Salihu Lukman, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF)’s director-general, has described the call for the postponement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national convention as illogical.
Mr Lukman stated this in a letter to APC leaders on Monday in Abuja while reacting to the development.
“Statutorily, by the requirement of the Electoral Act, the party is expected to serve at least 21 days notice of the convention to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),” he explained. “This basically means that if the convention is to hold any day before February 28, 2021, the notice to INEC should be given on or before February 7, 2022. “That being the case, the temptation could be to argue that there is more time, some reminders would be necessary at this point.”
Orji Uzor Kalu had, on December 13, 2021, written a letter to the chairman of the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning (CECPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni, calling for the postponement of the convention.
However, Mr Lukman warned that postponing the APC national convention could lead to a repeat of the 2019 fiasco in Zamfara, preventing the party from participating in the election.
He added that the APC CECPC should make a formal announcement about the date and venue for the convention to disassociate itself from such calls, arguing the announcement is critical to prove that the committee is not interested in postponing the convention.
“No one should imagine that agendas set in 2014 or 2019 are sufficient to respond to contemporary challenges, which post-2023 governance will be expected to respond to,” he counselled the party. “The correlation between collapse of education since the mid-1980s, rising levels of unemployment and insecurity are very glaring.”
Mr Lukman appealed to the APC CECPC to ensure that the February 2022 convention is not just about electing the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) members.
“There must be some reflections about the challenges facing the country, with priority focus on problems of insecurity, rebuilding public education and health through mobilisation of massive financial investment in these sectors,” added the APC official.