The All Progressives Congress (APC) Committee on National Convention has started consultations on proposals for zoning arrangements ahead of the party’s June 13 national convention.
This came as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the decision by the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, to dump the APC for the ruling party as a clear vindication of its stand that the APC was a party of blood-thirsty, religious and ethnic bigots averse to the unity of the country.
Fani-Kayode, one of the founding members of the APC, on Monday announced his defection to the PDP.
Howver, THISDAY learnt that part of the mandate given to the APC committee is to recommend acceptable zoning system and to present same to the Interim National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
After a closed-door meeting that lasted for four hours last Monday night in Abuja, the Chairman of the National Convention Committee, Governor Aliyu Wamakko, told journalists that the committee was about to finalise its plans for the convention. Another member of the committee, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu, told THISDAY that the committee was considering several options submitted to it by stakeholders, including the APC governors’ forum.
Also speaking about the meeting, a member of the committee, Senator Joseph Waku, said the committee had appointed sub- committee chairmen and secretaries to handle various aspects of the convention plan.
According to him, an ad hoc committee was also set up on zoning.
He said the zoning committee was expected to commence sitting immediately to fine tune various recommendations put before it.
“Ad hoc committees have also set-up the election committee and the zoning committee, which are also going to sit tomorrow to fine tune the recommendations and proposals we have made as a committee to forward them to the INEC for ratification,” said Waku. He said following the importance of the issue, members of the committee were allowed a sufficient time to make their contributions at the meeting.
The exhaustive deliberations, said Waku, prolonged the Monday night meeting.
His said: “So, for today, in the situation of zoning it usually takes long time for people to be allowed to contribute and chat when necessary and so on and so forth. So that is why it took such a long time.”
He added that today (yesterday) the committee would also meet at 8p.m. to inaugurate another committee that would set the ball rolling. The committee was however silent on who gets what from the proposed zoning arrangement.
Waku said: “It cannot be announced today neither can we brief you on that unless tomorrow when we will come back to fine tune it , to recommend to the Interim National Working Committee (NWC). And we are working to be able to put in place our proposition.”
The party had scheduled its inaugural national convention for June 13 and 14 at Eagle Square in Abuja.
Meanwhile, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday said: “The revelation by the former minister that the APC has sympathy for Boko Haram insurgents further confirms PDP’s earlier position linking APC’s utterances to the spate of insurgency and sectarians violence in the country.
“We have now been vindicated. The truth may be hidden for sometime but it has a way of expressing itself. The world can now see that we do not speak for nothing when we describe them in their true nature; a cult, a hypocritical lot, wolves in sheep skin, devils who, through their utterances, stoke the fires of violence by night only to wear messianic robes in the morning to shed crocodile tears for their victims.
“Nigerians are no longer at loss regarding who their real enemies are. They can now see why the APC feels no pain but seeks always to gain political capital out of the bombings and killings in our country. Having realised that they have been rejected by the people, they resorted to using dastardly means including promoting violence and falsehood to further their plot to destabilise the polity, balkanise the nation and truncate the democratic process, a scheme which has already failed.”
The party noted that a lot of reasonable and respectable Nigerians still in the APC would soon join the PDP as they had now discovered that the agenda of the APC is to promote violence and the personal agenda of a few unpatriotic individuals.
Stating that it remains committed to the national interest, the PDP said its doors are wide open to all well-meaning Nigerians irrespective of religious, tribal, ethnic or regional affiliations.
Meanwhile, ahead of the planned PDP national convention, tentatively slated for June 14, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party will hold a meeting today.
The news of the PDP BoT meeting was contained in an advertisement signed by the Secretary of the board, Senator Walid Jubril. The meeting is expected to take place at the Presidential Villa, Abuja by 7 p.m.
Already, the national caucus of the party took place yesterday.
Both the national caucus meeting of PDP and the BoT meeting are to consider the planned June 14 national convention of the party.