APC: Buhari’s absence delays convention

President Muhammadu Buhari’s health has been largely responsible for his party’s inability to hold its mid-term non elective convention.

Plans for the convention will begin July 29, the All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday.

The party has set up a nine-member committee headed by Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai to work out a “shared understanding” of what it meant by restructuring as contained in its manifesto to give a clearer understanding of the issue.

Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) chairman and Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari who addressed reporters at the end of a meeting between the governors elected on the platform of the party and the National Working Committee (NWC) however said the party chiefs would meet with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to fix a date  for the convention.

He explained that in view of the relationship between the executive and the legislature and the need to forge a cordial relationship within the hierarchy of the party, principal officers of the National Assembly would henceforth be part of the regular meeting with the party’s leadership.

He said: “We discussed a number of issues ranging from congresses, which will commence on Saturday to elect two delegates for the convention. We discussed the issue of the relationship between the governors and the National Assembly and the need to have this meeting between the principal officers of the National Assembly, the governors and the party.

“We have been on this issue of mid convention for sometime. But you know that the President is the leader of this party and before getting to the convention, there is a process. First, the NWC must agree on the time and we have to adopt the report of the NWC to the NEC and the President must be in attendance as the leader.

“You know the situation of our President today. We have been fixing time, but because of his illness, we have not been able to hold the convention. But we have to put a process in place so that we can hold the mid-term convention.

“It is not an elective convention and the three delegates to be elected on Saturday, July 29 will be the delegates for convention, which will fill some of the existing vacancies. This convention has nothing to do with the PDP.

“We have agreed collectively that we are going to meet the Acting President. But you should understand that he is acting in the capacity of the President of the country as well as Vice President. Tomorrow, he is going to perform the function of Vice President as Chairman of National Economic Council and the entire issue of security, the economy and administration lies on him.

“So, you cannot take him as a small man to deal with because he is two in one. We will meet with him to discuss other issues as well as the issue of convention. We are not saying anything different from what we have decided earlier in the issue of convention.”

Yari said the meeting discussed also the Osun senatorial election which the party lost, adding that the meeting set up a committee made up of governors and members of the NWC to look into the issue with a view to ensuring that there is no repeat of such in future.

“Let me say it is a wake-up call on how to deal with things like that in future. We are in a democratic setting and Adeleke is from APC and his late brother is from APC and we all know what happened. We have discussed that extensively and measures have been taken to avoid future occurrence.”

National Publicity Secretary Bolaji Abdullahi said a committee to be headed by El-Rufai would define what the party meant by restructuring.

The 10 members of the committee are El-Rufai (Chairman), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Oserheimen Osunbor, Sen. Osita Izunaso, Hajiya Fatima Bala and Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (Secretary).

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