….Grant waivers to new members, returning executives to contest
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has released the approved schedule of activities and guidelines for the conduct of the Party’s nationwide Ward congresses scheduled for Saturday July 31, 2021.
According to the notice signed by the National Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, purchase of nomination forms for Ward, Local Government/Area Councils and State Congresses will take place from 19th July to 28th August, 2021.
Screening of Aspirants for the Ward Party positions is scheduled for July 29th to 30th July, 2021. Ward Congresses will hold 31st July, 2021. Appeals Arising from Ward Congresses will hold August 2nd to 7th August, 2021.
The notice reads in parts:
In line with Article 11:A sub-section (i-xiii) and article 16(i) of the Party’s Constitution (as Amended), the All Progressives Congress (APC) will be organising its congresses across the 36 states and FCT to elect its Wards, Local Governments and States Officials. Only Wards and Local Government Areas stipulated in Sections 156 of the Electoral Act and in part I&II of the First Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as Amended) are recongised.
The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the Party, in a bid to ensure open, credible and fair congresses that reflect the sanctity of internal democracy in the Party, issues a guiding regulation for the nationwide congresses of the Party. It is binding on all persons coordinating and participating in all Congresses.
WARD CONGRESS COMMITTEE (WCC)
Each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shall for the purpose of the Party’s 2021 congresses have a committee of 7 persons who are to be selected based on their proven integrity. They shall be appointed and supervised by the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC). This committee shall be referred to as the Ward Congress Committee (WCC). The members of the committees will be posted to places outside their states of recruitment. It shall be composed of a Chairman, Secretary and 5 other members, One (1) of whom shall be a woman (where possible). The committee shall be responsible for the conduct of the Ward congress exercise in their place of posting.
The Ward Congress Committee (WCC) shall appoint 3 persons from any other part of the State other than the Ward in which they will serve (to be referred as Local Ward Congress Committee (LWCC). Who shall be responsible for the conduct of the Screening/Congress in their assigned Ward under the directives/supervision of the WCC. The WCC shall ensure that the exercise is all-inclusive
There shall be an appeal committee for the Wards. Each state and FCT shall have a 5-member Ward Congress Appeals Committee whose members are recruited from outside their states of origin by the CECPC. They shall be responsible for the hearing of appeals arising from the Ward Congresses.
VENUE (Ward Congresses)
The election venue shall be the All Progressives Congress (APC) ward offices where they exist. Where none exists, or the existing one for any reason, becomes unsuitable, the Ward Congress Committee (WCC) shall identify a convenient and conducive venue for the congress (provided it is not a private residence or place of worship or office). The general public must be notified of the venue at least 12 hours before the commencement of the congresses.
COMPOSITION OF CONGRESSES
The Ward congress shall consist of all registered members of the party in the ward. All newly registered members from the updated 2021 Party Membership Register are eligible to participate in the Ward Congress.
BUSINESS OF THE CONGRESSES
The Ward Congress shall carry out the election of;
Ward Vice Chairman
Ward Assistant Secretary
Ward Legal Adviser
Ward Assistant Legal Adviser
Ward Assistant Treasurer
Ward Financial Secretary
Ward Assistant Financial Secretary
Ward Organising Secretary
Ward Assistant Organising Secretary
Ward Publicity Secretary
Ward Assistant Publicity Secretary
Ward Welfare Secretary
Ward Assistant Welfare Secretary
Ward Women Leader
Ward Assistant Women Leader
Ward Youth Leader
Ward Assistant Youth Leader
Special (Physically Challenged) Leader (the position must be occupied by such a person as described)
Ward Assistant Auditor
Four Ex-Officio Members elected at Ward Congress (one of whom shall be a woman, where possible)
Five (5) Local Government Area Congress Delegates one of whom shall be a Woman (where possible).
Five (5) State Congress Delegates one of whom shall be at least a Ward Chairman and a Woman (where possible).
NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR PARTY POSITIONS
Aspirants to party positions in the Wards will be elected at the various Congresses and must be persons with the highest degree of good Character, Competence, and Capacity. They shall pay the specified fees for the party nomination form.
SALE OF FORMS (Wards)
Aspirants for the position of Ward Chairman will purchase forms at the cost of N10, 000. Forms for Ward Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer positions cost N5,000. Other offices cost N2,000. All delegates will pay N1,000 for the form.
WARD LEVEL NOMINATION OF ASPIRANTS FOR PARTY ELECTIONS
(Chairmanship Aspirants shall require 1 sponsor per Polling unit within the Ward, while other positions shall require 1 sponsor from at least half of the Polling Units within the Ward)
All Female Aspirants shall pay 50% of the prescribed fees for each position.
Persons with disability shall pay 50% of the prescribed fees for each position.
All payments for purchase of Nomination Forms shall be made directly into All Progressives Congress accredited banks.
Following the purchase, the completed forms must be returned at least three working days before the conduct of the election.
MODE OF ELECTIONS AT THE CONGRESSES
All Party positions prescribed or implied by the Party’s Constitution as above stated for the congresses shall be filled by democratically conducted elections at the respective congresses. However, for peace and harmony, the party encourages emergence of candidates through consensus in the first instance; provided that where a candidate has emerged by consensus for an elective position, a vote of “Yes” or “No” by ballot or voice shall be called.
Utmost transparency is required in all elections. Therefore, in all respects, votes must be counted and results announced and recorded on the spot.
In the event of a tie in any ballot, the election for that particular office shall be repeated for the tying candidates until a winner emerges. The winner of an election shall be determined by a simple majority of total votes cast and declared winner in an open view.
Ward Congress Mode of Election;
After membership accreditation, elections at ward level shall be by open ballot. Accredited party voters shall queue behind the candidate of their choice or his/her picture or poster.
Congresses Special Provisions
The Ward Party Registers/Membership Registration Forms shall serve as the Voter Register, while the Registration slip serves as the Voter’s card in each voting precinct (Ward).
Aspirants contesting for any post in the party must have INEC Voters Card.
In addition to waivers granted to officers seeking re-election, Waiver is hereby granted to persons who joined the party recently to vote and be voted for, provided that their names are in the Ward Registers.
Accreditation of intending party voters for all congresses shall be conducted and approved by the respective National Congress Committees at all levels.
The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) reserves the right to cancel any election in areas where there are irregularities or violence in the conduct of election.
The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) is the final appeal authority in all election disputes.
Any aspirant that is indicted of any irregularity, violence or electoral malpractice shall, subject to a fair hearing, be either suspended or expelled from the party and shall forfeit his/her right to participate in any future elections of the party for any position.
The WCC shall respectively display/announce the names of candidates vying for party positions in Wards congresses and the positions they are vying for before the conduct of the election.
The National Executive Ccommittee (NEC) has granted waivers to new Members ( those who applied for such ) and also to all Officers at Ward, Local Government and State levels in line with the provision of Article 13 (4) xv, provided that no officer elected in this exercise shall serve in the same capacity beyond the maximum term prescribed in Article 17 I & ii of the APC Constitution (as Amended) a member who started or continued with litigation against the Party after the directives of NEC is not eligible to vote or be voted for in the respective congresses. Without prejudice to these guidelines, all aspirants with valid court Judgement(s) with respect to previous forms purchase are eligible to participate in the exercise .
All persons vying for the position of youth leader must be persons aged between 18-35years.
All Aspirants must show evidence of financial membership of the Party.