Stakeholders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have described the recent statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari that the national convention of the party slated for March 26 will go ahead as planned as reassuring.
They believed that the President is on the same page with millions of party members on the need for the convention of the party to hold on March 26, despite observations made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Recall that the acting Caretaker Chairman of the APC and the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello last week wrote and signed a letter sent to the INEC.
Bello and Mamman signed the letter, which was to serve as a notice to the commission on APC’s decision to hold an emergency NEC meeting.
But INEC, had while responding, in a letter signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Mrs Rose Omoa Oriaran-Anthony and dated March 9, 2022, said the party must give it 21 days notice and that the letter wasn’t signed by the Caretaker Chairman, Mai Mala Buni and the Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe.
It said: “The Commission draws your attention to the fact that the notice for the meeting was not signed by the National Chairman (Buni) and National Secretary (Akpanudoedehe) of the CECPC, contrary to the provision of the Article 1.1.3 of the Commission’s Regulations and Guidelines for Political Party Operations (2018).
Furthermore, the APC is reminded of the provision in Section 82(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, which requires ‘at least 21 days’ notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of “merger” and electing members of executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any elective offices”.
However, in a chat with DAILY POST, a chairmanship aspirant, Mallam Saliu Mustapha said the President’s call for peace among feuding party members ahead of the March 26 National Convention was one that resonates with him.
Mustapha, who spoke through his media aide, Dapo Okunbajo said Buhari’s statement was a proof that he was keen on making the party stronger than ever.
On his part, Mr. Dagogo Fubara, who is also contesting for the position of National Youth Leader of the party, said while he believed the President was in charge, the observation made by the INEC was very important.
His words: “I believe that inasmuch as the INEC has raised an issue, the legal team surrounding the President will give him the best advice as regards to the position that the President has taken.”
Fubara said there was the need for the party to take a look at the complaints by the INEC in order to ensure that the opposition party does not consolidate on the loopholes to fight the party.
He added: “I believe that the President is in charge but we should also consider the complaints of INEC so that we can be on the right footing, because if we don’t put that into consideration, it will affect the party, just the way it affected the case of Zamfara and Rivers States.”
Speaking, another party member, Mr. Tosin Adeyanju said the President’s statement further taught party members and stakeholders to put party first before any personal interest.
He added that the Caretaker Committee was working towards March 26, stressing that party members must give them necessary support to make that date a reality.
Adeyanju added: “We must have a party first before the contending forces can contest elections. Therefore, it is a welcome development.
“I think it is a clear message that everyone should calm down and work towards the March 26th convention. Mr. President is on the same page with millions of party members on the need to have our elections on that date.”
However, efforts to get the National Commissioner of INEC on Voter Education and Publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye proved abortive.