Fresh crisis looms in APGA
Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Crisis appears imminent in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) ahead of its forthcoming elective national convention, as a group, the APGA Northern Stakeholders, has demanded that the national chairmanship position be zoned to the North.
In a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Abuja, the northern stakeholders said the re-zoning was necessary to ensure equity in line with federal character principle.
The meeting was attended by former national secretary, Board of Trustees secretary and governorship candidate in Zamfara State, Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, Polycarp Gankon, state chairmen, secretaries from the northern states and all other constitutionally recognised members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
The communique signed by Shinkafi and Gankon read: “After exhaustive deliberations on various important issues as it affects the party especially an assessment of the present state of the party and the forthcoming wards, states congresses and the National Convention of the party, the meeting resolved as follows;
“The stakeholders enjoined all leaders of the party at all levels to see and embrace the need to keep the party to remain more united to enable it go in and out of the forthcoming wards, local government, state congresses and National Convention successfully in accordance with the provision of the party’s constitution, Electoral Act 2010 as amended and the 1999 Constitution.
“The stakeholders further reaffirmed the provisions of the APGA Constitution Article 18, which deals with the zoning of party offices: The composition of offices of the Executive Committee and other principal organs at the Executive level of the party shall reflect the principle of the federal character except in the case of states, local government and wards, which are ethically homogeneous. The composition shall take into account of the electoral delineation of the area.
“The meeting further resolved that the National Working Committee (NWC) fixes the date for the wards, LGA, states and National Convention in line with the provisions of Article 19(4) of the APGA Constitution, which states as follows;
“Tenure of office/election of party officers: Article 19(4) Election into any of the offices of the party shall be on a date fixed by the National Working Committee of the party, subject to the approval of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
“The northern stakeholders reaffirmed that the party shall strictly enforce the zoning/rotations principle of the party offices across six geo-political zones of the country in the election of members of the NWC in the next National Convention.
“The northern stakeholders suggested that the forthcoming National Convention should take place in Abuja, as the party has only held its convention in 2003, when Chekwas Okorie was the national chairman. All the delegates that will attend the convention must be delegates constitutionally recognised by the party’s constitution. The NEC should approve guidelines and regulations for the conduct of congresses and the National Convention.”
Condemning the current composition of the present NWC members of the party, the stakeholders said: “In a democracy, it is our right…………. to choose who will lead us and constitutionally guaranteed the right to contest elections into all the offices as provided by the constitution of the party.
“No more imposition or lopsided zoning of principal officers of the party to one geo- graphical zone, we must zone offices in line with the Federal character in Nigeria.
“We want to use this medium to condemn in very strong terms the increasing activities of armed bandits in northern Nigeria and call on the federal government to deploy more security agents in the region to restore peace and stability.”