Issues Before the APC Convention

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As the All Progressives Congress prepares for its National Convention, Nseobong Okon-Ekong highlights issues that can guarantee a Hitch-free exercise

One of the most anticipated political events of 2022, the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is around the corner. With it comes the myriad of issues that have bedeviled the party from inception, but have recently become pronounced through all its organs from the ward, local government, state chapters and the national body.

The boiling cauldron of multiple gladiators in the APC finally superheated and the party reached a tipping point when the former National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole was sacked. Leadership of the party became a free-for-all until the intervention from President Muhammadu Buhari which brought a new lease of life when the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC)-led by Governor Mai Mala Buni was given the important task of putting the party back on stream.

As a ruling party at the centre, there is pressure on the APC to put its best foot forward all the time. Most Nigerians look to the APC to present itself as a political party with responsible structures with built-in integrity to preserve the kernel of our democratic institution. The APC is not expected to entertain the flagrant display of impunity going into its convention on the back of flagrant abuse of set constitutional and procedural steps.

As things stand today, to return from the convention with its honour intact, the APC must remain guided that having judiciously observed all prerequisite political processes to the convention, and must equally set the party structures aright to ensure compliance with all sacrosanct rules and regulations of the party and the electoral law as regard to the conduct of National Convention of the party

It must be recalled that political processes that lead to a political party’s national convention are fixed and conventional – over a fairly long consensual period of time. It is the same for all political parties in the country.

The party, under the CECPC administration has done a commendable job of meeting up with the prerequisites of party convention preparation, having conducted relatively very successful Ward, LGAs congresses, and States congresses, across the wards, LGAs, the 36 states and FCT.

It is appropriate and in the interest of the party that we build on the successes of the CECPC handling of the party over the last months and the achievements that have ably redefined the operational pedestal of the party.

Recalling the achievements of the party under CECPC leadership that has endeared the party more to the electorates and the entire population of Nigeria, without controversy, APC is a stronger party than it was years back. With a much more stronger membership base and lesser internal rancour and litigations as associated with other contemporary political parties, and even a ruling party; a peaceful and transparent convention would just be the icing on the cake and a final impression of the readiness of the party to maintain its hold on the reign of power in the country and across an increased number of states.

This much the handlers of the party and all interest units within the party must take to heart in the overall interest of the party.

Now that the party is set for the convention, as part measures to guarantee a successful, rancour-free outing, the party should as a matter of necessity consider the fat that;
APC as a responsible political organisation has in the past proven that it is only guided by its rule book and should do the same again in the coming national convention.

The party must ensure a speedy and successful conclusion of all ongoing reconciliation actions, and to a large extent, as much as it is possible, bring the party into the convention on a truly united front.

The unity of the party is paramount, and the fact that there are pockets of disagreements means there are aggrieved members, groups and concerns; and to this end, the party cannot afford to downplay the reconciliation process and its outcome for a reason of a limited time or any other.

This is one agenda the party cannot afford to play with and which mus be yakent take very seriously. Now, as the APC prepares for its convention, as a sign of seriousness and allegiance with constitutional procedures, it must set its house in order among several other necessities.

The party is expected to identify and collate the list of its appropriate delegates to the national Convention. The list should contain both the elected delegates from the ward, LGAs and state congresses, and the party regular statutory delegates. It is very important that in collating the list of the party statutory delegates, the APC should not embarrass itself by including deceased persons who were formerly statutory delegates of the party.

It should not be forgotten that all past presidents on the platform of the party, all state governors, and all former and current members of the National Assembly who were and are still members of the party constitute statutory delegates. The list should be prepared and displayed for scrutiny prior to the convention.

Having released the time schedule for the party National Convention which is to hold on the February 26, the ball is now in the court of all the APC members, stalwarts, leaders and interest units and groups in the party to work together to give the party a peaceful, rancour-free convention that will further endear the party to the electorate nationwide.

Consensus Candidate

The constitution of the party as well as the Electoral Act prescribed the option of consensus candidate for political party in electing or selecting its National Officers to the National Executive Committee (NEC). It is suggested that the party, having presented a united front, consider this pathway as a measure to strengthen the agreement among units and groups and as well reduce the possible stress and litigations that may arise from direct and indirect elections.

Zoning

It is only appropriate in the interest of justice and recognition of fairness in inter-dealings with regional units within the party to adopt zoning as a measure to create the expected fairness. Party leaders and groups are therefore advised to tow the path of agreement as zoning is activated in the interest of the party to distribute the elective position in the party NWC Winning and retaining control of political power in Nigeria beyond 2023 would to a large extent depend on how well APC is able to manage the coming national convention. The most needed variable remains unity. On a united front, the party will surmount all adversaries and challenges and come out of the convention stronger than ever, building on the successes of CECPC over the last years.

QUOTE

The party is expected to identify and collate the list of its appropriate delegates to the national Convention. The list should contain both the elected delegates from the ward, LGAs and state congresses, and the party regular statutory delegates. It is very important that in collating the list of the party statutory delegates, the APC should not embarrass itself by including deceased persons who were formerly statutory delegates of the party.