The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress has shown no signs of abating even as the national reconciliation committee set up to resolve the crises in several states has failed to complete its task, effectively putting the February 26 date for the national convention in doubt.
The reconciliation committee led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, which was inaugurated on September 15, 2021, on Monday, demanded one more week to attend to pending petitions submitted by aggrieved members.
But an APC governor, who confided in one of our correspondents, said he and his colleagues would not support postponement of the convention despite the demand of the panel for a one-week extension.
The Adamu committee was expected to resolve the crises resulting from the ward, local government and state congresses across the country.
Based on the APC’s timetable, the Adamu-led committee was expected to submit its report on Monday, for the party to adopt it on Tuesday and then go ahead to inaugurate legitimate state executives on Thursday.
The party is expected to commence the sale of forms to all aspirants vying for national offices on February 14, 2022, while all accompanying documents must be completed on or before February 19, 2022. Sub-committees would be unveiled on February 19, 2022, while screening of all aspirants vying for national offices would hold between February 20 and 22, 2022 to be followed by screening appeals to hear and resolve complaints arising from the screening exercise on February 23, 2022.
The accreditation of all statutory and elected delegates to the national convention will be conducted between February 24 and 25, 2022 ahead of February 26 date of the convention.
However, the party’s schedule of activities may have to be altered going by the failure of the reconciliation to submit its full report.
The Chairman of the reconciliation committee, Senator Adamu, who said the committee was still receiving petitions, requested one more week to attend to the pending petitions.
He stated, “In all as of yesterday (Sunday), we had received 47 petitions, and you may wish to know that even this morning, people were waiting for us to submit their petitions. We had promised Nigerians that we would do justice as humanly possible to everybody who is aggrieved through fair hearing, and this is what we are doing.
“We had to come today to submit this interim because we are acting as boys’ scouts. A good scout obeys before complaints. So, we have been asked as of this morning to submit the report. We have submitted our interim report. As we said when presenting the report, there is still work to be done. Reconciliation is a work in progress. And we cannot pretend that we have taken care of every little thing that has come before us, but by the time the final report is ready, we will be able to give you the actual report.
“As of today, we still have petitions coming in. People are still trooping in to come and see us, and we cannot, in all fairness, stop them. Reconciliation is a work in progress. Nobody will tell you that political conflicts are based on ego in some cases, sometimes perception; none of us has control over that. Nobody has. So, we cannot stop them from bringing their petitions, but the first ones we get, we will do what we can to recommend to the party.”
He explained that when the committee finally submitted its report, it would be up to the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC caretaker committee to impose sanctions on members who kicked against reconciliation efforts.
In his remarks, Buni said the party was well-positioned for victory in the forthcoming elections.
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Buni, who was represented by a member of the APC caretaker committee and former Senate President Ken Nnamani, said the caretaker committee would study and implement the report to improve the unity and strength of the party.
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While receiving the report, he said, “As you are aware, the party conducted a successful membership registration and revalidation and now proudly has over 41 million membership making APC Africa’s largest political party and Nigeria’s leading party. With this numerical strength, the APC remains the party that can confidently win elections with a landslide victory in all the national elections.
“The submission of this report by the national reconciliation committee under the chairmanship of Abdullahi Adamu is coming at a crucial period as we approach the National convention and the 2023 general elections. Therefore, the committee’s findings would contribute in no small measure to a successful convention and the general election.
“Let me express our sincere appreciation to the committee for handling the assignment given to them with a high sense of commitment and responsibility. You have painstakingly visited states where we have challenges and addressed them squarely.”
He said the achievements the party had recorded in reconciling the differences among stakeholders in Gombe, Ogun, Kwara, and many other states had justified the party’s confidence in the individual and collective capacities of the committee members.
He added, “I wish to assure you that the Caretaker Committee will carefully study the report and implement the same to improve the unity and strength of the party.
“However, in spite of all the achievements recorded by the party under my stewardship and the high-profile defections into the party, it is very pertinent for the party to promote the philosophy of unity of purpose, to pursue national interests against personal interests and a functional system of internal democracy to have a United, stable and prosperous political party.”
While fielding questions from journalists after submitting the committee report, Adamu stated, “We have submitted our interim report.”
When asked if the panel would be able to treat pending petitions within seven days, he stated, that the committee would not stop members from submitting petitions.
Gov. rules out convention postponement
One of the governors, however, told The PUNCH that the schedule of activities would go on despite the extension being sought by the reconciliation committee.
The governor, who wished to remain anonymous, said the state executives would be inaugurated on Thursday whether the report on the reconciliation is ready or not.
He said, “The governors have settled for February 26 and the President has endorsed this date. So, whether the reconciliation committee’s report is ready or not is not my business and I think I speak the mind of most of the governors. Some people who are coming for the inauguration of states’ executives on Thursday in Abuja have booked their flights. Will they now cancel them. ”