Nigeria: APC Fixes Another NEC Meeting, May Extend Buni-Led Caretaker Committee's Tenure

30 November 2020

The APC will hold another emergency NEC meeting five after the dismissal of former chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

Nigeria's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has scheduled December 8 for its National Executive Committee (NEC).

This is coming five months after Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) was controversially sacked and replaced amidst the crisis rocking the party.

That resolution was reached at the last emergency NEC meeting attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, APC state governors and other key members in June 2020, where the party appointed the Yobe state governor, Mala Buni, to lead its 13-member caretaker committee.

Mr Buni-led committee was not only tasked to pacify warring factions in the party but to conduct a national convention to elect new leadership for the party within six months.

The six month window given to the committee will tentatively end by December 2020 and PREMIUM TIMES learnt no convention will hold before that time. Instead, more time will be given to the caretaker committee to conduct the convention where new national leaders of the party will be elected.

Since its inauguration, the APC caretaker committee has arguably delivered on some of its mandate by dousing the fierce polarization among its members in states like Ondo and Imo.

While many linked the party's heavy defeat in the last governorship election in Edo State to the division among its members in the state, others ascribed the APC victory in the recently concluded Ondo governorship election to the timely resolution of the crisis in the state chapter of the party.

In Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki was reelected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.

Mr Obaseki's disqualification from the APC governorship primary in the state was the last act that directly led to the sack of the Oshiomhole-led NWC in June this year. After his disqualification by the APC, the governor moved to the PDP where he contested and won his reelection.

The APC, however, retained Ondo after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu was reelected despite a crisis in the party in the state that led to his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, running against him in the election on the ticket of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP). Apart from his deputy, however, Mr Akeredolu was able to resolve his crisis with all the other aggrieved aspirants and factions in the Ondo APC.

Unresolved Court Cases

Under Mr Buni's interim leadership, Nigeria's ruling party still struggles to get its members to comply with Mr Buhari's directive on withdrawal of court cases against the party.

While the Zamfara State chapter of APC remains polarised, the party's national headquarters also recently sacked the APC Ebonyi State NWC due to, officially, the refusal of its members to withdraw litigations against each other from court.

The caretaker committee is, however, expected to brief the APC NEC on its activities so far including its efforts to resolve the party's crisis in many states.

The APC, in a statement issued late Sunday night, said its forthcoming virtual NEC meeting will "review the party's position and set agenda for the party's next move."

"In a formal invitation sent to APC NEC members by the National Secretary of the Party's Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, the meeting will "review the Party's position and set agenda for the Party's next move."

"In line with the COVID-19 public health protocols, the APC NEC meeting will be virtual. Login details will be sent to APC NEC members in due course. The meeting is slated for 11am at the Council Chamber, State House, Abuja," the APC deputy national spokesperson, Yekini Nabena, noted in the statement.

The NEC meeting is expected to extend the tenure of the APC caretaker committee headed by Mr Buni and extend the time given to the committee to conduct a convention.

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