Governors elected on the platform of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), met Sunday night and agreed that the party’s convention should be held in February.
Since its former leadership, led by Adams Oshiomhole, was removed in 2020, the APC has been unable to host a conference and elect new national leaders. Since then, the party has been managed by an interim management committee led by Mala Buni, the governor of Yobe State.
The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), an umbrella body of APC governors, said at a meeting on Sunday that the party’s national convention will be held in February.
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, who is also the Chairman of the PGF, provided the promise to journalists after a closed-door meeting in Abuja on Sunday night.
Mr Bagudu, who did not specify a precise date for the ceremony, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s February date was sacred and still viable for the event’s conduct.
He further said that the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), as the party’s organ, was in the best position to declare the convention’s particular date.
“We are one group of stakeholders in the party and our party respects institutions. The appropriate organ of the party that will announce a date for the national convention is the CECPC,” he said.
Mr Bagudu said the meeting passed a vote of confidence on the Buni-led CECPC and two other governors, Governor Muhammed Bello of Niger and Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun.
He noted that the governors had done an incredible job of running the party successfully and had mobilised people into the party fold, saying that the PGF was very happy with their conduct.
“We discussed our upcoming convention which you may recall I had cause to address the press after we visited President Buhari in November 2021 where the president and the party agreed that the convention would take place in February.
“We took inputs about the reviews and we noted all the misrepresentations in the press that we seek to correct that the PGF is one united body as you can see evidently from the attendance,” Mr Bagudu said.
He stated that the decision of the forum was unanimous, and that the group was united behind the president and the caretaker committee of the party.
Following Mr Buhari’s agreement for the event to be held in February, the APC Buni-led CECPC has been under tremendous pressure to set a definite date for the party’s national convention.
Some of the party’s most important stakeholders had contacted the caretaker committee in recent weeks to express their dissatisfaction with the delay in announcing the convention’s site and specific date.
PGF Director-General Salihu Lukman recently called on members of the committee to quit if they are unable to organize the party’s national convention in February.
At the convention, new members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) will be elected to handle the party’s affairs, which are now controlled by the CECPC.
Those in attendance at the meeting included the governor of Borno, Babagana Zulum; Jigawa, Mohammad Abubakar; Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; Niger, Abubakar Bello; Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai; Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi; and Kogi, Yahaya Bello.
Others were the governors of Cross River, Ogun, Zamfara, Ebonyi, Osun, Lagos State, Imo, Plateau, Kano State and Nasarawa.
The Deputy Governor of Anambra, Nkemakonam Okeke, represented his governor at the meeting.