•Party plans membership registration exercise
By Iyobosa Uwugiaren
An alleged plot by an influential group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) to extend the mandate of the current interim National Working Committee (NWC), coupled with the preparation to carry out new membership registration exercise nationwide has created sharp division and tension within the ruling party, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed.
Confronted with serious interminable squabbles within the party under the leadership of Mr. Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC, the party in the emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at the Presidential Villa on June 25, dissolved the NWC and set up a Caretaker/ Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee to manage the affairs of the party in the interim.
The 13-member caretaker committee headed by Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, was given six months by the NEC presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari to complete its assignment.
Within the six months, the committee was mandated to organise a national convention for new leaders to emerge.
However, less than three months to the expiration of the tenure of the interim organ of the ruling party, THISDAY’s findings revealed that there are no plans to call for a national convention of APC this year.
A member of the caretaker committee told THISDAY that a plot by a powerful group within the party to extend the tenure of the current leadership has created sharp division and tension within the party.
He said: ‘’In line with the resolution of the National Executive Committee of our party on June 25 this year, we ought to have fixed a date for the national convention of our party by now; because we have about seven weeks or so to put new leadership in place.
“But, as I speak with you a powerful group within our party, which claims to have the ears of President Muhammadu Buhari is working to extend our mandate.
“More so, this group is also planning to carry out new membership registration exercise that will last several months before a national convention is called. Many of us don’t know what they are up to.”
The insider explained that the same group, which forced Oshiomhole out of office is ‘’ desperate’’ to take full control of the party, “in line with its 2023 calculation.’’
However, the Director-General, Press and Media to the caretaker chairman, Mr. Mamman Mohammed, described the said plot to extend the mandate of the committee as a mere speculation.
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) of APC has not taken any decision to extend the mandate of the caretaker committee being led by His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni.
“The committee is still working within its time given to it. The governor is currently preoccupied in delivering Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State in next Saturday’s governorship election. As I speak with you, we are in Ondo State. Within that context, consider the insinuation as mere speculation,’’ the spokesman to the governor told THISDAY.
At the emergency NEC that created the current caretaker committee, Buhari had expressed serious concern about the fortunes of the party, which he said needed urgent intervention to immediately arrest further drifts and internal wrangling which may lead to total disintegration of the ruling party.
‘’Party is faced with internal wrangling; there are on-going litigations amongst some Party members and we cannot clearly ascertain the status of certain National Working Committee members.
“There are also other associated disputes as to the legitimacy or otherwise of holders of certain national offices of the party. The party is also contending with judicial claims and counter-claims, orders and counter-orders and indeed judgments and counter-judgments that are predominantly at cross-purposes,’’ the president had stated.