- The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has stepped up preparation for its national convention scheduled for April 29
- This is due to the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country on Friday, March 10
- The party leadership are also planning to visit the president for consultations
A report by Thisday indicates that the APC has stepped up preparation for its national convention scheduled for April 29 due to the arrival of President Buhari to the country on Friday, March 10.
The plans for the convention had remained in the background following the president's long absence from the country, but all that has now changed.
APC had mulled over plans to hold its National Executive Committee meeting and state congresses preparatory to the convention in April, but the actual implementation of the idea was kept in abeyance pending the return of Buhari, whose presence at the event was considered important.
Already, the APC National Working Committee had scheduled separate meetings with Buhari and members of the National Assembly caucus of the party to discuss modalities for the convention.
It would be the APC’s first national convention since it beat the Peoples Democratic Party to win the presidency in 2015.
An unnamed source in the presidency the party leaders would have visited the president in London to consult him on the possibility of going ahead with plans for the national convention, but the leaders later rescinded the idea, as some of them thought it could be misconstrued to mean that Buhari was being undermined.
According to the source, the president, being a critical stakeholder in the affairs of the party, the leadership believes it is necessary to give him the opportunity to be at the NEC meeting and, subsequently, the national convention.
“The party leadership will be meeting with the National Assembly members next week to consult with them and it will also have to consult with Mr. President. We do not want people to start misinterpreting our actions to mean that we do not want to carry the president along,” the source said.
It was learnt that the party’s leadership considered the meeting with Buhari very critical to the choice of dates and agenda for the NEC meeting.
By the constitution of APC, a mid-term convention is only used to adopt and rectify decisions taken during the NEC meeting as well as issues relating to constitutional amendments. It is not meant to elect national officers of the party.
The leadership of APC has said that it would push a motion to restructure the Board of Trustees, to convert it to restructure the Board of Trustees, to convert it to “Elders Forum” and prune it down to about half its current size.
The move has elicited mixed reactions from party stakeholders, some of who see it as an attempt to edge out some leaders of the party and whittle down the influence of others.
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Meanwhile, former APC spokesman, Comrade Timi Frank has alleged that the APC national chairman, Chief John Oyegun is planning to push out some prominent members of the party who have spoken against his leadership style.