The ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) has stated that its national convention will hold on March 26 as planned.
This was disclosed on Friday by Ismaeel Ahmed, youth representative and spokesperson of the caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee (CECPC) at a media briefing in Abuja.
Ahmed, who was responding to a letter addressed to the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said the electoral umpire had been duly informed of the convention.
Recall that the commission rejected a notice sent by the APC on its national executive committee (NEC) meeting scheduled to take place on March 17.
INEC had said the Electoral Act 2022 requires political parties to provide 21 days’ notice prior to any convention or meeting.
Speaking on the development, Ahmed said Tahir Maman, who is in charge of APC’s legal department, would respond specifically to the issue of INEC’s response on the NEC meeting.
He added that the electoral body had been served notice of the convention and that there was no issue on the date.
“APC national convention would hold on March 26. I’m not only a youth leader, I’m also a lawyer. We served a notice to INEC for the 26th of February earlier,” he said.
“We served that notice on February 5 and that was the required 21 days. If you are going to make any adjustment to that date, all you need is a letter making an adjustment to the date.
“You don’t need another 21 days and that letter was written about two weeks ago, when we realised that we couldn’t hold it on February 26.
“The moment the CECPC agreed on March 26 as the date for the national convention, that letter was written to INEC. INEC has accepted that letter. So, that is long gone; it’s not an issue.”
“It has always been the case; that has never changed, and now we have a convention on March 26.”
He also confirmed the authenticity of the letter from Mai Mala Buni, governor of Yobe, which requested a leave of absence and for Abubakar Sani Bello, governor of Niger, to take over as APC caretaker committee chairman.
“These are two emergencies. He had a medical emergency that could not wait for the convention. We have a convention that cannot wait for him to be healthy. So, one has to leave for other,” Ahmed said.
“Governor Bello has been acting appropriately and there is no problem about that. For now, we are doing it with the full authority and backing of the law. So, there is no ambiguity in this.
“Power by the chairmanship was transmitted to governor Bello and he is fully driving it right now and we are moving towards the convention with the speed that is needed.”