By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Preparatory to its March 26 national convention, the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has again withdrawn the list of its sub-committees with a view to reviewing its composition.
Vanguard gathered the development was a fallout of Monday’s meeting of the CECPC which deliberated on several issues including zoning of party offices.
The original list was earlier withdrawn and then expanded by the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led CECPC but the acting National Chairman of the CECPC and Niger state Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello had described the list as too unwieldy and consequently reviewed it downwards.
However, the list was again withdrawn from the Directorate of Organization on Monday for further review.
Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that the party has now perfected its plans to vacate the purported secret court order allegedly obtained by forces loyal to Gov. Buni to halt the pending national convention.
Vanguard had reported on Sunday that the party was making moves to vacate the said order but it emerged Monday that the party has now engaged a team of senior lawyers and that the matter will be up for mention, today.
APC can no longer be run as Bureau de change —Ex-PGF DG
Meanwhile, the immediate-past Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman has reminded the party that the most important determinants for political change at this crucial point in the nation’s political development are initiatives to change the orientation of political leadership recruitment.
Noting that the party can no longer be run like a Bureau de Change, Lukman also asked that the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello be disclaimed for making nonsense of the APC manifesto.
He said: “The reality is that leadership recruitment in APC, as it is today, is not fundamentally different from what exists in PDP. Partly because it is not different, we have produced leaders, both in government and in the party, APC, who at best, are typical PDP leaders. These are leaders who only succeed in reducing government and party management to a Bureau De Change.
“However, unlike PDP, in our case in APC, internal contest in the party is effectively mobilising opposition against such leaders. The current contest going on in APC is a typical example.
“Although the contest is partly to ensure that the March 26, 2022 APC National Convention holds and produce new leaders, it must be stressed that the quality of the new leaders of the party being expected to emerge from the Convention should begin to change, if APC is to meet public expectations.
For instance, the internal opposition against His Excellency Mai Mala Buni’s leadership of APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) is largely because of all the numerous cases of allegations of corruption against him.
How different from His Excellency Mai Mala will the new leaders of the APC after the March 26 National Convention be? Will the new leaders continue the business of extorting aspirants for elective positions and to that extent continue to run party management as a Bureau De Change?
“Beyond the new APC leaders to emerge from the March 26 National Convention, how is the APC going to take steps to block bad leaders such as His Excellency Yahaya Bello from emerging as standard bearer of the party for 2023 elections.
“The case of His Excellency Yahaya Bello requires some bold decisions by the APC as a party, which should include acknowledging that his actions as Kogi Governor contradict the commitment of the party for good governance as represented by the provisions of the APC constitution and manifesto. Take the case of N19.3 billion salary bail out given to Kogi State by the Federal Government, which was deposited in an unlawful bank account domiciled with Sterling Bank Plc. The money was recovered in November 2021 by the EFCC and returned to the CBN.
“Interestingly, while the controversy of the seizure of the N19.3 billion salary bail out is yet to be resolved, in February 2022, Kogi State announced the commencement of payment of N30,000 minimum wage. By the end of February 2022, media reports emerged that Kogi State workers, instead of receiving the new minimum wage of N30,000, received only percentages of their old salaries, some as low as only 25 per cent. Part of the media reports suggests that there are workers who have received as low as N2,000 as salary for February 2022.
“Amid all these, His Excellency Yahaya Bello is going round the country shamelessly campaigning for his so-called emergence as the Presidential candidate of the APC for 2023. With such records of anti-people and anti-workers policies, APC must take steps to disclaim the government of Kogi State under Governor Yahaya Bello.
“In addition, he is one of the few APC leaders collaborating with His Excellency Mai Mala to undermine the decision to organise the Convention of the APC, perhaps in expectation that His Excellency Mai Mala, as APC Chairman, will manipulate the process of electing the APC’s Presidential candidate in his (Yahaya Bello) favour.
“Once party leaders make the mistake of producing Bureau De Change managers as APC leaders during the March 26, 2022 National Convention, the probability will be very high that there will be many bad eggs emerging as standard bearers of the party for the 2023 elections.”