The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-rufai, on Tuesday explained why the governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were divided over the timing of the National Convention of the ruling party.
Mr El-Rufai stated this after the governors under the Progressives Governors Forum met President Muhammadu Buhari to brief him on pending issues before the convention.
The event had been scheduled for this Saturday until the party’s Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) on Monday announced the postponement to March 26.
The committee released a new timetable and schedule of activities for the National Convention and Zonal Congresses in its statement on Monday.
According to the new timetable, activities for the national convention will begin on February 24, with the publication of committees for the zonal congresses.
The sale of forms to aspirants for elective offices will begin on Wednesday, March 9 and end on Friday, March 11.
Meeting with Buhari
Following the meeting with the President on Tuesday, Mr El-rufai acknowledged that the planned convention divided the APC governors.
“Yes, we were divided. We were divided over the timing of the convention. Okay, there were some governors that felt that we should put off the convention until we resolve all the congresses’ issues in some states. As you know, there are issues in some states. So some governors held the view that we should wait until all this is (these are) resolved,” he told State House correspondents.
But the governor said the disagreement was “not borne out of any agenda or selfishness.”
“It is just a realistic proposition to avoid us violating any laws or putting our party structures of elected candidates in danger.
“So yes, there was (were) differences in opinion about timing. Some of us are saying the Constitution allows us to have convention even if three or four states have issues that are unresolved, while others are saying no, let us finish all the reconciliations and we do this convention.
“After all, there is no time limit for the convention as long as we do it before the time for the primaries. So that was the difference. This is what the media has called divided governors.
‘In a democratic setting, there is no way you can have 22 governors plus the deputy governor of Anambra State agreeing on any issue. We can have differences.
“But after our meeting of last night, to deliberate on the proposal by the national caretaker committee, and our briefing with Mr. President today, we’re all on the same page.
“We have agreed on a zoning formula for all the six geopolitical zones and essentially, we swapped, northern zones will take positions that southern zones had in the last eight years and vice versa. So very simple, equitable and fair formula.
“We will now go back and consult at the zonal level, and look at the positions that are available and the process of the convention preparation will start in earnest. So by the grace of God on the 26th of March, we will have done a National Convention.
“Whether (we) do zonal convention before that, or do it at the same time, again, the constitution is silent. So as our chairman said, we can decide either way,” the Kaduna governor said.
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