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Concerns over NEC, caucus meetings in APC as Ganduje’s fate splits govs

There are growing concerns in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the failure of the party’s national chairman, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to convene…

There are growing concerns in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the failure of the party’s national chairman, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to convene National Caucus and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings.

Daily Trust on Sunday reports that the two organs of the party are key in fine-tuning and ratifying decisions of the National Working Committee (NWC), especially the NEC, which is its second highest decision-making organ.

Unlike the NWC, which is saddled with the day-to-day running of the party, the NEC ratifies NWC’s decisions on key issues, and where necessary, subjects them to the national convention, which is the highest organ, for final decisions.

The APC constitution provides that NEC meetings should be held quarterly to brainstorm and review developments in the party, with a view to ensuring its progress and stability.

Sources in the APC, however, said that aside from the national caucus and NEC meetings yet to be convened, the National Advisory Council of the party was also yet to be constituted despite being an advisory body of elders expected to serve as the conscience of the party, like the Board of Trustees (BoT) in other cases.

Findings revealed that since Ganduje was appointed as the APC helmsman at a NEC meeting held on August 3, 2023, only the NWC has been meeting, while all other organs have remained comatose.

Recall that from August last year till date, several members of the party have made efforts, including threats of legal action, to ensure that a NEC meeting is held, at least to ratify some key decisions reached by the NWC, but the efforts have so far yielded no results.

Sources said Ganduje was afraid of summoning the NEC for fear of being sacked, sequel to several protests against him.

However, another source close to the national chairman said the issue of convening the NEC and National Caucus meeting was not entirely Ganduje’s affair. The source said the former Kano State governor had reached out to the president on this, but was yet to receive a commitment concerning a potential date.

Recall that an alleged corruption case in Kano and a recent “purported” sack by executives from his ward and the litigation that followed had ignited protests against Ganduje within the party, with stakeholders calling for his head.

Analysts say that judging from the coalition of forces against Ganduje, it would take a miracle for him to survive the numerous onslaughts against him and complete his tenure.

Pundits have also argued that the only suspense subsisting in the episode is the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu factor.

Governors split over Ganduje’s fate

Sources told our correspondent yesterday that governors who are members of the party were divided over calls for Ganduje’s resignation, which is believed to be a major impediment to the NEC and National Caucus meetings.

It was gathered that while some governors are behind him, others who are not convinced about his emergence or his leadership are said to be holding back on launching an all-out war because they fear this might pit them against the president. Some of those in the latter group are said to have strategically stopped attending APC events.

Also, some of those in this group have also stayed off the APC national secretariat in Abuja.

The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), led by Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, has also been observed to have taken a back seat in recent times, as observers noted that unlike what was obtainable in the past, the forum has not been holding regular meetings.

Party leaders worry over state of affairs

On March 23, 2024, the APC national chairman, Ganduje, said President Tinubu had approved the NWC proposal to carry out a nationwide e-registration of members.

He disclosed this when he hosted some APC state chairmen at the headquarters of the party in Abuja.

Ganduje said, “The president has granted your requests, especially on political appointments. He is doing something about it. He also emphasised the importance of electronic registration, which we have been working on with the consultant and our committee at the headquarters, which has gone far.

“Now, we are going to the grassroots level. It (e-registration) will be connected across all the wards of the federation, but you need to oversee the recruitment of officials who will undertake the exercise.”

But some stakeholders of the APC said it was the responsibility of the NEC, not President Tinubu, to approve the e-registration of members nationwide.

Some members of various organs who spoke with our correspondent yesterday expressed displeasure over the issues, saying, “The APC has turned into a one-man show.”

A member of the National Caucus, who asked not to be named, told Daily Trust yesterday that Ganduje’s action was driving the party on the path of implosion.

The politician, who played a role in the formation of the APC, advised that if Ganduje is afraid of being sacked by the NEC, he should lobby majority of members on his side.

He also blamed President Tinubu, who anointed Ganduje, for not intervening in the interest of the party.

He said, “Tinubu borrowed this thing from Buhari, who never took the organs of the APC seriously. So, it appears to be infectious and the bug caught up with Tinubu and he acts alone.

“I am sure he just passes down instructions to the national chairman, who was handpicked. The real owners of the party are sidelined. Anyone who has a divergent view is not tolerated. So, we are in for autocracy. It is unfortunate.

“We have a national chairman who was appointed against the wishes of the North Central zone, which should replace Abdullahi Adamu.

“As it stands, it is like they are calling for implosion. This kind of thing is condemnable and should not be allowed to continue. The APC leadership is not ready to be questioned.”

Last week, a former national vice chairman (North West) of the APC, Salihu Mohammed Lukman said, “The NWC of the party has appropriated the powers of all organs, and in its name, the national chairman is taking discretionary decisions.

“With such reality, many of the decisions taken not only violate sections of the APC constitution but also undermine sections 221–229 of part Il of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended, as well as the Electoral Act 2022.”

Similarly, another chieftain of the APC who craved anonymity told our correspondent in a telephone interview that “what is happening now is the opposite of APC’s founding vision. Something needs to be done urgently to correct the anomaly.”

But reacting, the APC national publicity secretary, Felix Morka, a lawyer, said, “We have not scheduled NEC meeting yet. When we schedule it we will make an announcement. So, our members should be patient.”

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