•Finances delay Convention
Two months after the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/ Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee inaugurated its Constitution Review Committee, the committee is yet to submit its reports.
The Committee, which was inaugurated on March 3 and headed by a member of the Caretaker Committee, Prof. Tahir Mamman, SAN, was given one month to turn in its report.
However, two months after, the committee is yet to submit any report. A chieftain of the party, who pleaded for anonymity, said that it was one of the ploys of the Caretaker Committee to delay the National Convention of the party scheduled to hold in June this year since it failed last year December.
The Caretaker Committee was yet to start any process to the Convention, as the party is yet to conclude its membership registration and revalidation exercise. The chieftain told Sunday Telegraph that the Caretaker Committee was looking for all avenues not to hold the Convention this year, as he said the members were saying a lack of funds was responsible for the delay in the Convention.
The party is already polarised into many factions because of the ways the Caretaker Committee is administering the party and some ambitions of some governors, the chieftain said.
The governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who used to be in the frontline of the APC National Leadership, has distanced himself from anything about the national secretariat of the party. El-rufai is not the only governor who has distanced himself but all the South -West governors on the APC platform.
The chieftain said the Caretaker Committee might rely on the Ministers of Transportation and Justice, Chibuike Ameachi and Abubakar Malami, SAN to finance the Convention. Others, who might contribute are: Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello; Yobe State governor who doubles as the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni; Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru; Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu and Niger State governor, Sani Bello.
The Kogi State governor, who has declared his presidential ambition, would only support financing the Convention, depending on what is zoned to the North Central, the source said. Inaugurating the APC Constitution Review committee on March 3, the Caretaker Committee Secretary, Senator John Akpan Udoedehe said: “Our party has grown quite large in the last few years and is poised to become the largest party in the continent with the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise.
Hence, we must have a set of laws that is near-perfect, by filling the lacunas! “The party expects that inputs will be taken from critical stakeholders, advocacy groups and party members. All previous efforts in this regard should also be countenanced.”
The only stakeholders that have engaged the Constitution Review Committee and sent in memoranda are women groups led by the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pullen Tallen and representative of women on the Caretaker Committee, Mrs. Stella Okitete.
The two groups that submitted their memoranda independently to the committee are demanding 50 per cent women representation at the National Assembly and State Assemblies. In his response, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Mamman said: “A lot has happened that the Constitution of the party did not envisage, both in the structures and organ of the party, relationship among organs and officers, processes etc. That may require a second look.
“Of course, the constitution of a political party, like that of a country is both a legal and political instrument. It can never address all the issues for all times. Much of its success depends on the operators imbibing the spirit of democracy, good faith and a sense of self-control”.
The reviewed constitution according to some party members would contain provision for the Caretaker Committee and whittle down the powers of the National Working Committee.
Meanwhile, every attempt made to get the response of Prof. Mamman or any member of the Caretaker Committee on the delay was not successful as they failed to pick calls made to them or respond to short messages sent.