We Won’t Shift March 26 Convention Date — APC Govs

Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) and governor of Kebbi State, has said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will not shift the March 26 national convention date despite the change in the timetable for the 2023 general elections.

He said this on Tuesday while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday after the president signed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 into law last Friday, has put political parties under pressure to meet the timeline set for primaries.

Bagudu said the governors met with the president to congratulate him for signing the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and as well on the victory of the APC in some of the by-elections conducted over the weekend.

“Last week, we were in this hall — about 20 APC governors — and this question came up and we clearly said we came to discuss the national convention, which is slated for March 26, and we’re working hard to ensure that on March 26, we have our convention and elect our national officers and that remains the case,” he said.

Responding to a question that some governors are not satisfied with some provisions in the Electoral Act, Governor Bagudu said the National Assembly will provide the opportunity for improvement if necessary.

“Legislation, everywhere in the world, is based on continuous improvement. Constitutions that are 200 years old are subject to reviews sometimes and those reviews are not cut and dry.

Even people who truly believe in the need for a legislation may have worries about the implications of it. “Like I said, we’re never against the principle of amending laws.

They are never against the National Assembly, but even among the National Assembly, there’s debate. “To imagine that there is some legislation that is punitive to the governors or to the National Assembly, I think that will be tantamount to negation of the oath of office.”

The APC governors at the meeting included Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Hope Uzodimma (Imo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Sani Bello (Niger), Umar Ganduje (Kano), and the outgoing deputy governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke.

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