From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Indications emerged, yesterday, that fresh crisis may engulf the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the proposed extension of tenure of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.
While kicking against the extension in a statement he issued in Abuja, Director General of APC Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, alleged that the proposed extension has strengthened the suspicions that the caretaker committee is reluctant to organise a national convention for election of the party’s new leadership.
Writing under the title, ‘APC’s litmus tests’, the PGF DG also warned party members to avoid situations where political touts are elected to party’s national leadership.
He warned the caretaker committee not to abuse the president’s confidence by delaying the national convention, stressing that no party in Nigeria has the liberal atmosphere provided in APC.
“Somehow, the reality is that in terms of convening meetings of organs of the party, for more than nine months, the caretaker committee has not convened any meeting of any organ of the APC apart from the emergency NEC meeting of December 8, 2020. Sadly, even the 13-member caretaker committee is hardly meeting.
“The needless extension of the exercise only serves to strengthen suspicions that the caretaker committee is reluctant to organise a national convention where new leadership of the party will be elected. Based on what has been done so far, the minimum requirement should be that records of members of the party are displayed in all wards and copies made available to local governments, states and national secretariat.
“With membership records displayed, timetable for congresses and national convention should be set. Under no circumstances should there be any contemplation of extending the tenure of the caretaker committee.”
Lukman equally advised the caretaker committee, noting: “APC is the only party where contestation is taking place and leaders recognise the challenges facing the party. If democracy is about contestation, with all its problems, APC represent the hope for a democratic Nigeria. For that to become reality, APC must pass all its litmus tests.
“A strong pillar, which is the catalysing element for the party to be able to pass all its litmus tests is the liberal leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, based on which he doesn’t interfere in the management of the party.
“The caretaker committee must not abuse the president’s confidence by delaying the national convention of the party. No party in Nigeria has the liberal atmosphere provided in APC,” he said.
However, a member of the caretaker committee, who spoke in confidence, said the party would not join issues with him.
“At the opportune time, we will reply him. Let him continue talking.”