Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
About 6,800 delegates will participate in the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scheduled for Saturday, June 23.
In addition, 1,200 dignitaries and party men and women are expected to attend the event that would take place at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at the convention secretariat in Abuja Thursday, the Secretary of the convention committee, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, said contrary to the insinuation that the convention would be postponed, the exercise would go on as planned.
“It is not correct. The convention is going on June 23 as planned. Nothing has happened to suggest the contrary. So, I can say categorically that convention is going ahead,” he said.
Ndoma-Egba said the party was expecting about 6,800 plus delegates and more of its members to attend the convention.
He said: “Of course you know that we will have observers, vendors, the media and entertainers. In all you should expect about 8000 people.”
On the disputes arising from the state congresses, the convention secretary said they strove to resolve all issues, including the cases in court before the convention.
“We are hoping to resolve those issues before the convention, especially in states where we have court processes,” he said, adding: “We are working to resolve them in one way or the other. This is politics and at the end of the day, you must leave a window open for harmonization and reconciliation.”
Ndoma Egba said he couldn’t give the number of aspirants that had scaled through the screening exercise until the appeal committee finishes its own assignment.
On the issue of funding, the former Senate leader said that has not been a challenge.
He also promised that the committee was taking measures to ensure adequate security for the venue and indeed the capital city during the convention.
Meanwhile, the Screening Appeal sub-Committee has requested aspirants with complaints to submit their petitions.
The screening committee led by Katsina State Governor, Alhaji Bello Masari, concluded the screening of about 179 aspirants on Tuesday.
THISDAY gathered that the Screening Appeal Committee headed by the Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has started receiving petitions with respect to the screening exercise.
According to a source, the committee will sit throughout Saturday. The source said the aggrieved aspirants were expected to submit their petition alongside evidence to back up their claims at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja, venue of the exercise, not later than 12 noon on Saturday, June 17.
It is not, however, clear how many aspirants have been disqualified by the Masari-led screening committee as at the time of filling this report.