Fresh crisis looms in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (NWC/ECPC) is alleged to be working towards another extension of its tenure.
The plot by the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led NWC/ ECPC is said to be ruffling feathers within the ruling party as some members are gearing up for a showdown. New Telegraph gathered that those behind the plot are insisting that the programmes of the caretaker committee should be stretched to December, when the party’s National Convention is expected to hold.
Sources within the party’s hierarchy, who confirmed the plan, however, told our correspondent that they were not surprised over the move. “It is not shocking; the goal post will keep shifting as nothing is predictable,” one of the sources said.
Another source said: “Instead of addressing critical issues inhibiting the performance of the various organs of the party, the caretaker committee has, most unfortunately, chosen to embark on a voyage of discovery of everything under the sun.
“Perhaps after the conclusion of the so-called constitution review, which was never part of their mandate, they will delve into restructuring. They have essentially constituted themselves into political busybodies.”
In a swift reaction, the Caretaker Secretary of the party, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe, said the (NWC/ ECPC) “will not give life to the lies of extension.”
According to him, the committee is working on a timetable to end its tenure by June this year.
His words: “You are aware that Hon. James Faleke took pages of major newspapers and advised us because of the COVID-19 pandemic that we should restrain from the membership registration and revalidation exercise, but we said no.
We cited examples of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducting elections during COVID-19 pandemic.
“How can somebody now want to put a word in our mouth that we want to extend our tenure? I cannot react to such negativity because it does not have bearing.
If people called us to stop registration and we said no and continued with the exercise, is it this amendment of the party’s constitution, which is one month that we cannot do?
“Are members of the constitutional amendment committee going to come up with a new constitution? No! They are going to use other works of other people who have tried to amend the constitution. Before now, the other NWC members tried to amend the constitution, but some issues came up.
So, members of the review committee are to look at what was done before and harmonize them. “Is it the amendment of the constitution that will take us six months?
We have given them a one month timeline and it will run simultaneously with the congresses. I don’t want to give life to lies or whatever they are saying. In my own action, l will ignore that.
“We will not want to over-stay our welcome. Extension has never been discussed, so what are they talking about? I don’t want to give live to it. For now, we are adopting a timetable that will make us to leave by June and we are focused on that.”
It would be recalled that the Buni-led caretaker committee was set up in June last year, following the sack of the NWC headed by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and the committee was given six months by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to conduct a National Convention that would usher in new NWC members.
However, before the expiration of its tenure, the committee secured extension of its tenure by six months in December last year. Consequently, the National Convention of the party, scheduled for June this year, has been shifted to December.
Some APC members objected to the first tenure extension, while others went to court to challenge the legality of the caretaker committee.
They argued that the party’s constitution does not provide for a caretaker committee as an organ of the party. However, some other party members came in defence of the constitution of the caretaker committee and extension of its tenure. They also have defended the committee on the membership registration/revalidation exercise.
Those in defence of the caretaker committee are of the view that the Buni-led executive has put the party on a strong footing with the membership registration/ revalidation exercise.
They have also advanced that the constitution review committee put in place by the committee will give the party a better constitution before bringing in new NWC members.