the inability of the All Progressives Congress Constitution Review Committee to submit its report is largely responsible for the delay in setting a date for the party’s National convention, The PUNCH has learnt.
Our correspondent gathered in Abuja, on Monday, that the committee, which was earlier scheduled to submit an interim report in July, had been unable to do so.
It was also learnt that the committee made up of state governors, federal lawmakers, as well as the members of the party’s National Working Committee, had been unable to get the required number of members to conclude the report.
A leading member of the committee, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said, “We have been unable to meet because of several other party engagements.
“It’s all these (governorship) primaries coming up that are disrupting our programmes. We also had the recess of the National Assembly; you know lawmakers are part of the committee. We have members from the Senate and from the House of Reps. There was a time when the governor of Bauchi State and another governor were out of the country for almost one month.
“Once there is a holiday like this, there is always a problem. It is when we resume, that everybody will have time.
“Others were directly involved in our governorship primaries and several other party commitments. The truth is; the party cannot do anything about the convention until it receives our report. It has to wait for our report before a date can be set.”
When contacted, the Chairman, APC Constitution Review Panel, Muiz Banire (SAN), said his committee was working round the clock to ensure “a thorough job.”
He explained that while it was true that some members of the committee had other party commitments, they were giving the task the attention it deserved.
Banire said, “We are working. When the report is ready, we will do the needful.”
It will be recalled that The PUNCH had exclusively reported that part of the radical recommendations being considered by the committee included barring fresh party members from enjoying automatic qualification to contest elective offices.
Under the current dispensation, all members are eligible to vote and be voted for irrespective of the length of time they have joined the party.
Other changes being proposed included the replacement of the Board of Trustees with an Elders’ Council and a substantial reduction in the number of its members.
It was also gathered that the proposed amendments would likely affect Articles 13 and 20 of the APC Constitution (2014) as amended.
Specifically, Article 13.2 (A) of the APC Constitution 2014 states that, “The BoT shall be the embodiment of the conscience, soul and the sanctity of the party and shall be the mirror of the highest standard of morality in the party and shall mediate in the recommendations of NEC in all disputes and crises in the party to ensure its stability at all times.”
The amendment is also likely to affect Article 20 which deals with the issue of elections and appointments, nomination of candidates as well as criteria for such nominations.