The National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) earlier scheduled for Monday, May 14 will be moved forward, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, confirmed this in Abuja.
Abdullahi spoke on the plan to review the timetable for congresses and national convention while briefing journalists on the outcome of a closed door meeting between Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC) and APC governors at the party’s national secretariat.
In the timetable earlier released, the party scheduled ward congresses for Wednesday, May 2; local government congresses, Saturday, May 5; and state congresses, Wednesday, May 9, respectively.
The APC spokesman said some of the dates would be adjusted since the NWC had been advised to look at the current timetable again for being too “closely packed” and leaving little room for errors.
“The observation was that the timetable as it is currently constituted or composed was determined because of the Ramadan and we want to be sensitive to the feelings of Muslims who will be fasting in the month of Ramadan. Therefore, we try to avoid conducting any political activities in the month of Ramadan,” he said.
He further explained that the adjustments had no ulterior motive other than the logistic consideration.
Abdullahi said that the meeting underscored the need for governors to give room for free, fair and transparent congresses to avoid rancour that could be generated.
“It was acknowledged that one major way to prevent rancour is to ensure that those congresses are transparent and they are acceptable, at least, to the majority of the people concerned,” he said.
Asked to know whether the meeting discussed the purported endorsement President Muhammadu Buhari gave to a former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole as his candidate for the position of national chairman, he said, “What we were told at the meeting…was that the president had a meeting with some governors and they asked to know whom he wanted to support and I think he told them his preferences. But that has nothing to do with the meeting we had today.”
Asked to speak on the Oyegun’s second term bid, Abdullahi said, “I don’t think that is a fair question to ask me… I am here to represent my position. But what I can tell you is that Chief Odigie-Oyegun will make his position clear within the next couple of days whether he’s going to contest for the chairmanship.”
Governor Abdullahi Umaru Ganduje of Kano State, who also fielded questions from journalists separately on the outcome of the meeting, said the national convention would hold after Eld-el-Fitr celebration. And on replacing Oyegun with Oshiomhole, he said, said the process might be in order if it would ensure stability in the party.