.Keyamo

…Campaign Council meets today, as Tinubu returns this week

Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja

The inability of the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee NWC of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC to convene a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee NEC might be leading to a groundswell of dissent within the ranks of the party, Vanguard has learned.

This was as the APC Presidential Campaign Council PCC is set to hold its inaugural meeting today even as it prepares to welcome its Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu back to the country this week.

Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo SAN who is the Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson of the Council, confirmed that the meeting would go on as planned.

Asked when and where the council would flag off its campaign, Keyamo simply said; “I have no such information for now, but we have a meeting slated for Tuesday (today)”.

Although party spokesman, Felix Morka did not respond to calls and messages seeking answers to the questions, the Director, Media and Publicity of the campaign council, Mr Bayo Onanuga said Tinubu is expected back to the country this week.

“Asiwaju will return this week. As to campaign flag off, I will get back to you”, he stated.

Meanwhile, there are grumblings among party chieftains on the continued exercise of the powers of NEC by the Adamu-led NWC.

The APC NEC had on April 20 this year delegated its powers to the NWC to act on its behalf for the next 90 days.

Announcing the decision, National Secretary of the party, Otunba Iyiola Omisore, disclosed that while the motion was moved by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai seconded the motion.

El-Rufai was said to have added a caveat that the NEC must meet at the end of the 90 days to review its own decision.

While the 90-days lapsed on July 20, the NEC was supposed to have met around that period.

However, the NWC had consequently taken a decision to convene a NEC meeting within September, but the current crisis regarding the composition of the campaign council has made the party unable to hold its NEC.

NEC which is the principal executive body of the party is constitutionally mandated to meet every quarter or at any other time decided by the NWC.

Although, the first mandate of the highest organ of the party, the National Convention, is to “ratify policies and programmes of the party” such power is held in trust by the NEC which is saddled with discharging all functions of the National Convention in-between National Conventions.

Consequently, it is the duty of the NEC to ratify the composition of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, said a top official of the party.

Although he conceded that APC had always acted in breach in the past by not convening the NEC to ratify the council, he however added that the seeming altercation between the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee NWC and the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is one reason why having the NEC meeting is germane.

“The NEC is very important with respect to ratifications of policies and programmes.

“Apart from discharging functions of the National Convention in-between National Conventions, NEC in Article 13.3(A)(VI) of the APC 2022 Constitution (as amended) is mandated to ‘create, elect and appoint any committee it may deem necessary, desirable or expedient and assign to them such powers and functions as it may deem fit and proper’

“You would recall that on Monday, January 7, 2019, a special NEC was held at the International Conference Centre ICC for the inauguration of that year’s Presidential Campaign Council.

“It is supposed to be a one-item NEC, to ratify the campaign council, but obviously, certain persons are scared of convening an NEC meeting.

“Our party has always been in breach of our constitution. The constitution provides for a National Advisory Council whose inaugural meeting should have been convened by the national secretary within one month after the national convention in June which gave birth to the Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee NWC.

“Now, where the National Convention, NEC or National Caucus are ‘unable or unwilling to meet, according to our constitution, it is the duty of the National Advisory Council to convene such meetings of the above organs”, he explained.

A member of NEC from Kogi state who pleaded anonymity said it is the NEC and not the NWC which has powers to tinker with the composition of the campaign council.

According to him, all issues regarding the council would be laid to rest if an NEC meeting had been convened before now.

On what is expected of NEC at such a meeting, he said; “It is the duty of the NEC to vet and approve the structure or organogram of the PCC.

“NEC will also harmonize the structures in the states, senatorial districts, local governments, wards and polling units-level as well as harmonize the manifesto of the candidate with what currently exists as a manifesto of the party so that we can have a single document.

“Just last week in Kogi state, the governor inaugurated the campaign council. Now, I do not know if such an organogram has been approved. In Kogi, the governor, like in other states is the Campaign Coordinator. The deputy governor is the Deputy coordinator. The state party chairman is the assistant coordinator while the Chief of Staff to the governor is the director general of the campaign. The Secretary to the State Government is the Secretary of the campaign council in the state. The governor equally replicated nearly the same structure in the three senatorial districts. Now, this is why NEC should have met before now to give a direction as to how this should be done”.

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