Ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is again enmeshed in crisis as the the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, of the party insisted yesterday that it was not in a hurry to convoke a national convention because the condition precedent to having such an exercise had to be put in place first.
The committee said it was instead focused on achieving and sustaining true and lasting unity, peace and reconciliation across party ranks, ahead of the planned national convention of the party.
APC in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, was responding to reports accusing the caretaker committee of surreptitiously seeking an extension of its six-month mandate.
The CECPC was constituted and inaugurated by the 8th resumed meeting of the APC National Executive Committee, NEC, in June, with a core mandate to achieve peace-building, true reconciliation and give a sense of belonging to every member of the party.
Nabena said while a section of the media had been awash with reports of tenure extension for the CECPC, the focus remained achieving and sustaining the APC caretaker committees peace and reconciliation core mandate.
He said: “It is important that the APC conducts its planned national convention to produce the party’s national leadership as a united house.
‘’Otherwise the main aim of constituting the CECPC, following the dissolution of the immediate-past National Working Committee, NWC, will be defeated.’’
The statement said the Governor Buni-led CECPC has deployed a combination of true reconciliation, consultation and inclusiveness in achieving unity and cohesion in the party.
“To reposition the party to ensure good governance, Governor Buni proposed the recently-inaugurated tripartite Executive/Legislative/APC consultative committee which is ensuring synergy, good governance and accelerated implementation of the Next Level agenda.
“A peacemaker and stabilizing voice, Governor Buni is meeting all leaders, known party groups and interests in order to accommodate all interests. This has resulted in renewed commitment on the part of party members.
“Ahead of the planned APC National Convention and indeed the 2023 General Elections, stakeholders should continue to support the CECPC efforts to unite the party in order to make it formidable enough to consolidate on the APCs national governing status and landmark achievements.
‘’The APC must not go into a National Convention, and indeed a general election in crisis. We should take it one step at a time and ensure that the ongoing national reconciliation process being undertaken by the CECPC is sustained, successful and continue to yield results”, the party stated.
Nabena said it was not surprising that elected National Executive Committee (Non- National Working Committee) members at a recent meeting with the party’s national leadership, passed a vote of confidence on the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC CECPC.
It stated: “This was sequel to an earlier passed confidence vote on the CECPC by 36 State APC Chairmen, including the Federal Capital Territory.
“To further carry along dedicated party members, the CECPC is already working with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration to urgently address the reward system for dedicated and loyal party members, particularly on appointment of deserving party members into several boards, agencies and parastatals of government.
“It is commendable that the consultative party leadership style instituted by Governor Buni as chairman of APC-CECPC has brought back many prominent party members and leaders, including former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Barnabas Gemade; former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Dr. Alex Otti, among others.
“The planned nationwide registration, update, revalidation of the party’s membership register will undoubtedly cement APC’s political and numerical status as Nigeria’s largest political party.
“Also, the CECPC has resuscitated the party’s internal dispute resolution mechanisms and has set up reconciliation committees for Oyo, Edo, Ondo, Imo, Ogun, Ekiti among other states chapters with reported disputes.
‘’The committees are already meeting with the key stakeholders in the various states and has achieved substantial reconciliation in many states. The success stories of the ongoing reconciliation efforts abound.
‘’A case in point is Cross River State where the CECPC reconciled the two factions and appointed a State Caretaker Committee, led by Sen. Matthew Mbu (Jnr.) as acting State Chairman.
‘’In Ondo State, all the governorship aspirants were brought together, campaigned and worked for the successful re-election of the APC candidate, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN.
“In Akwa Ibom State, the CECPC brought together all the contending interests under one roof and achieved true reconciliation. Today, in Akwa Ibom, leaders such as Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Obong Nsima Ekere, Mr. Umana O. Umana, Sen. Ita Enang, Barr. Bassey Dan Abia (Snr), among others, are working together and in collective pursuit of party interests.
“At the national level and on the auspices of the CECPC, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, have resolved in party interest to work together and strengthen the party, particularly in the South South geo-political zone,” he stated.
Nabena recalled that the Governor Buni-led APC CECPC met last Tuesday at the party’s National Secretariat and reviewed the implementation of the CECPC’s three-month action plan.
“It is important to take cognizance of the fact that the prior internal party crisis which was unfortunately left to fester before the advent of the CECPC distracted public attention from appreciating the monumental strides President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government is making in delivering on APC’s three critical electoral promises fighting corruption, security and revamping the economy from 16 years Peoples Democratic party, PDP, misrule and mismanagement,” APC added.
However, Senator Kabiru Marafa, who represented Zamfara Central in the Senate, has asked the Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, to immediately convene a national convention or resign. Buni is also the governor of Yobe State.
According to him, the decision of the committee to conduct membership registration is clearly outside its mandate.
He contended that membership registration was not part of the mandate of the committee, saying it was diversionary and an attempt by Buni to perpetuate himself in office.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Senator Marafa likened the attitude of Governor Buni to that of his friend and former governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who he said abandoned the governance of the state in favour of Nigerian Governors’ Forum orum because of greed.
Marafa said: “Your State, Yobe, is in deeper crisis than APC, the state needs you more than the party, emulate your senior brother and colleague in Borno. Your agenda will collapse in a similar way the ones before yours collapsed.”
Recall that Buni’s committee was inaugurated in June, 2020, saddled with the responsibility of administering the party’s affairs and organising a national convention within six months, following the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee, NWC.
Many chieftains of the party have been mounting pressure on Buni to restrict the activities of his committee to the convocation of a national convention.
