The All Progressives Congress (APC) has granted a waiver to all new members of the party and others planning to join its fold from various political platforms.
This formed part of the resolutions adopted on Tuesday at a virtual emergency National Executive Council meeting of the APC presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.
It is the first time the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, will attend the APC NEC meeting since he defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in November.
The approval was to allow Governor Umahi and other new members of the party to contest for elections without having to wait for two years, as was done previously.
According to the party’s NEC, the decision to grant a waiver to new members is to encourage young people to join the APC.
Away from defection, the APC NEC resolved to extend the tenure of the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the party another six months.
With the extension of the tenure of the committee led by Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, the members will continue with their duty until June 30, 2021.
The meeting also resolved to dissolve the party structures at the polling unit, ward, local government, zonal, and state levels.
However, members of the dissolved executives were asked to serve as the caretaker committee members.
Another important resolution adopted by the APC NEC was the expulsion of its immediate past National Vice Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Etta.
Etta was expelled from the ruling party for not heeding the directive of the party leadership that all legal cases be withdrawn from the courts.
In his remarks, President Buhari urged party members to collectively work towards the sustenance of peace and promotion of more understanding within the party, with a view to consolidating on earlier successes and winning new members.
He noted that the decision of the party’s leadership to dissolve the National Working Committee and constitute a 13-member Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee on June 25 was well conceived as party members now enjoy a new atmosphere of peace.
The President, who acknowledged the defection of Governor Umahi and the return of many party stalwarts and their supporters, believes the APC is making progress as a party of choice for Nigerians.
Governor Buni, on his part, said the reconciliation effort in the party had yielded positive results, with many old members returning and new members being recorded, most recently the Ebonyi State governor.
He stated that following the President’s instructions, almost all pending cases in courts instituted by APC members had been withdrawn to create a “neutral ground’’ for discussions.
The governor noted that a timetable for membership registration and revalidation exercise would be released after initial sensitisation.