The All Progressives Congress, APC, has capacity to accommodate defectors from other poliical parties.
This was disclosed by the FCT chapter chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdulma Usman, who allayed fears that the party may have to grapple with the unwholesome influences of some of the decampees.
“No, the APC can control every member because we play by the rules. The APC has rules and whoever comes into the party today, irrespective of the person.s’ pedigree will be subjected to the rules of the party.
The constitution of the party has rules that govern all activities: those to contest or aspire for any elective office inclusive.
“If all FCT residents want to decamp to the APC they are welcome because the constitution of the party is there to guide and it allows the party to absord defectors.
Where defectors can offer their contributions in line with our rules they can do so because APC operates on a level playing ground,” he said stressing that the party will welcome all defectors into fold.
Usman, who appaluded President Muhammadu for taking his time to fix the 16 years of damage done to the system by the PDP government, asserted that the APC was ready for the forthcoming local council elections in the FCT.
“We have advantage in the council polls because Nigerians want to be associated with the centre. So the syndrome of bandwagon effect is in our favour. As the ruling party at the centre, we have that advantage.
But we are not relying wholly on that, we are working hard to produce acceptable and credible candidates to contest the council elections,” he said adding that efforts were being made to ensure that only persons rooted in the grassroots and having deep knowledge of the people and area he or she wants to represent will be allowed to fly the flag of the party.
“The election is a grassroots one, meaning that whoever wants to contest must be somebody rooted in the grassroots, known by the people and accepted by the people at the grassroots.
We are looking at people who are possibly known to have been born here, probably schooled here and indeed those within the the FCT not outsiders.
We will screen them to ensure they are not persons with criminal records and tendency.” The chairman, who spoke after meeting with the leaders of the 62 wards and party’s chairmen in the six area councils, was of the view that the APC woul sweep off the PDP that had won the majority of councils and wards since 1999.
Presidential Primaries: Disquiet as PDP loses Eagle Square to APC
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may now be forced to use the MKO Abiola Stadium in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for its May 28 presidential primary according to new developments.
The APC was said to have used the influence of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muhammed Musa Bello, to quickly reserve the Eagles Square for its presidential primary scheduled to hold between May 30 and June 1.
The PDP had during its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting ratified the conduct of the presidential primary (special national convention) to elect its presidential candidate on Saturday, May 28 to Sunday, May 29, 2022 in Abuja.
The venue, has, however, become an issue as the APC had already fixed the venue of its convention at Eagle Square, Abuja, where PDP had its special convention to elect its national officers in October, last year.
In its letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP, it was learnt, stated that it will hold its convention at the MKO Stadium, Abuja.
The venue, some stakeholders of the party, who do not want their names mentioned, said the place is too small for where the presidential primary should take place.
It was noted that the party is expecting about 3,700 delegates with about 10,000 supporters and staff, while the capacity of the facility, where the primary will take place at the MKO Stadium, is about 7,000.
The party stakeholders have expressed sadness that the venue will not be able to accommodate the delegates, supporters and friends of aspirants.
Of more concern, the stakeholders said is that, according to the schedule of PDP activities, the party was supposed to publish the names of delegates on Tuesday and that has not been done.
Shekarau dumps APC for NNPP
Sen. Ibrahim Shekarau, a former Kano State Governor, has officially dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) and joined the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
This was confirmed on Tuesday via a terse statement on the official Twitter account of the NNPP.
The statement, which reads: “Finally: Sen Ibrahim Shekarau Join Us”, was shared alongside a photo of Senator Shekarau and Senator Ibrahim Kwankwaso.
Recall that there had been some back and forth about Shekarau’s planned defection to the NNPP, with some power brokers in the APC said to be negotiating with the former governor not to leave the ‘broom party.’
However, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso has been at the helm of the vanguard, working to ensure Shekarau’s defection from the APC to the NNPP.
On Sunday, Kwankwaso stormed the residence of Shekarau in Kano to work out details of the defection.
INEC gives APC, PDP, others deadlines
Ahead of primaries, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given deadlines to political parties on nomination and withdrawal of candidates.
The electoral commission also foreclosed the adjustment of election timetable.
In line with its guidelines, INEC has directed the parties to submit lists of delegates for elective offices to it, seven days to the date of the primary.
Both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) submitted designated centres for their national conventions to INEC yesterday.
APC opted for the Eagle Square while the PDP chose the Velodrome at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.
It was learnt that unlike in the past, the commission decline to bend the rules so as not to distort the timelines for the 2023 poll.
The commission has fixed the last day for withdrawal of candidate(s) and the replacement of withdrawn candidate(s) for July 15 (Presidential and National Assembly) and August 12 for governorship and Houses of Assembly.
Also, while the last day for submission of nomination forms for presidential and National Assembly election is August 8, the curtains will be drawn for governorship and Houses of Assembly on August 18.
The publication of final list of nominated candidates will be on September 20 (Presidential and National Assembly elections) and October 4 for other strands.
But the public campaign for the presidential and National Assembly elections will kick off on September 28 and that of the governorship and Houses of Assembly is from October 4.
According to a top official of INEC, the parties have been notified of the timelines for appropriate guidance.
The guidelines read in part: “In compliance with Article 4.5.1 of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Political Party Primaries, a political party that adopts the indirect primary mode, shall make available to the commission not later than seven days to the date of the primary, the list of persons that will form the delegates that are eligible to vote for nomination of the party candidate to contest every elective position. “
“The list of delegates shall be accompanied with the list of aspirants and the list of the party Electoral panel conducting the primary.
“In compliance with Section 84(9-11) of the Electoral Act 2022, a political party that adopts the Consensus Primary mode shall make available to the commission copies of the written consent of all aspirants cleared for the position indicating their endorsement of the consensus candidate who shall then be ratified by a special congress or convention
“In compliance with Section 84 of the Electoral Act 2022, primaries and voting by members or delegates of a political party to nominate candidates for elective positions shall hold at designated centres within the respective national, state, senatorial, federal and state constituencies.
“Primaries held outside designated constituencies shall accordingly be invalid.”
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