The All Progressives Congress (APC) has released the approved schedule of activities and guidelines for the conduct of its nationwide ward congresses scheduled for July 31.
The approved schedule was contained in a statement issued by the National Secretary, APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, on Sunday in Abuja.
He said the party had, however, granted waivers to new members and returning executives to contest congresses.
“The National Executive Committee (NEC) has granted waivers to new members who applied for such and also to all officers at Ward, Local Government and State levels.
“In addition to waivers granted to officers seeking re-election, the 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,” he said.
According to Akpanudoedehe, the purchase of nomination forms for Ward, Local Government and Area Councils and State Congresses would take place from July 19 to August 28.
“Screening of aspirants for the ward party positions is scheduled for July 29 to July 30, ward congresses will hold July 31, appeals arising from ward congresses will hold August 2 to August 7,” he said.
He added that 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 as amended are recognized.
He further added that guiding regulation for the nationwide congresses was binding on all persons coordinating and participating in the exercise.
Akpanudoedehe said 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 seven persons to be selected based on their proven integrity.
“They shall be appointed and supervised by the CECPC and 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 five other members, one 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 APC scribe said.
He added that the WCC shall appoint three persons from any other part of the state other than the ward in which they would serve to be referred as the Local Ward Congress Committee (LWCC).
He said the LWCC shall be responsible for the conduct of the screening and congress in their assigned ward under the directives and supervision of the WCC which shall ensure that the exercise was all-inclusive.
He said the ward congress would consist of all registered party members in the ward, adding that newly registered members from the updated 2021 party membership register were eligible to participate in the ward congress.
According to him, the ward congress would carry out the election of Ward Chairman, Ward Vice Chairman, Ward Secretary, Ward Assistant Secretary, Ward Legal Adviser and Ward Assistant Legal Adviser, among others.
“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 and shall pay the specified fees for the party nomination form.
“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,” Akpanudoedehe said.
He added that chairmanship aspirants shall require one sponsor per polling unit within the ward, while other positions shall require one sponsor from at least half of the polling units within the ward.
He further added that all female aspirants and persons with disabilities shall pay 50 per cent of the prescribed fees for each position.
He said all payments for the purchase of nomination forms shall be made directly into APC accredited banks.
He added that all party positions prescribed or implied by its Constitution for the congresses shall be filled by democratically conducted elections at the respective congresses.
“However, for peace and harmony, the party encourages the 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,” he said.
He added that the winner of an election shall be determined by a simple majority of total votes cast and declared winner in an open view.
Akpanudoedehe further added that all persons vying for the position of youth leader must be between 18-35 years, saying that all aspirants must show evidence of financial membership of the party.