The National Convention Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has concluded plans to bar non-statutory delegates from five states from participating in the Saturday convention of the party.
The affected states include Rivers, Cross River, Imo and two others which witnessed crises and had parallel congresses during the recent ward, council and state congresses of the party.
Other states like Enugu, Abia, Oyo, Lagos, Ebonyi, and Taraba also had parallel congresses that produced two sets of party executives.
Non-statutory delegates include state executives of the party, local government chairmen and secretaries, and elected delegates from the senatorial zones.
A member of the Election Sub-Committee of the Convention, who spoke to New Telegraph in confidence, disclosed that only statutory delegates from those states would be allowed to participate in the convention.
This new development would cut down the number of delegates that would participate in the election of members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Secretary of the Convention Committee, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, had earlier put the number of the delegates expected to participate in the convention at 6,800.
Parallel congresses held in the affected states have resulted in multiple legal tussles.
In Rivers, Minister of Transportation and former governor of the state, Rotimi Amaechi and the Senator representing Rivers East Senatorial District, Magnus Abe, are at loggerheads. The Abe group also obtained a court injunction to stop the congress at some point.
In Cross River, a faction led by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, and another faction, led by Senator John Owan Enoh, held parallel congresses in the state. This has produced two different state executives.
Similarly, the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha and the National Organizing Secretay, Senator Osita Izunaso faction of APC are at loggerheads over the APC congresses in the state.
There is litigation over the Imo congresses.
New Telegraph learnt that the committee was considering barring non-statutory delegates from such troubled states because of the legal implications, especially on states where the factions were already in court and no resolution had been reached on the authentic list of delegates.
In such states, only statutory delegates would be accredited for the convention.
Statutory delegates include serving governors, former governors, Senators, members of House of Representatives, former Senate President and former Speaker, House of Representatives and some others.
The ministers and state commissioners of APC governments are not statutory delegates.
However, spokesperson of the Convention Sub-Committee on Media, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has denied knowledge of the plans to bar some delegates from the convention.
In her reaction to our inquiry on the matter, Dabiri-Erewa said: “I doubt the authenticity of that story.”
However, the Secretary of the Sub-Committee on Accreditation, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, said that it was not a concluded issue.
According to him, the committee would not accredit any state that has a verifiable legal tussle.