Convention: President Buhari urges APC to explore Consensus

President Muhammadu Buhari has advised Nigeria’s governing party, the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, to explore the option of consensus, as the party prepares for its national convention.

Leaders of the party would be elected during the Convention.

The Chairman of the forum of Governors elected under the APC, also known as Progressive Governors ‘Forum, Atiku Bagudu made this known to State House Correspondents, on Tuesday, after meeting the President.

Bagudu said; “President Buhari is a believer in consensus as one of the options of producing leaders and has urged us to explore consensus, while recognising that many people who have indicated interest are equally competent but only one person will occupy the office at the end of the day… Consensus is part of our constitution and he urged us to work towards consensus.

He stated that consensus had worked for the APC in the past, where many chairman of the party emerged through that process.

“We have produced a number of national chairmen by consensus; Bisi Akande emerged as the pioneer chairman of the APC through consensus, John Oyegun emerged by consensus, Adama Oshiomhole emerged by consensus so the President reminded us of that.

“And the Governors have also been working to ensure that as part of equitable arrangement, zoning and consensus are incorporated.

We have done that at the lower levels, and even at the national level it’s almost certain that we will achieve it,” he explained.

Bagudu who is the Kebbi State Governor said; ”the Governors formally informed the President of the new date of March 26, set aside for the party’s national convention.

He said; The date of the convention, the caretaker committee briefed us on Monday their meeting and the proposed March 26, 2022.

And today, the Governors informed Mr.

President that we have had the briefing from the caretaker committee and we are supportive of their position.

Some of the Governor at the meeting
Zonal congresses
On the proposed Zonal Congresses, which many argue that it is not in the APC constitution, Bagudu said all available options would be looked at.

He said; “I think there has been so much debate.

On Monday, there was a statement to the effect that even the letter that has gone out was withdrawn.

So, zonal congresses are not explicitly stated in the Constitution.

Particularly, how you do zonal congresses.

And we have in the past done them with the National Convention, but nothing again in the Constitution stops them from being done outside the national convention.

But the final form will be decided, given the input we have provided,” he said.

He said contrary to insinuations in some quarters, APC Governors are not divided.

“Are Governors divided? Not at all the 22 Governors of the APC are united.

We are in total support of Mr.

President, we are appreciative of  his leadership, we commend him for his leadership.

We are appreciative of the sacrifice of the national caretaker, and extraordinary convention Planning Committee.

And we thanked them for the successes recorded under them.

Our party like I said, is greater and stronger, with more members by the day,” he stressed.

Shedding more light, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, said that the Governors were hitherto divided on the issue of timing for the convention but with the new date of 26th March, they are all on the same page now.

He said; “We were divided over the timing of the convention.

Some Governors felt we should not have the convention until we resolve all the congresses issues in some states because in some of the states, these matters are even in court.

“So some Governors held the view that we should wait until all these are resolved and that was not borne out of any agenda or selfish interest but just a realistic opposition to avoid violating any laws or putting our party structures or elected candidates in future.

“But after our meeting last night to deliberate on the proposal by the national caretaker committee and our briefing with the President today, we are all on the same page,” he said.

Zooning formula resolved
El-Rufai announced that the APC has resolved the zoning formular to be used for national offices of the party.

“We have agreed on a zoning formular for all the six geo-political zones and essentially we swapped the positions, such that now the northern zone will take positions that the southern zone had in the last eight years and vice-versa.

“It is a very simple, equitable and fair formular.

We will now go back and consult at the zonal level and look at the positions that are available and the process of preparing for the convention will start in earnest,” he said.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, stated that the APC would outlive the tenure of President Buhari and would return to power in 2023.

Lalong stated that “It has to do with the last question; somebody asked that the fear of Nigerians is whether this party will not go beyond the tenure of our president.

I think that from the progress report, read by our chairman, and from several assumptions, and also several reports that we’re seeing what tremendous efforts the Nigerian government is doing.

“And again, we’re already going around commissioning projects here and there in all the various states.

There is no doubt although you are not specific as to which reason will make us not want to come back again.

But as far as we’re concerned based on assessment, and based on what the federal government is doing tremendously there is every hope that this party, this government will move beyond our president and I think that is his efforts and that’s what he has been saying that by grace of God, this government will move beyond his tenure,”  he added.

Mercy Chukwudiebere
Convention: President Buhari urges APC to explore Consensus

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