The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has shown no signs of abating even as the national reconciliation committee set up to resolve the crises in several states has failed to complete its task, effectively putting the February 26 date for the national convention in doubt.
The reconciliation committee led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, which was inaugurated on September 15, 2021, on Monday, demanded one more week to attend to pending petitions submitted by aggrieved members.
The Adamu committee was expected to resolve the crises resulting from the ward, local government and state congresses across the country.
Based on the APC’s timetable, the Adamu-led committee was expected to submit its report on Monday, for the party to adopt it on Tuesday and then go ahead to inaugurate legitimate state executives on Thursday.
The party is expected to commence the sale of forms to all aspirants vying for national offices on February 14, 2022, while all accompanying documents must be completed on or before February 19, 2022. Sub-committees would be unveiled on February 19, 2022, while screening of all aspirants vying for national offices would hold between February 20 and 22, 2022 to be followed by screening appeals to hear and resolve complaints arising from the screening exercise on February 23, 2022.
The accreditation of all statutory and elected delegates to the national convention will be conducted between February 24 and 25, 2022 ahead of February 26 date of the convention.However, the party’s schedule of activities may have to be altered going by the failure of the reconciliation to submit its full report.
The Chairman of the reconciliation committee, Senator Adamu, who said the committee was still receiving petitions, requested one more week to attend to the pending petitions.
He stated, “In all as of yesterday (Sunday), we had received 47 petitions, and you may wish to know that even this morning, people were waiting for us to submit their petitions. We had promised Nigerians that we would do justice as humanly possible to everybody who is aggrieved through fair hearing, and this is what we are doing.
“We had to come today to submit this interim because we are acting as boys’ scouts. A good scout obeys before complaints. So, we have been asked as of this morning to submit the report. We have submitted our interim report. As we said when presenting the report, there is still work to be done. Reconciliation is a work in progress. And we cannot pretend that we have taken care of every little thing that has come before us, but by the time the final report is ready, we will be able to give you the actual report.
“As of today, we still have petitions coming in. People are still trooping in to come and see us, and we cannot, in all fairness, stop them. Reconciliation is a work in progress. Nobody will tell you that political conflicts are based on ego in some cases, sometimes perception; none of us has control over that. Nobody has. So, we cannot stop them from bringing their petitions, but the first ones we get, we will do what we can to recommend to the party.”
He explained that when the committee finally submitted its report, it would be up to the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC caretaker committee to impose sanctions on members who kicked against reconciliation efforts.
Meanwhile, the convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scheduled for February 26 is now certain to hold.
The national caretaker body is writing to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to notify it of the coming exercise, as demanded by the Electoral Act.
The “Notice” from the Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker leadership is being awaited at the headquarters of the electoral body today.
A national newspaper first reported the chief press secretary to INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, on January 7 as saying the governing party was yet to notify the electoral body of the exercise. Section 85 (1) of the Electoral Act says, “A registered political party shall give the commission at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress, conference or meeting convened for the purpose of electing members of its executive committees, other governing bodies or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices specified under this Act.”
As days clocked on the planned convention, anxiety had heightened among the party faithful that the exercise might be truncated if the legal demands were not fulfilled or met.With the “Notice” for submission today, the Buni committee is five days clear of the deadline set by the guiding provision to fulfill the condition. INEC officials are expected to monitor the exercise.