The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will hold its convention March 26, the party has announced.
The initial signal was an indefinite postponement before the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) announced a date. It said the change of date is to enable the party to organise zonal congresses across the six geo-political zones on March 12. It was learnt that the governors protested the indefinite postponement by sending a strong signal to the Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee. This, it was learnt, led to the decision on the one-month postponement. The Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) was locked in a meeting last night on the convention and to prepare for today’s meeting of the governors and caretaker committee with President Muhammadu Buhari. Sources said the governors are unhappy that the caretaker committee took a unilateral decision to postpone the congress. Other decisions that would be taken today at the meeting with the President include zoning and micro-zoning of party offices, sales and return of forms, screening of aspirants and the zonal congresses. The caretaker committee informed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of the zonal congress date in a letter yesterday. The Nation gathered that the sale of nomination forms for the zonal congresses will take place between March 2 and 5 at the zonal headquarters. The caretaker committee also released some guidelines on the zonal congresses, particularly the purchase of nomination forms by aspirants contesting in any of the zonal congresses. For the zonal chairman form (National Vice Chairman), aspirants are to pay N5 million. For zonal secretary, zonal legal adviser, zonal organising secretary, zonal publicity secretary and zonal youth leader, aspirants are to pick their forms for N500,000 each. Aspirants for zonal woman leader are to pay N250,000 for their nomination forms. To encourage female and physically-challenged aspirants, the committee pegged their fees for any of the positions at 50 per cent of the prescribed fees. The decision on the change of convention date was reached at the 20th regular meeting of the caretaker committee in Abuja. Addressing reporters after the meeting, CECPC Secretary John James Akpanudoedehe said: “We have agreed and approved that activities for the party’s national convention will commence from February 24 and terminate on March 26 at Eagle Square with the National Convention. “Inbetween the convention, we have agreed to have zonal congresses, and all the activities are hereby given as approved by the CECPC.”