Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is to hold its national convention in February next year.
National Caretaker Committee Chairman, and Governor of Yobe State, Mai-Mala Buni disclosed this on Monday, in an interview with State House Correspondents, after he led two other Governors, Bagudu Atiku of Kebbi and Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa, to a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said: “The Progressive Governors’ Forum after their meeting, has suggested February to the party and the President has concurred so we are going ahead to plan for the convention in February. Nigerians should expect more unity and progress as a result of the forthcoming convention.”
On insinuations in some quarters that he might be delaying the convention to extend his tenure as the Caretaker Chairman of the APC, Buni said he is not jobless.
“Am I a jobless person who is always trying to extend his tenure; to do what? I have my primary responsibility as a Governor to go back to my State and carry out my primary responsibility. What I am here to do is ad-hoc and of course to reposition the party and that is exactly what we have been able to achieve,” he said.
The Caretaker Chairman said the Governors and APC leadership consulted widely before reaching the decision to hold the convention in February.
When asked to give the exact date in February, he simply said it would be communicated.
Upholding the Chairman’s stand, the Governor of Kebbi State, Bagudu Atiku, who doubles as the leader of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, informed Journalists that the APC Governors considered the fact that Christmas is fast approaching and about four States are yet to conclude their conventions before choosing February for the convention.
“Yesterday, November 21st, the Progressive Governors’ Forum met, where we congratulated and thanked the Caretaker Committee for working so hard in leading the party. We also thanked the President for supporting them to deliver on their mandate.
“I also explained yesterday that the Progressive Governors’ Forum discussed the issue of national convention of the party and they mandated us to come and discuss with the President as the party’s leader to give the input of the Governors so that the party and the President will consider.
“Part of the inputs we got yesterday was that we still have four states which are in the process of completing their congresses like Anambra; understandably because of the recent gubernatorial election, Zamfara and two others, because of logistic challenges and then, Christmas is around the corner and early January we will be very busy with Ekiti. So, the Governors, based on all these, suggested the party and the President should graciously consider February and the President is favourably disposed to the suggestion.” Governor Atiku explained.