…Angry with INEC over leaked letter
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the initial notification of the timeline and schedule of activities it issued for its ward, state and national congresses.
The APC Caretaker Committee did not however, specify the new date the exercise would commence even as it expressed anger over the leakage of the correspondence with the electoral commission over the crucial exercises.
The ruling party, in its initial released timetable, had fixed sale of nomination forms for Ward Congress between July 1 and 7, inauguration of Ward/LGA Congress Screening/Screening Appeal Committees for July 10, 2021, Ward Congress for July 24, Local Government Congress for August 14, 2021 and the State Congress for September 18, 2021.
The correspondence from the party to the electoral commission dated July 6, 2021, and jointly signed by the chairman of CECPC, Governor Mai Mala Buni and Secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoehede, had specifically requested for the withdrawal and rescheduling of the congresses timetable without notifying it of a new date.
The letter tagged: “Re-Notice for the conduct of congresses,” with reference number APC/NHDQ/INEC/19/021/39 read: “We refer to our letter, reference number APC/NHDQ/INEC/19/021/20 dated 10th June 2021 on the above subject and wish to inform the commission that the party has rescheduled its congresses and national convention to a later date which will be communicated to you.
“This serves as a formal notification under the provision of Section 85 of the Electoral Act (2010) as amended,” the ruling party noted in the letter.
Sources equally revealed that the national leadership of the party might likely meet on Tuesday to discuss the development and fix a new timeline for the congresses and national convention.
Confirming the correspondence, the party’s chief scribe, Akpanudoehede, although he frowned at the leakage of the letter, he, however, claimed that the correspondence to INEC was not a complete postponement of the congresses but to fulfill the Electoral Act.
“The document in circulation does not intend a postponement of the congresses. How it leaked from INEC is strange. However, it is to cure the legal land mine occasioned by Section 85 of the Electoral Act on the issuance of 21-days notice to INEC, bearing in mind that the earlier date we released was not sacrosanct,” he quipped.
Indications that the congresses might be shifted became glaring on Wednesday last week when the national secretariat failed to distribute the nomination forms for election to various chapters of the party at ward, local government and state levels. Another challenge the party would have to contend with before the commencement of the congresses is the authentication and resolutions of the controversies trailing the membership registration and revalidation in some states.