The Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) has lambasted the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over what it said was its disrespect to President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the party’s planned national convention.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the PGF Director-General, Salihu Lukman in Abuja who responded to an earlier statement by the Secretary of the CECPC, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe who “issued a statement of rebuttal, calling on the general public to ‘completely disregard fake news on the reported suspension of the planned National Convention” after media reports of a postponement.
According to Lukman, the Committee has refused to commence the organisation regarding the national convention, disregarding President Buhari and other crucial stakeholders in the party.
With such an agreement, the responsibility of the CECPC is to go ahead and start organising the Convention. With almost two months after, the CECPC has not issued any notice of the Convention to anyone. Not even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which by the provision of the Electoral Act as amended is required to be given at least 21 days’ notice.
“It is very difficult not to conclude that both the Chairman and all members of the CECPC have no respect for President Buhari, which is responsible for why they are doing everything possible to sabotage decisions validly taken to hold the APC National Convention in February after consultation with the President” the statement reads.
It went further to say, “For whatever reasons, it would appear that the leadership of CECPC are enjoying all the public speculations maligning Governors and some other senior leaders of the party as working to stop the APC National Convention from holding in February 2022. This is most unfortunate.
The CECPC leadership have returned the party back to mode of open disrespect for any recommendation given. It is even worse now given that the CECPC is ready to sacrifice the future of the party. Clearly, what is steering us in the face is that all the bad leadership records under Comrade Oshiomhole led NWC is about to be met and outstripped by the present CECPC,” Lukman noted.
The Forum further revealed that the statement issued by the CECPC was vague regarding the details of the proposed national convention as the Committee “didn’t announce any date and venue for the National Convention. Very disappointingly, the statement said ‘sub-committee on budgeting and other substructures will be set up in due course.’”
According to Lukman, this was “a slap on the faces of Nigerians and an insult on party members. How can a statement from ‘a focus-driven, process-oriented political party’, make such a scandalous statement allegedly assuring that a Convention scheduled to hold in February without indicating a date and venue for the Convention?
If subcommittees, whether for budget or anything are to be set up, to perhaps mobilise funds for the Convention, why are they not set up with just about two weeks to the end of January?”
Consequently, the Forum charged the CECPC to stop shirking its responsibilities and blaming the Governors regarding the organisation of the convention.
“The CECPC should also stop claiming that it is waiting for the meeting of Progressive Governors before it takes all the necessary decisions to commence the process of organising the Convention.
“Such a claim is not only dishonest but also taking the support of Progressive Governors for granted, which is why Progressive Governors have been reduced to punching bags of all party members regarding all the challenges facing the party.
Therefore, in the event that the CECPC is unable to implement the decision to hold the Convention in February 2022, as decided, the leadership of the CECPC should honourably resign to save the APC, its leaders (including Progressive Governors) and members from the current spate of avoidable public embarrassment, simply because the leadership of the CECPC have decided to disrespect the decision to hold the APC National Convention in February.
“Unless the CECPC has given itself the new responsibility of being the political and electoral undertaker of the APC, it must stop promoting some subversive campaigns suggesting that it is undertaking ‘the immediate task of addressing contestations within the Party, litigations, fallouts of recently conducted Congresses and generally reposition the Party ahead of the National Convention.’
“Once this is the case, it simply means the CECPC’s new objective is probably to take APC to its political grave.
Once this is the case, it simply means the CECPC’s new objective is probably to take APC to its political grave.
“This should not be acceptable!”, the statement read.