APC uncovers plot to split party at convention
Pressure on aspirant, ex-governor, supporters to walk out
A plot to disrupt the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) coming up in Abuja on Friday has been uncovered.
Some forces in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are said to be working on a chairmanship aspirant, a former governor and their followers to walk out of the convention if the result does not favour the aspirant.
The PDP’s plan, it was learnt, is to disrupt the convention the way some governors and party leaders walked out of the last PDP National Convention.
The PDP elements are blaming APC for the emergence of the defunct New PDP at their convention in Abuja on August, last year.
Four candidates are interested in APC’s National Chairmanship.
They are former Edo State Governor John Odigie-Oyegun; former Minister of Foreign Affairs Chief Tom Ikimi; former Bayelsa State Governor Timpreye Sylva, and a former PDP Deputy National Chairman Sam Jaja.
A highly-placed source said: “Intelligence reports have shown that some PDP elements have been meeting covertly with one of the chairmanship aspirants, a former governor and their followers to stage a walkout at the national convention.
“After the walkout, the affected stalwarts will use the scene as an excuse to defect to PDP which they had been working for.
“The plot is to show that APC is a party which cannot put its house in order. These forces are also embarking on vengeance mission following assumptions that APC fueled the emergence of the former New PDP.
“These forces are also scared of having a formidable opposition party in the country which may lead to a change at the centre in 2015.
“So, their target is to cause disaffection in the party and embarrass the leaders. We have got wind of this and those behind it cannot go far.”
Another source said: “We are aware that some of those behind the plot had paid a nocturnal visit to a former PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur before it boomeranged.
“One thing I can assure you is that APC is irrevocably committed to its mission and we will not allow the plot to succeed.
A former governor, who spoke with our correspondent, said: “Naturally, you expect that some black sheep will try to undermine the APC but the party is well-intended that nothing can stop its progress.”
Yesterday in Abuja the Convention Secretary, Senator Chris Ngige told reporters that APC had not zoned any position.
Asked to confirm whether the positions were zoned, the former Anambra State Governor said “No! Zoning is an arrangement. Even if we are zoning, it has to be a consensus. So even if we are zoning it is going to be a consensus arrangement. But we will not deprive anybody his right as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria.”
Ngige, who confirmed that some people have obtained nomination forms, however, declined to mention their names.
He earlier rolled out the names of different sub- committee members in preparation for the convention.
Ngige said the fact that there were complaints in only about five out 36 states where state congresses were held, showed that the exercise was a success.
The 12 sub-committees are Accreditation Committee, Appeals Committee, Screening Committee, Entertainment Committee, Transport Committee, Medical Committee, Media/ Publicity Committee, Accommodation Committee, Security Committee, Election Committee, Constitution Committee, and Protocol Committee.
Each sub-committee comprises six members, Ngige said, stressing that the meeting at Agura Hotel was to assign roles to the different committees.
He confirmed that the National Convention Committee was prepared to conduct a successful exercise on Friday.
Ngige asked Nigerians to look forward “to seeing a convention that is transparent from which democratically elected leaders will emerge for our party in the next four years. In November or December, this particular executive we are going to put in place will organise another National Convention to elect our presidential candidate.”
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