National chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the party’s convention will hold on April 29.
This was as he expressed satisfaction that governance had not suffered despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence.
Addressing a gathering of the party governors at a meeting held on Thursday at the national secretariat, Chief Odigie-Oyegun declared that President Buhari’s knack for due process had made it practically impossible for those itching to create disaffection in the country to hatch their plot.
He said: “What makes me happy, in spite of these negative speculations and attempt to destabilise the polity, is that his respect for due process and the constitution of this nation has left a structure that is functioning very effectively despite his absence and one can say quite clearly that the wish of the president is that the government will continue to function efficiently and effectively and that the party also should continue and proceed to execute its normal duties and functions.”
He further accused the social media of orchestrated plot to cause disaffection among his leadership of the party, the governors and Presidency over what he called sensational reports on the party’s activities.
“Today, the papers were replete with all manner of speculations which has become the pastime of the social media to carry all manners of fake and totally out of line speculations as to any step that we take on virtually any issue. I think this is something that we have to talk about later,” he said.
He declared that the agenda of the meeting with governors, contrary to social media reports, was not about the health of President Buhari, but to engage the governors ahead the party’s convention to hold next month.
“It is important to say that our meeting today has absolutely nothing to do with the health status of the president.
“This meeting is just one of the series of meetings we are holding in the run-off to the non-elective national convention. We have held consultations with our leadership in the Senate, in the House of Representatives, we are going to hold consultation with the ministers as part of the preparation for the national convention, which is a mandatory requirement.
“It is a mandatory mid-term non-elective convention and the purpose is to allow us as a party and as government to sit and see how far we have gone, what we have done right, assess ourselves by bringing our leaders from all over the country to sit us once every two years and exchange ideas and listen to the achievements of their government.
“The purpose of the meeting is very clear. There are a lot of things that must happen in preparation towards our non-elective convention which the states must be actively involved. We are going to have state congresses, ward congresses and fill vacancies. We will take the opportunity to fill every single vacancy at all levels of the party arising from deaths, appointments and others. We are also required to elect three delegates, who will participate in the forthcoming convention.”
Speaking with newsmen at the end of the meeting which lasted over two hours, Zamfara State governor and chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Abdulazeez Yari, disclosed that April 29 had been fixed for the convention, just as he restated Odigie-Oyegun’s position that a meeting between the
National Working Committee and the APC Governors’ Forum would now hold regularly.
The APC NWC and the governors resolved to put modalities in place to ensure sustained funding of the ruling party.
“Our great party, we met, we interacted and aligned our position on the convention that is coming up on April 29.
“Like our chairman said, it is a mandatory, non-elective convention. We have been meeting, we are going to be meeting quarterly and when there is election, we will be meeting regularly.”
Governors in attendance were Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi); Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo); Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa); Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa); Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Kano); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo).
Governors of Lagos, Oyo and Niger states were represented by their deputies.