Determined to guarantee the sanctity of the February 2022 date for the convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), some key stakeholders are reportedly mobilising their colleagues across the six geopolitical zones for sustained pressure on the national leadership of the party, Nigerian Tribune report.
Arrangements for the one-month-long phased programme of action, the sources said on Monday, are said to be the brainchild of two influential groups in the APC, to stave off alleged plans by some forces not favourably disposed to February as the date for the convention to elect substantive national officers.
The organisers are said to have fixed January 11 as a tentative date for a “large gathering in Abuja of the APC main stakeholders from zones, to interrogate issues concerning the convention, national chairmanship contest and other issues relating to the party and the 2023 general election.”
While crisis persists in some state chapters of the party, some groups have warned the interim national leadership against changing the proposed date for the convention, which was announced after its approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Some sources privy to the ongoing mobilisation to pressure the APC top echelon and other major critical stakeholders, including governors elected on the platform of the party, said those behind the drive stepped up, in the past few days, preparations for the all-inclusive summit scheduled for the Shehu Yar’Adua Conference Centre, Abuja.
The sources said the organisers made enquiries from other party chieftains on the contacts of prominent APC leaders proposed to interrogate issues relating to the APC, especially the proposed convention.
One of the individuals said to be on the card as a speaker is the Director-General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, the platform for APC, Dr Salihu Lukman, who recently called on party faithful to ignore the report credited to Senator Orji Uzor Kalu on the need to postpone the convention to enable the party to resolve the crisis bedeviling it in many states.
Only recently, the APC leadership unveiled a plan to set up subcommittees for the convention, a development some party buffs described as cheering.
It was learnt that part of the plans of those behind the January 11 gathering includes rallies, lectures and other mass events that will dovetail possibly into the convention proper.
Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after a group, the Progressive Mandate Movement (PMM), issued a threat to the APC caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee over scheduled date for the convention, another group has threatened mass protest if the APC interim leadership failed to conduct national convention in February.
Abdullahi Mohammed and Comrade Adekunle Fijabi, the national coordinator and secretary of the PMM, respectively, at the weekend, demanded immediate release of processes leading to the national convention.
Speaking with Nigerian Tribune in a telephone interview, the spokesman of the Concerned APC Stakeholders, Abdullahi Dauda, dropped the hint of a mass protest against the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led committee. Dauda said it was an embarrassment that the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had elected a new set of national officers while the ruling party continued to prevaricate.
He said: “We are going to organise a national protest if they change the date. So, they better keep to their words.
“You can’t say you are a caretaker and be plotting to elongate your tenure.
“Why can’t we put our house in order? Look at the PDP, they have conducted a national convention while we are still struggling over date. This party isn’t a one-man show and we are going to resist it.”
Recall that the APC CECPC, at the end of their meeting last week, disclosed that it would soon constitute sub-committees ahead of the February convention.
The group warned that it was ready to launch the #OccupyAPC national secretariat if the convention to elect a new set of national officers was not convened by February 5.
It stated: “We also warn that if nothing is made public before January 5, we shall launch an aggressive operation #OCCUPYAPCNATIONALSECRETARIAT to force our leaders to do the right thing.”