Still Evasive About Date, APC Govs Maintain Party’s Convention will Hold February

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* Pass confidence vote on Buni; commend Oyetola, Bello

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Although still evasive about the specific date, the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), the umbrella body for governors elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), early this morning, assured party members and supporters, that the national convention of the APC would hold in February.

The governors, who met last night in Abuja after weeks of immense pressure mounted on the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of APC to fix a specific date for the party’s national convention, held their meeting behind closed-doors and wrapped it up early this morning.

Also, part of the resolutions of their deliberation was a vote of confidence passed on the Caretaker Committee of the party, led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni and two other governors, Muhammed Bello of Niger State and Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun state, whom they claimed had done “an incredible job of running our party successfully – mobilising people into the party and we are very happy with their conduct.”
For some weeks now, stakeholders of the party had squared up with the Caretaker committee over its refusal to announce venue and date for the convention.

Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), Dr. Salihu Lukman, had equally called on members of the committee to honourably resign their positions if the February date for the national convention failed.

However, addressing journalists after their meeting, which lasted for more than two and a half hours, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, refused to give a specific date for the convention.

But he insisted that the February date was still feasible, adding that the caretaker committee as the organ of the party was in the best position to announce the specific date for the national convention.

His words: “We passed a vote of confidence on the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party led by Governor Mai Mala Buni and two other governors among others, Governor Muhammed Bello of Niger State and Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun state, who have done an incredible job of running out party successfully. Mobilising people into the party and we are very happy with their conduct.

“We discussed our upcoming convention, which you may recall I had cause to address the press after we visited Mr. President in November, where Mr President and the party agreed that the convention will take place in February.

“We took inputs about the reviews and we noted all the misrepresentations in the press that we seek to correct that the PGF, is one united body as you can see evidently from the attendance. Our decision is unanimous. We are united behind Mr. President and we thank him and we are united behind the caretaker committee.

“We are one group of stakeholders in the party and our party respects institutions. The appropriate organ of the party is the caretaker committee that will announce a date.”
Those in attendance were the Governors of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwolu; Borno State, Babagana Zulum; Jigawa State, Mohammad Abubakar; Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu;Niger State, Abubakar Bello; Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai; Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, andKogi State, Yahaya Bello.

Others were the Deputy Governor of Anambra, Nkemakonam Okeke; Cross River State, Ben Ayade; Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun; Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle; Ebonyi State, David Umahi; Imo State, Hope Uzodimma; Plateau State, Solomon Lalong; Kano State, Abdulahi Ganduje and Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule.