APC replies INEC, says it didn’t breach law on National Convention plans

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that it has not fallen short of the law in any way with regards to the letter it sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to monitor its forthcoming National Convention.

The National Youth Leader in the APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Mr Ismail Ahmed, said this on Friday in Abuja.

APC National Convention has been slated for March 26 to elect new national executives to manage the party’s affairs, which is presently being managed by its CECPC.

The INEC in a letter had rejected an invitation to an emergency meeting of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) ahead of its national convention.

INEC’s response, dated March 9 and signed by its Secretary, Rose Anthony, was titled: “Re: Invitation to the emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee”, and addressed to the National Chairman, APC CECPC.

The commission drew the attention of the APC CECPC to the fact that the letter of invitation was not signed by Governor Mai Mala Buni, the National Chairman APC CECPC, and its Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in accordance with extant laws.

According to the commission, this is contrary to the provision of Article 1.1.3 of INEC Regulations and Guidelines for Political Party Operations (2018).

Ahmed, however, said the APC had comply with all the rules and had appropriately notified INEC, adding that it is no longer an issue.

He added that Prof. Tahir Maman, who oversees the party’s legal department would speak on the issue in due time.

“APC national convention would hold on March 26. I’m not only a youth leader, I’m also a lawyer. And we have served a notice to INEC for the 26th of February earlier.

“We served that notice on Feb. 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 Feb. 26.

“The moment, the CECPC agreed on March 26 as date for the national convention, that letter was written to INEC. INEC has accepted that letter. So that is long gone; is not an issue,” he explained.

He maintained that the March 26 date for the party’s national convention was not an issue, saying that the date is settled and sacrosanct.

On the current position of Gov. Mai Mala Buni, Ahmed said he was only on medical leave and would resume soon, wondering why it was difficult for some individuals to believe that.

He explained that since the inauguration of the CECPC in June 25, 2020, Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger had always acted whenever Buni was absent.

“It has always been the case, that has never changed, and now we have a convention on March 26, the chairman wrote a letter to go for medical treatment and transmitted power to Bello.

“These are two emergencies; he has a medical emergency that cannot wait for convention. We have a convention that cannot wait for him to be healthy, so one has to leave for other.

“Governor  Bello has been acting appropriately and there is no problem about that,” Ahmed said, wondering why people are making an issue out of the development.

He added that Bello was acting with the full authority of the APC CECPC and the party’s stakeholders, leaders and with the full consent and knowledge of Buni.

“For now we are doing it with the full authority and backing of the law, so there is no ambiguity in this, absolutely none.

“Power by the chairmanship was transmitted to Bello and he is fully driving it right now, and we are moving towards convention with the speed that is needed,” Ahmed said.

He added that if anyone had issues on decisions taken by the party on its leadership, he could go to the court.

He however appealed to the media to be responsive in their reportage and to always verify information before publishing.

Ahmed stressed that reports on the social media should be taken with a pinch of salt as they could be planted to score a political point, saying that the party’s leadership is open to the media always for clarifications of issues. 

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