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APC inaugurates convention committee

By Adamu Abuh and John Akubo, Abuja
10 March 2022   |   3:38 am
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, moved closer to its March 26 national convention as the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, who now heads the party...

President Muhammadu Buhari

Rules out Buni, Akpanudoedehe, Fani-Kayode
• Zones national chairmanship to North Central
• Senate APC caucus insists Buni remains caretaker chairman
• South West to produce secretary

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, moved closer to its March 26 national convention as the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, who now heads the party, inaugurated an 86-member committee to plan the convention.

Curiously, neither the embattled caretaker committee chairman of the party, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State nor his Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe made the revised list.

Also, the name of the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, who was earlier listed by Buni, the penultimate week was also conspicuously absent in the new list.  

Bello, who spoke while inaugurating the committee at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, assured the party faithful of the conduct of a free and fair national convention of the party on March 26.

The Niger State Governor disabused the minds of sceptics, who believe that there would be another shift in the date of the national convention of the party.

He said: “For those of you that have been monitoring events in the national secretariat since Monday, we have started the effort to ensure that there is free and fair convention.

“I want to remind you that you have to work hard to ensure that the national convention holds on March 26, 2022. That day is sacrosanct Insha Allah.”

Conspicuously missing at the event for the first time was Akpanudoedehe, whose fate as a member of the caretaker committee hangs in the balance, despite his denial that he had been compelled to resign his position.

Bello explained that the decision to prune down the membership of the convention planning committee from over 1500 to 86 was in the best interest of the party.

He thereby tasked members of the committee to ensure the successful conduct of the national convention of the party.

The central planning committee is to be chaired by Governor Bello with membership comprising Senator Ken Nnamani, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf, Hon. Akinyemi Olaide Jagaba, Senator Abba Ali, Prof. Tahir Mamman, Ms. Stella Okotete, Dr. James Lalu, David Lyon and Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed.

At the event graced by Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) and Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Governor Nasir El-Rufai and Presidential aspirant Rochas Okorocha met briefly behind-closed-doors with Bello in an apparent show of solidarity.

Chairmen of the sub-committees include Abubakar Sani Bello (Central planning committee); Aminu Bello Masari (Screening subcommittee); Sen. Ahmed Lawan (screening appeal); Muhammad Abubakar (Election); Kayode Fayemi (Election appeal); Abubakar Malami (Legal); Abdullahi Ganduje (Accommodation); Simon Lalong (Venue/Decoration/Site Servicing); Dapo Abiodun (Transport and Logistics) and Dave Umahi (Media).

Others are, Yahaya Bello (Security); Nasiru El-Rufai (Accreditation of all delegates); Femi Gbajabiamila (Entertainment/welfare); Chris Ngige (Medical); Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Finance); Ahmed Wase (Accreditation of Volunteers/Diaspora/Diplomats/Observers/Essential Personnel); Ben Ayade (Digital Communication); Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Budget); Muhammad Matawalle (Protocol) and Babagana Zulum (Pre-Convention Conferences). 

IN a related development, the party has confirmed its zoning of national chairmanship office to the North Central, following the adoption of the report of the Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq-led committee on zoning of party positions.

Chairmanship aspirants from the zone include Senators Sani Musa, George Akume, Tanko Al-Makura, Abdullahi Adamu as well as Salihu Mustapha.

Other positions zoned to the North Central are National Vice Chairman (North Central), Deputy National Secretary, Deputy National Legal Adviser, Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Zonal Secretary, Zonal Youth Leader, Zonal Organising Secretary, Zonal Women Leader, Zonal Special Leader (Persons with Disabilities – PWD), and the National Ex-Officio Member.

The South-South is to produce National Vice Chairman (South-South), National Publicity Secretary, National Women Leader, Deputy National Treasurer, Deputy National Welfare Secretary, Zonal Secretary, Zonal Youth Leader, Zonal Organising Secretary, Zonal Women Leader, Zonal Special Leader (Persons with Disabilities – PWD) and the National Ex-Officio Member.

Under the zoning arrangement, the South West will present the National Secretary, National Vice Chairman (South West), National Youth Leader, National Physically Challenged Leader, Deputy National Auditor, Zonal Secretary, Zonal Youth Leader, Zonal Organising Secretary, Zonal Women Leader, Zonal Special Leader (Persons with Disabilities – PWD) and National Ex-Officio Member. 

For the South-East, Deputy National Chairman (South), National Vice Chairman (South East), National Treasurer, National Welfare Secretary, Deputy National Organising Secretary, Zonal Secretary, Zonal Youth Leader, Zonal Organising Secretary, Zonal Women Leader, Zonal Special Leader (Persons with Disabilities – PWD) and a National Ex – Officio Member 

North East will produce the Deputy National Chairman (North), National Auditor, National Vice Chairman (North-East), Deputy National Financial Secretary, Deputy National Women Leader, Zonal Secretary, Zonal Youth Leader, Zonal Organising Secretary, Zonal Women Leader, Zonal Special Leader (Persons with Disabilities – PWD) and the National Ex-Officio Member.

The North West will present National Vice Chairman (North West), National Legal Adviser, National Organising Secretary, National Financial Secretary, Deputy National Youth Leader, Zonal Secretary, Zonal Youth Leader, Zonal Organising Secretary, Zonal Women Leader, Zonal Special Leader (Persons with Disabilities – PWD) and National Ex-Officio Member 

APC’s Director (Publicity) Mr. Salisu Na’inna Ɗambatta in a statement explained that the zonal representatives on the CECPC would coordinate the processes in each of the zones.

THE APC caucus in the Senate yesterday said the seeming crisis in the party is over and declared that Governor Buni remains the substantive Chairman of Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party.

After a second-day emergency meeting of the caucus, the leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi, said various issues facing the party, were exhaustively deliberated upon with a clear indication of peace ahead of the March 26 national convention of the party.

He said, “These are trying times for major political parties in the country, the very reason we in the APC as Senate caucus met for the second day running this week towards required collaboration with other stakeholders for the unity of purpose in the party ahead of the coming National Convention and 2023 general elections.

“Required strategies have been mapped out by the caucus to bring all interests groups together in making the party stronger and well-positioned for the 2023 general elections.

“Governor Buni to us remains the Chairman of National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the Party.

“He will resume in that capacity any moment he returns from Dubai where he went for a medical check.

“Governor Sani Bello, who is acting in that capacity now is doing so to avoid a vacuum in leadership and most importantly, to put in place required arrangements for the forthcoming National Convention of the party 17 days from now”, he said.

The meeting lasted for about three hours and was attended by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, his Deputy, Ovie Omo – Agege, the Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu and other principal officers, adopted a seven-point communique geared towards dousing any form of tension in the party.

The caucus specifically resolved to meet with CECPC of the party, leaders of Governors Fora and aspirants/ candidates from this coming weekend.