Tensions are rising within the All Progressives Congress (APC) due to National Chairman Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje’s failure to convene essential National Caucus and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings. These key bodies play critical roles in refining and ratifying decisions made by the National Working Committee (NWC), particularly the NEC, which stands as the second highest decision-making entity within the party.

Unlike the NWC, responsible for daily party operations, the NEC is tasked with approving significant decisions, potentially forwarding them to the national convention, the apex organ of the party, for final resolutions. The APC constitution mandates quarterly NEC meetings to review party developments and ensure stability and progress.

However, sources reveal that despite the urgency, Ganduje has not called for these meetings since his appointment on August 3, 2023. The National Advisory Council, akin to the Board of Trustees in other organizations, remains unconstituted. From August of the previous year to now, multiple efforts, including threats of legal action, have aimed to prompt a NEC meeting to validate crucial NWC decisions, but these attempts have been futile.

Sources suggest Ganduje fears convening the NEC due to potential ousting amidst protests against him. Nonetheless, a source close to Ganduje indicates that scheduling the NEC and National Caucus meetings involves more than his unilateral decision; Ganduje has sought President Tinubu’s input, which is yet to be confirmed.

Notably, allegations of corruption in Kano and a recent purported dismissal by ward executives, followed by ensuing litigation, have fueled discontent against Ganduje. Analysts argue that the coalition of opposition forces makes it unlikely for Ganduje to withstand the ongoing challenges without significant intervention, possibly from President Tinubu.

### Governors Divided Over Ganduje’s Future

Governors within the APC appear split regarding Ganduje’s leadership. While some support him, others remain skeptical about his emergence and leadership, refraining from outright opposition to avoid conflict with President Tinubu. This division has led to strategic absenteeism from APC events and a noticeable decline in visits to the national secretariat in Abuja by some governors.

The Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), led by Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma, has noticeably retreated from regular meetings, a departure from past practices, highlighting the internal discord.

### Stakeholders Express Concern Over Party Direction

On March 23, 2024, Ganduje announced that President Tinubu had approved an NWC proposal for nationwide electronic registration of members. Ganduje emphasized the importance of this initiative during a meeting with state chairmen at the party’s headquarters in Abuja. Despite this, some stakeholders argue that such decisions fall within the NEC’s jurisdiction, not solely the president’s.

Various party members have voiced dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs, describing the APC’s operation as a “one-man show.” A National Caucus member criticized Ganduje for driving the party towards internal collapse, suggesting Ganduje should rally support among NEC members if he fears dismissal.

The member also criticized President Tinubu for not intervening, accusing him of adopting a non-inclusive approach similar to that of his predecessor, President Buhari, which sidelined essential party organs. This behavior, according to the member, has led to an autocratic style of leadership, alienating key party members and undermining the party’s democratic processes.

### Calls for Urgent Reforms

A former national vice chairman (North West) of the APC, Salihu Mohammed Lukman, highlighted that the NWC’s actions violate the APC constitution and undermine Nigeria’s constitutional provisions and the Electoral Act of 2022. Lukman’s comments reflect a growing sentiment among party leaders advocating for immediate corrective measures to align the APC’s operations with its founding vision.

Similarly, another senior APC member, speaking anonymously, emphasized the need for urgent action to rectify the current deviations from the party’s core principles. The member warned that the ongoing issues, if left unaddressed, could lead to severe repercussions for the party’s unity and effectiveness.

### APC’s Response

Felix Morka, the APC national publicity secretary, responded to the concerns by stating that a NEC meeting has not been scheduled yet but assured that an announcement would be made once it is planned. Morka urged party members to remain patient, emphasizing ongoing efforts to address the issues.

In summary, the APC faces significant internal challenges under Ganduje’s leadership. The delay in convening crucial meetings, coupled with internal divisions and allegations of autocratic practices, has created a sense of urgency among party members. Stakeholders are calling for immediate reforms to uphold the party’s democratic values and ensure its long-term stability and success.

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