucus
•Al’Makura canvasses more female participation
By Clifford Ndujhe, Politics Editor, Henry Umoru, Omeiza Ajayi & Dirisu Yakubu
THE ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is dancing on the edge of the cliff, following Monday’s taking over of its affairs by Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello as acting chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC.
Now, the March 26 National Conference is facing a fresh threat. The party cannot have a valid national convention as scheduled unless the National Executive Committee, NEC, ratifies Bello’s appointment or allows Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State to resume his seat as CECPC national chairman.
According to Article 13.3(v) of the APC Constitution 2014, the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party can remove Buni or his committee; and according to Article 13.2(vi) of the same Constitution, it is only the NEC that can appoint Governor Bello and his committee and assign powers and functions as it may deem fit and proper.
However, a top leader of the party told Vanguard, yesterday that the CECPC has the power of the NEC and could invoke the power of the NEC to remove Buni and ensure that the march 26 convention date remains sacrosanct.
Another party chieftain countered that Buni, who has been abroad for a week is expected back in Nigeria today, and “it is our expectation that he will take over the leadership of the party again.”
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The APC had earlier announced March 26 as the date for its national convention. Although it has not notified the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, it can still rely on its earlier communication with the commission wherein it had stated February 26 as the date for its convention. Flowing from that earlier notice to INEC, the party can write an addendum notifying the commission of the new March 26 date, but at least giving it a seven-day notice.
Such communications are by law usually signed by the national chairman and national secretary of any political party.
The APC, therefore, has till next Friday to send another letter to INEC, but it must have settled all issues regarding the office of its national chairman.
Section 222 of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that only the national chairmen and national secretaries are recognized when parties are registered.
Informed party sources said one of the decisions reached yesterday’s CECPC meeting was a directive to the National Secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, to issue a notice convening an NEC meeting.
“The meeting is likely going to hold next Tuesday or latest by Wednesday, all things being equal”, said one of the sources, who added that President Muhammadu Buhari, who is in London for medication, would be part of the NEC meeting via zoom.
Akpanudoedehe’s alleged resignation
Meanwhile, there was confusion earlier in the day following concerns that Senator Akpanudoedehe had resigned his appointment.
Although several party officials confirmed that Akpanudoedehe had moved some personal effects from his office, they could not confirm seeing any letter to back his rumoured resignation.
There had been speculations that the former Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory FCT was on his way out of the CECPC.
Akpanudoedehe had earlier attended a meeting of the CECPC presided over by its acting national chairman, Bello.
Asked to react to Akpanudoedehe’s purported resignation, Governor Bello simply said, “ask him,” referring to Akpanudoedehe who had left the secretariat as of then.
Bello, however, expressed hope that the party will soon take a decision on the report of its zoning committee.
He said: “The report of the zoning formula has been submitted and adopted and it will be released any moment from now. I mean the zoning formula. Hopefully, by next week, the NEC meeting will be held.”
We’ll resign if Buhari orders it
Disturbed by reports of his resignation, Akpanudoedehe rushed back to the party secretariat and told journalists to disregard any information to that effect.
Stating that he was waiting for the CECPC Chairman, Buni, to return to the country, he said both of them would resign if President Buhari gives the directive.
He said: “I have read in the social media that I have resigned as Secretary of the APC. I want to state that it is not true. I didn’t resign. If I had resigned, you would have seen my letter of resignation. Someone cannot just say somebody is dead when he is alive.”
We are worried over disarray, we can’t go to the convention as a divided entity — APC Senate
Following the crisis rocking the party, the APC Senate Caucus, yesterday, urged resolution of the problems saying the party can’t afford to go to the convention as a divided house.
Rising from a closed-door meeting that lasted for two hours in room 301, Senate new building, the APC Senators who noted that they are worried over the problems in the party, appealed to stakeholders and leaders to sheathe their swords in order to give peace a chance.
Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja after the meeting, Senate Majority Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, APC, Kebbi North explained that as leaders and stakeholders in the party, it became very imperative for the meeting to hold in order to proffer solutions to the problems bedevilling the ruling party.
Al’Makura canvasses more female participation
Meanwhile, an aspirant for the position of National Chairman of the APC, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, has promised better days for Nigerian women in the party, if elected.
Al-Makura regretted that despite women’s demographic strength, voting power, and the creditable manner most of them who occupied high positions in the public and private sector had distinguished themselves, Nigerian women were yet to get opportunities in governance commensurate with their contributions to the nation’s development.