TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI; TONY EZIMAKOR
LAGOS / ABUJA – The decision of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to hold a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting without a caucus meeting was aimed at sidelining Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor and national leader of the party, sources informed Daily Independent on Thursday.
The caucus meeting is always held a day before the NEC meeting where decisions that will be taken at the NEC meeting will be discussed.
However, in a bid to scheme out Tinubu, the party decided to call an ‘emergency NEC meeting’ without having the caucus meeting.
At the NEC meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa, all the structures of the party from the ward to the national level were dissolved while the disbanded executives were transmuted to caretaker committees.
By this arrangement, the Mai-Mala Buni led National Caretaker Committee had its tenure extended by additional six months. The Buni committee will now stay in office till June 2021 and midwife a new structure of leadership across board.
With the dissolution of the party’s structures, the president, along with the governors, who form the two major power blocs in the party will play dominant roles in picking candidates to fill the various posts when the structures are being reconstituted.
It was also gathered that the reconstitution of the party structures will give the president and the governors leverage in deciding how the party’s candidates will emerge ahead of the 2023 general elections as they will ensure that only people whose loyalty they can count on emerge as party leaders from ward to national level.
Credible sources said Buni, alongside all the state caretaker chairmen will be inaugurated today to begin another journey of leadership following the Tuesday’s decision of the APC NEC.
However, our correspondent gathered that party supporters in the camp of Tinubu are angry on why the caucus meeting which usually preceded the NEC meeting was not called.
According to them, if a caucus meeting had been called a day before the NEC meeting, the likes of Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, a former interim national chairman of the party, would have attended the caucus meeting and will not support the decision to dissolve the structures nationwide.
They also insisted that the outcome of the meeting is a carefully orchestrated coup attempt against Tinubu which has failed.
According to one of Tinubu’s loyalists, who spoke on condition of anonymity, “There is an attempt to whittle down Tinubu’s influence ahead of the 2023 presidential contest by putting the parties in the care of those who are not loyal to him.
“The plots against Tinubu are no longer hidden. What happened on Tuesday was a clear case of a coup that was masterminded by those who had planned to deal with the same man who helped them to limelight.
“This is the first time any NEC of the party would hold without the usual national caucus where issues would have been properly distilled and harmonised before the expanded NEC meeting.
“Caucus is the conscience of the party in the absence of a Board of Trustees (BoT); and those in the plot know that elders and leaders of conscience in the party will advise appropriately against the dissolution of the party’s structures nationwide. They know Tinubu and the likes of Akande are members of caucus, so they hurriedly called it an emergency NEC meeting.
“To us, it was not an emergency NEC because the date had been fixed since last week and we all knew it before the meeting. For us, we are already looking at the bigger picture. They should know that we won’t be stranded and the men shall be separated from the boys when the time comes”, he said.
APC Postpones Nationwide Membership Registration, Validation
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday postponed the planned nationwide membership registration and validation exercise scheduled for December 12, 2020 and January 9, 2021, citing the fast approaching yuletide season.
Senator John AkpanUdoedehe, Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), announced the postponement on behalf of the committee’s chairman and Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, at an emergency press conference held at the party’s secretariat.
The exercise has, however, been shifted to start in the second week of January.
The party said it regrets the inconveniences the postponement might have caused APC stakeholders across the country, while wishing them happy yuletide celebrations.
The party said: “As you are all aware, the membership registration, update and revalidation exercise of our great party was supposed to commence on Saturday, December 12, 2020.
“On account of several factors, however, including the fast-approaching Christmas and End of Year celebrations, as well as the interest of our Christian members and the objective of ensuring maximum participation, the CECPC has decided to shift the date of the exercise to the second week of January 2021.
“The CECPC sincerely regrets any inconveniences that may arise out of the change in date but appeals for the understanding of our teeming members and the general public in the interest of preparing a solid foundation for a successful exercise.”
Recall that the NEC of the party had approved the membership registration exercise which, it claimed, would strengthen the party.