Marafa, who leads a faction of the APC in Zamfara State, told Buni further: “Don’t overstretch your luck, we are not afraid of you. Many of us are aware that your appointment is unconstitutional, [Section 17(iv) of our party’s constitution is very clear].
‘’We only kept quiet because of the respect we have for Mr. President, and the believe that the party needs to open a new page.
“Be informed that any action you take outside your primary mandate of organizing a convention that will usher in a new set of executives will be null, void and of no effect whatsoever. You have up to December to do the needful or we chase you out.
“Your state needs you more than the party, go and administer your state, you can’t be governor and chairman of APC at the same time, it’s unconstitutional. You equally can’t accuse Chief Oshiomhole of any wrong doing, because you were part of all the decisions he took. If there is any mess in APC today, you are part of it.
“We are eager to witness the emergence of a responsible leadership, a leadership we all can trust, a leadership that will carry every member, every section, every tribe along, not the type that leads by deceit and lies.
“You have failed woefully, your fake claim of succeeding in reconciling members of the party in nine states when in actual sense you only aggravated their problems by taking sides unjustly clearly shows the kind of leader you are.
‘’Looking at the composition of the committee, we all thought you will lead the party out of the mess you contributed in putting it in. However, events in recent time have shown that you are not concerned about fixing the party, you are only interested in the politics of 2023. It is unfortunate that things have become even more messier than before.”
INEC Seeks Amendments Of Constitution, Electoral Act To Shelve Bye Election
Idris Ahmed, Lokoja.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it is proposing a bill to the National Assembly, seeking amendment of the constitution and electoral act to enable parties replace their elected representatives that die or vacate seat before end of tenure.
Resident Electoral Commissioner for Kogi state, Professor James Akpam, disclosed this at the stakeholders meeting preparatory to the Ibaji state constituency bye election held on Thursday at the INEC office in Lokoja.
He said the bill if considered and passed into law will go a long way to curb cost in the electoral processes of INEC and other untoward activities associated with election in Nigeria.
The Ibaji constituency seat is currently vacant following the demise of Hon. Abah early this year after a prolonged ailment, the Commission is preparing for his replacement through bye election.
According to the Commissioner, INEC has concluded arrangement to conduct a free, fair and credible election in Ibaji, despite the Covid 19 scare as all the pandemic protocols would be observed during the Saturday, December 5 election.
He explained that the constituency has 148 polling units,10 registration areas(RAs), 76,575 registered voters, 96% of which have collected permanent voters cards with 630 adhoc staff, one returning officer, 10 collaboration officers have been recruited and trained for the exercise.
Akpam who also revealed that non sensitive materials have been received from Abuja, added that smart card readers have been configured, the sensitive materials are expected on Thursday for on ward movement to the registration areas.
He explained that during the recent Governorship elections in Edo and Ondo State respectively INEC observed Covid-19 protocols , stressing that voters in next Saturday election in Ibaji must observe protocols to aviod crisis.
The REC pointed out that the social distancing, use of face masks , washing hand and Sanitizers would be strictly applied during the election.
Akpam added that all the INEC Staff would do the same, calling voters to come to various polling units with their face masks.
He stated that that card readers would be sanitized intermittently , saying that immediately a voter is allowed to vote the INEC officers will apply sanitizer on Card readers before the next voter will vote
Breaking: Senator Elisha Abbo Defects To APC, Says PDP Is Finished.
Globaltimesnigeria.com reports that Senator Elisha Abbo has formally defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party.
According to the report, Senator Abbo, who represents Adamawa North in the Nigerian Senate announced his defection from the PDP to the APC in a letter addressed to the Senate.
Senator Ahmad Lawan, the President of the Nigerian Senate, read the letter during Wednesday’s plenary session.
In his letter, Senator Abbo explained that his decision to defect to the APC is because of the mismanagement of the PDP in Adamawa state by Governor Umaru Fintiri.
Meanwhile, the name Senator Elisha Abbo became popular amongst Nigerians last year after he made headlines for slapping an attendant in a sex toy shop for ‘disrespecting’ him.
Abbo is a close ally of the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Kogi LGC Election: KOSIEC Set For Free, Fair, Credible Election.
Idris Ahmed, Lokoja.
As the December 12 local government councils election draws nearer, Kogi State Independent Electoral Commision (KOSIEC ) has announced notice of election as contained in the KOSIEC law.
The Chairman of Kogi State Independent Electoral Commission, Mammam Nda Eri who disclosed while briefing Journalists as part of preparedness of the Commission in Lokoja on Monday, said the commission will conduct free, fair, peaceful and credible election.
“Notice is hereby given to all citizens of Kogi State that 2020 Local Government Elections will take place as scheduled on the 12th December, 2020.
“Accreditation and voting shall be done simultaneously and
shall start by 8;00am on the 12th December 2020 and close at 3.00pm on the same day to give room for collation of votes.
“All movements shall be restricted except for those on essential and Election duties. Businesses, markets and shops shall remain closed within the stipulated Election period,” he added
The Commission Chairman also disclosed that the commission will use INEC designated polling units, registers and non sensitive materials and voters card, but card reader will not be used as it is not part of the State Independent Electoral Commission Law.
Eri Explained that voting shall take place at all INEC designated polling stations, noting that loitering shall not be tolerated at Polling zones.
Security agencies are therefore requested to maintain adequate security throughout the period.
The State Independent Electoral Commission wishes all a peaceful Election, but shall not hesitate to countermand the polls where security is breached.
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