The All Progressives Congress Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee is expected to hold its inaugural meeting today to discuss the way forward for the ruling party.
The meeting which would be held at the APC national secretariat, Abuja, is to set up sub-committees as part of preparations for the party’s congresses and the national convention.
Among the sub-committees expected to be set up are finance and publicity sub-committees.
The APC’s National Executive Committee, during its meeting at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, dissolved the party’s National Working Committee and set up the caretaker committee headed by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni.
The caretaker committee was given the mandate to organise the party’s ward, local government and state congresses as well as the national convention in the next six months.
The ruling party was on June 16 marred by a leadership crisis when the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja upheld the suspension of its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
Two factions on June 17 emerged in the party with one led by its suspended Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom, and the other consisting of 18 NWC members loyal to Oshiomhole.
Despite the opposition of the 18 NWC members, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday declared his support for Giadom and attended the NEC meeting convened by him on Thursday.
The dissolution of the Oshiomhole-led NWC at the instance of Buhari has been accepted by leaders of the party including Oshiomhole himself and some party officials, who initially opposed the President,
A highly placed member of the party’s NEC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “After their inauguration, the committee is expected to set up sub-committees to handle the various aspects of its assignments.
“The issue of zoning will come up later because they have six months. But right now, the focus will be on general housekeeping, preparations towards organising congresses to elect delegates for the national convention and so on.
“And you know, congresses will be held from ward, local government and state levels to elect delegates who will eventually participate in the national convention. It is procedural. Members of our party will now pay serious attention to their ward leaders considering what just happened to Oshiomhole.”
Oshiomhole’s problem began when he was suspended by the APC chapter in his Etsako Ward 10 in Edo State.
The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, which suspended him as the APC national chairman in March, hinged its judgment on his suspension by his ward.
Another leader of the party, who confided newsmen said, “What one will expect now is for the committee to start the process of healing wounds through words and deeds. They were appointed to solve a problem. We are confident they have what it takes to do so.”
When contacted, the Caretaker Committee Secretary, James Akpanudoedehe, confirmed to one of our correspondents that he had received the notice of the meeting.
Akpanudoedehe said, “I have received a text message. I align myself with what my chairman said. I have no approval to add or subtract. When we go there, what we will do will be unveiled. I cannot preempt what we will do. I am secretary of the committee. Maybe by tomorrow, a spokesman will be appointed to speak.”
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena, also confirmed that the meeting would hold. In response to the question as to whether the caretaker committee would be meeting today (Monday), he told one of correspondents over the telephone, “Yes, they are meeting.” Punch reports.