Ahead of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, the nation's ruling party the All Progressives Congress (APC) is expected to hold its congresses and national convention in June 2021.
However, there are indications that the political party may postpone the highly anticipated convention organised by the caretaker committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state for the second time.
Nigerians have been expecting the party to have announced the date of its national convention scheduled for June but hasn't done so up till now.
First convention postponement
The APC national convention is expected to usher in a new National Working Committee (NWC) for the ruling party.
The ruling party's convention was initially scheduled to hold in December 2020 but was postponed to June 2021 following a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The secretary APC caretaker committee, James Akpanudoedehe has assured that the party won't be plunged into crisis even if they fail to organise the national convention in June.
NEC extends caretaker committee by six months
At an emergency meeting of the party's NEC on December 8, 2020, presided over by Buhari had granted a six-month tenure extension to the Buni-led caretaker committee.
It would be recalled that the 13-member committee which was inaugurated on June 25, 2020, with its tenure to end December 2020 was tasked with convening an elective national convention.
With the extension, the committee was to within the period conduct ward, local government, state congresses and a convention to elect new national party leaders.
Battle for zoning in APC
Another postponement, which is imminent, has begun causing animosity within the party which has witnessed various groups jostling to control the party structure ahead of 2023.
The issue of zoning of party offices may even be responsible for the delay in APC releasing the timetable for the proposed convention.
Members of the party are of the opinion that the postponement would allow others scheme to have the party's various positions zoned to a particular region.
It is, however, part of the party's tradition that members agree which zone would get what position before going into its convention.
Northerner or southerner candidate for 2023
The resolve by party stakeholders calling for a Muslim national chairmanship candidate is beginning to gain momentum following the belief that the 2023 presidential flag bearer would be a Christian from the southern region.
Since Buhari would leave office by 2023, there is no likelihood that another person from the northwest zone would be supported to fly the party’s flag in the presidential election.
However, as it stands now, the plan to hold APC’s national convention in June seems uncertain. Amid criticisms by many stakeholders, members of APC have warned the Buni-led committee against another extension.