Intrigues Deepen as APC NEC Meets Tomorrow

Mai Mala Buni

•Caretakers to get tenure extension

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The power struggle within the All Progressives Congress (APC) persists, giving rise to massive intrigues as the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party meets tomorrow over the tenure of the National Caretaker/Convention Planning Committee led by Yobe State Governor Mala Bunu.

The committee’s tenure would expire this month having been set up in June after the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) was dissolved by the NEC.
But the committee failed to kick-start the process of the national convention and rather proposed to reregister members of the party before holding the convention.

Tomorrow’s meeting, THISDAY gathered, will deliberate on the extension of the tenure of the caretakers, the membership registration and revalidation exercise and zoning of various party offices for the party’s national convention.

A party source informed THISDAY yesterday that for President Muhammadu Buhari to have given his support to the membership registration and revalidation exercise proposed by the caretaker committee was an indication that the tenure of the committee would be extended.
The source who does not want his name in print also added that the party cannot be allowed to function without leaders.

The source stated: “That Eta’s case, he only filed it; there is no ruling or any judgment. There is no way they won’t extend the tenure of the committee because you can’t allow a vacuum. If you don’t extend the committee’s mandate, what will you now do, will you now say the party will be without leadership
“For the president to endorse the membership registration and revalidation exercise, if you follow the so-called body language, that’s already a pointer now.”

However, the inability of the caretaker committee to organise a national convention within the six months, as part of the mandate given to it has started creating ripples within the party.
It has also renewed hostilities and power struggle within power blocs in the ruling party.
As the battle for the control of the soul of the party continues, a former National Vice Chairman (South-South) of the party, Mr. Hilliard Eta, last week instituted a case against the party over the dissolution of the NWC.

Eta approached a Federal High Court in Abuja and asked for the nullification of the June 25th NEC meeting, which dissolved the NWC.
Also, a group, Concerned Members of APC, has raised the alarm over alleged plan by the caretaker committee to dissolve all the party structures across the states before the expiration of their tenure in 2022.

The group, in a statement at the weekend, alleged that “a cabal of four governors” have abandoned governance in their states and have hijacked the party, adding that the planned dissolution of the party’s structures will take place after the registration and revalidation exercise embarked on by the party.

The Spokesperson of the group, Mr. Abdullahi Dauda, in a statement also said: “We are aware of the plan to postpone our convention and do a fresh registration. The questions we are asking are: What happened to the party register? Has the party been operating without one? How did we come about the 16 million members we told Nigerians in 2019? Is this registration not another plan to remove people who those controlling the party now don’t like?

“We know the agenda of the NEC meeting is to extend the tenure of the caretaker committee, we are also aware of the meeting in Abuja where it was agreed that the Kebbi State Governor, [Senator] Atiku Bagudu, will move the motion and the Jigawa Governor [Mr. Mohammed Abubakar] will second it.”