State chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday demanded an immediate conduct of the party’s congresses to pave the way for the national convention to usher in a new National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
The party chairmen, under the auspices of the Forum of State Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress, told journalists in Abuja that it was time for the party to hold the national convention, billed for June, after the conclusion of the membership revalidation and registration.
However, contrary to expectations that the membership drive would’ve been concluded by Wednesday as originally planned, the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party yesterday extended it again, by three weeks.
The Chairman of the forum and APC Chairman in Borno State, Hon. Ali Dalori, said at a press conference that the membership drive had increased the base of the party.
Dalori said: “Thus, after the conduct and conclusion of membership registration/revalidation exercise, we urgently call for the immediate conduct of congresses and convening of the national convention; and to allow for the completion of all other tasks assigned to the committee by NEC within the time frame.”
He stated that the ruling party had witnessed tremendous turnout of Nigerians and a mass increase in the party’s numerical strength in the last few months.
He added that it was only proper that the party allowed the exercise to progress to the best of conclusion.
He said immediately after the commencement of the exercise, members saw the need for an extension to accommodate the second stage of the exercise in view of the mass turnout of Nigerians.
“Due to logistics bottleneck and the complexity of the distribution process of registration materials, a number of states only received the materials to commence the second phase of the registration exercise not too long ago, and will therefore not be able to meet up with the reviewed scheduled timetable of the exercise without denying so many willing citizens the opportunity to join the party,” he added.
According to him, the membership drive so far has provided a prelude to what would be expected in future elections in Nigeria.
He described the turnout of Nigerians to join the party as a vote of confidence in the APC, adding that “just like projected, we will continue into the next decades to provide the needed leadership to the country as the party in power, not only at the centre but in almost all the states of the federation.”
Also yesterday, the party, in a statement in Abuja by the National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, announced the extension of the ongoing membership drive by three weeks.
The exercise, which started on February 9 was scheduled to terminate on March 31, 2021, before it was extended for additional three weeks.
The latest extension was the second time the national leadership of the party would be extending the exercise.
Akpanudoedehe stated: “The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) under the leadership of His Excellency, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, had done everything possible to keep to the earlier timeline; however, it has become imperative to extend the duration of this very important party activity.
“Consequently, the committee has approved the recommendation of the National Committee for the Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update to extend the duration of the exercise for three weeks.”
Akpanudoedehe added that the audit of the reports received from the National Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update Committee; the States’ Registration Committees and that of the party Situation Room indicated most states for varied reasons, started late, and required additional time to conclude the exercise.
He said the party’s decision was also sequel to the applications from critical stakeholders, including all states’ caretaker chairmen for an extension of time to capture Nigerians desirous of joining the party.