A huge crack has emerged in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) as pressure mounts from high quarters to proceed with the February convention arrangement.
The development, Daily Independent gathered, has thrown the CECPC into serious dilemma over the proposed plan agreed to by President Muhammadu Buhari but which the CECPC has largely approached noncommittally.
The disposition of the committee has as a result fueled speculations and allegations that it is deliberately delaying the convention to protect some hidden interests ahead of the party’s 2023 presidential nomination.
Recall that some APC Concerned Youths had late in November pressured the committee to announce February as date for the convention after the youths led by Mustapha Audu set up parallel committees and declared themselves alternative CECPC.
The Governor Mai Mala Buni-led CECPC has, however, refused to announce a definite date for the convention, leaving room for speculations and rumours.
It also said it has set up budgeting and other undisclosed subcommittees to begin work on the convention.
On Wednesday, following another report that the committee has resolved to move the convention to June, the party was forced to refute it, but it does appear that the alleged plan to delay the convention has backfired.
A divided CECPC, which met party bureaucrats and stakeholders on Wednesday on the issue, Daily Independent learnt, had a good number of them insisting that convention must go ahead as earlier announced. Some others it was learnt, however, maintained that February is not feasible considering a number of issues that are yet to be addressed.
Daily Independent, however, gathered that the meeting after heated arguments, decided to propose list of subcommittees, including those for finance for the ratification by the entire CECPC.
A source at the meeting said the challenge which is confronting the party is the individual interest of some members of the CECPC, which is being played to subvert the interest of the party.
“Some persons in the CECPC want to hold on to their position in the CECPC for as long as is possible. There are those who want to secure the governorship, Senate, or Reps ticket of their states for themselves or their cronies and want, if possible for the CECPC to succeed itself and conduct the presidential primaries.
“Others want to hang on because of pecuniary reasons, some want to run and influence the Ekiti and Osun governorship primaries and you know what that means going from the recent experience in Anambra State”, our source said.
APC CECPC Toeing Oshiomhole’s Inglorious Path — DG PGF
Meanwhile, as controversy continues to trail the actual date of the national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Mohd Lukman, Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), has accused the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of toeing the same inglorious path that led to the dissolution of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led APC National Working Committee (NWC).
Like Oshiomhole, Lukman observed that the CECPC has sustained its disrespect of the leaders of the party, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
He alleged that the CECPC has also ignored all meaningful advice and suggestions from well-meaning party stakeholders especially as it has to do with the national convention of the party, adding that the CECPC should honourably resign if it fails to organise the convention in February as agreed after the consultation with Buhari.
In an article, he claimed that the CECPC is deliberately delaying the convention even after getting the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to hold it in February.
He maintained that the very fact that APC CECPC has refused to announce a date and venue of the convention while subtly sneaking out information that it is consulting with party leaders, are pointers that the committee is also toying with the future of the party, wondering what further consultation the CECPC is doing regarding the convention.
“For whatever reasons, it would appear that the leadership of CECPC is enjoying all the public speculations maligning governors and some other senior leaders of the party as working to stop the APC national convention from holding in February 2022. This is most unfortunate.
“The truth must be told, the responsibility of organising the February 2022 APC national convention rests squarely with the CECPC. At this point, it will be necessary to remind all members of the CECPC and by extension all leaders of APC that part of the reasons that made it very necessary to dissolve the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) was the disrespect for leaders and members of the party, especially by Comrade Oshiomhole, the former national chairman of the party.
“It was on record that during the tenure of Comrade Oshiomhole as national chairman, the recommendations of party leaders and members were hardly considered.
“The CECPC leadership has returned the party to the mode of open disrespect for any recommendation given. It is even worse now given that the CECPC is ready to sacrifice the future of the party.
“Clearly, what is staring us in the face is that all the bad leadership records under Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC is about to be met and outstripped by the present CECPC.
“This clearly raises question about political leadership recruitment approaches in the country. Unless this is addressed, as a party, APC may continue to change leaders, but the problem will remain. APC, being a party envisioned to facilitate the process of political change in Nigeria, must appropriately use the present challenges to begin to introduce changes to the process of political leadership recruitment in Nigeria.”
Lukman insisted that the CECPC has no choice but to organise the convention in the month of February, failure which it should be made to step aside.
“Every responsibility of organising the convention is vested with the CECPC. Therefore, in the event that the CECPC is unable to implement the decision to hold the convention in February 2022, as decided, the leadership of the CECPC should honourably resign to save the APC, its leaders (including Progressive Governors) and members from the current spate of avoidable public embarrassment, simply because the leadership of the CECPC has decided to disrespect the decision to hold the APC national convention in February.
“APC leaders must wake up to the responsibility of resolving the leadership challenges facing the party. Part of what is required at this point is to commence leadership engagement towards consensus building on a number of these issues and assess all the so-called aspirants. Where necessary, APC leaders may wish to stretch the search for a national chairman beyond current aspirants.
“Unless the CECPC has given itself the new responsibility of being the political and electoral undertaker of the APC, it must stop promoting some subversive campaigns suggesting that it is undertaking ‘the immediate task of addressing contestations within the party, litigations, fallouts of recently conducted congresses and generally reposition the party ahead of the national convention.’ Once this is the case, it simply means the CECPC’s new objective is probably to take APC to its political grave. This should not be acceptable!”