The inaugural bi-annual convention of the All Progressives Congress is now scheduled to hold after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.
This is coming barely three days after APC governors and the party’s National Working Committee resolved to proceed with preparations for the convention.
Our correspondent learnt in Abuja, on Saturday that stakeholders across board agreed to proceed with the exercise in order not to breach the party’s constitution.
The constitution makes the bi-annual event mandatory.
As a mark of respect for the religious sensibilities of some party members, it was learnt that preparations for the event would be scaled down until the end of the fasting period.
Behind-the -scene consultations is however expected to continue with a view to raise a team to interface with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to pick a date.
A northern member of the party’s NWC who confided in SUNDAY PUNCH said the party remained optimistic about President Muhammadu Buhari’s return in time for the convention.
He said, “We are optimistic that the President will return in time for the convention. However, if he doesn’t make it back before then; no part of our laws prevents the Acting President from taking charge of proceedings.
“Remember, it is a joint ticket. President Buhari has left none of us in doubt about his commitment to this nation, the party and our democracy.
“He is indeed a born-again democrat. He has always done the needful each time he has to travel out of the country.”
It was further learnt that all relevant stakeholders were consulted before the agreement to go ahead with the convention was reached.
It was gathered that the party might consider the last weekend preceding July 31 to coincide with the date it got approval from the Independent National Electoral Commission to function as a political party.
When contacted, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, said he was not aware of the date being considered.
In response to a text message on the subject, he simply replied: “I don’t know.”
However, in response to inquiries from SUNDAY PUNCH on the subject, the party’s National Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire (SAN), said the party would hold its convention this year.
Asked if the physical presence of the President is required for the event to hold, Banire said, “Look at our constitution, did you find where it is mandatory (for the President to attend)?
“There is no provision. It will hold this year. It will be after Ramadan.”
Governors on the party’s platform and the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led NWC resolved to meet with Osinbajo and present him with suggested dates for him to choose from.