The All Progressives Congress (APC), North Central Critical Stakeholder Forum, has called on the party’s leadership to ensure that those defecting from opposition political parties abide by its progressive ideology.
The forum made the call at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja.
It added that the party should be careful not to lose its ideological focus in the wake of the defection.
Mr. Sani Salisu, speaking on behalf of the forum, said as opposition governors and chieftains continued to defect to the APC, there was the need for it to be mindful of those joining its fold.
“The influx of opposition governors and chieftains into our party has no doubt bolstered our base and the Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) deserves a pat on the back for this.
“But we must be careful not to lose the ideological focus of our party in the wake of defection.“Defectors must be willing and made to abide by the progressive ideology of the party rooted in good governance and accountability, for which it is renowned,’’ Salisu said.
Salihu, who is a former Commissioner for Information in Kogi, commended the party’s CECPC for the success of its recently concluded nationwide membership registration and revalidation exercise.
He noted that the exercise that culminated in registering about 40 million APC members nationwide was an unprecedented development in the country’s political history.
He, however, advised the CECPC to resist temptations to shift dates of the congresses from ward to the state level as announced in the released timetable, under any guise.
On the recent extension of the tenure of the CECPC by President Muhammadu Buhari, Salihu said there was need for the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to meet to legitimize its operations.
“Though the extension of the tenure of the CECPC has become imperative, we make bold to say it can only be legitimate by a resolution of the NEC.
“Therefore, we call for an immediate convening of a NEC meeting to ratify the extension of the committee’s tenure and approve the timelines for congresses and national convention.
“It is imperative for this to be done so that our party does not face any legal conundrum over the conduct of the congresses,’’ he said.
He also urged the CECPC to summon a meeting of the party’s National Caucus, as a prelude to the NEC meeting in line with Article 12.5 of the APC amended Constitution.
According to him, it is the tradition of the APC to hold an expanded national caucus meeting before the NEC meeting.
He said that all hands must be on deck to forge a common ground ahead of the party’s proposed National Convention.
Salisu also said that considering the contributions of the North Central to the fortunes of the APC, the position of the national chairman of the party should be exclusively zoned to the region.
“The North Central is a bridging region between the North and the South, more so, such will be a signal of all-inclusive governance in the party.
“After wide consultations, we have zero in on Sen. Umaru Al-Makura, Senator representing Nasarawa-South in the National Assembly and two-term Governor of Nasarawa State, as our consensus candidate for the position,’’ he said.
He described Al-Makura as a candidate with impeccable administrative credentials and astute political pedigree, a unifier with requisite qualities and temperament.
He said that the senator had the experience needed to lead the APC, not only to victory in 2023 but to consolidate on the achievements of the CECPC as well as to deepen the party’s progressive ideology. (NAN)