The Progressive Governors’ Forum, a platform for governors of the All Progressive Congress again failed to fix a date for the party’s national convention, which has been slated for February 2022, but insisted it remained the party’s month of national convention.
The governors failed to announce the exact date and venue for the convention even as it passed vote of confidence on Governor Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Committee.
Notwithstanding the fact that the job of fixing a date for the convention lies squarely with the party executive, it was expected that since some governors of the party are part of the caretaker committee and February had been chosen as the month, the governors will suggest a date which can be adopted by the party executive to end the crisis rocking the party.
Besides, by insisting on February, the party would be going against the electoral act if it goes ahead to hold its convention as it would be failing to notify the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, as required by law.
The law says INEC must get a 21-day notification before any of such an event could be held.
However, rising from a meeting which started on Sunday, the Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum and Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Bagudu, told journalists that, “The Progressive Governors met tonight to discuss numerous issues affecting the forum and member states and we acknowledged some of the achievements in the states and members of the forum as well as the President who visited Ogun and Borno states where he commissioned projects.
“We have had challenges in some states and we commiserated with them. We spoke about our unanimous appreciation for Mr President and especially the confidence he has in the forum.
“We also passed a vote of confidence in the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party chaired by Governor Mai Mala Buni and assisted by two other governors including Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; who have done an incredible job of running our party successfully, mobilising people into the party.”
The governor explained that the Forum discussed the February national convention stating that it has unanimously agreed that it holds in February; as opposed to speculations of an impending postponement
He said, “We discussed our coming convention which you may recall, I had cause to address the press when we visited Mr President in November. We expressed that both Mr President and the party have agreed that convention should take place in February.
“So we took inputs about the reviews and we noted all the misrepresentations in the press and sought to correct it.
“The Progressive Governors’ Forum is one united body as you can see evidently from the attendance. And our decision is unanimous. We are united behind Mr President and we thank him. And we are united behind the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.”
Asked what date in February the convention will hold, he said, “Yes, February is still realistic. But we are just one group of stakeholders. Our party respects institutions. It is the appropriate organ of the party, the National Caretaker Committee that will announce a date.
“We have agreed and they will announce a date in February. The announcement comes from the party. It is a party decision. There are other stakeholders that they are consulting with and to show respect and institutional limits, we are not going to overstep our bounds.”
The meeting had in attendance all governors of the Forum except Aminu Masari of Katsina and Muhammad Yahaya of Gombe.
Those who attended were the Governors of Yobe, Mai Mala Buni; Borno, Babagana Zulum; Jigawa, Muhammad Abubakar; Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu; Niger, Abubakar Bello; Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai; Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi; Kogi, Yahaya Bello and Ogun, Dapo Abiodun.
In attendance also were Zamfara, Bello Matawalle; Ebonyi, Dave Umahi; Osun, Gboyega Oyetola; Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Plateau, Simon Lalong; Imo, Hope Uzondinma; Nasarrawa, Abdullahi Sule and Cross River, Ben Ayade.
Others were Kwara, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje; and Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke.