APC NEC transfers powers to NWC for 90 days: What it means for the party ahead of 2023 polls

THE National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by Abdullahi Adamu has obtained powers to take crucial decisions relating to the emergence of candidates for the 2023 general elections without requiring the approval of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

The powers of the APC NEC have been effectively transferred to the Adamu-led NWC from April 20 to July 22 – a period of 90 days.

The NWC of a political party comprises elected national officers who are in charge of the administration of the party.

The NEC, the highest decision-making body of a political party, is a collection of the leaders of the party across the country and, in the case of the APC, being the ruling party, includes the president, vice president, governors and principal officers of the National Assembly, among others.


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Usually, key decisions taken by the NWC have to be approved by the NEC before implementation.

However, in the build up to the 2023 general elections, the APC NWC will exercise the powers of the NEC for a period of three months (90 days) during which it is expected that the party would conclude the processes for the selection of its candidates for the polls, including the conduct of primary elections.

The NWC was given the mandate to act independently for the three-month period at an emergency APC NEC meeting in Abuja on April 20. President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were in attendance at the meeting.

It was the first NEC meeting convened by the party after electing a new set of national officers during the March 26 national convention.

The meeting, which held at the Transcorp Hilton, in Abuja, was convened for the NEC to consider the timetable for the conduct of the party’s primary elections and other allied matters, mostly relating to the 2023 general election.

The NEC’s powers was transferred to the NWC following a motion moved by Senate President Ahmed Lawan. The motion was seconded by the Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila.

Initially, Lawan’s motion said the NEC’s powers should be taken up by the NWC for the “time being”, which could mean an indefinite period.

But Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai made an amendment to the motion, suggesting that the NWC should exercise the NEC’s powers for a duration of 90 days. The motion was ratified.

What transfer of the NEC’s powers to the NWC means for the APC

The decision by the APC’s leaders to hand the NEC’s powers to the NWC was taken in the hope that it would enable the party to conduct seamless primaries for the nomination of candidates for the 2023 general elections.

According to the motion moved by Lawan, the powers of the NEC under Article 13(3)(ii)(iii) (iv)(v) and (vi) are now vested in the NWC for 90 days.

As a result, the NWC now has the powers to discharge all functions of the National Convention as constituted in between Conventions, as enshrined in Articles 13.3 (ii) of the APC Constitution.

Also, the NWC will, within the 90 days, consider reports from National, State and Local Government Area/Area Councils chapters of the party and “take such decisions as are necessary to protect, advance, and consolidate the gains and interest of the party” in line with powers vested in the NEC as enshrined in Article 13.3(iv) of the APC Constitution.

The APC NWC, in the interim period, will also exercise the NEC’s powers as enshrined in Article 13,3(v) of the APC Constitution by exercising control and taking disciplinary actions on all organs, officers, and members of the party and determine appeals brought before it by any member or organ of the party.

In the same vein, the NWC, in the 90 days period, has been vested with the powers to create, elect and appoint any committee it may deem necessary, desirable or expedient and assign to them such powers and functions as it may deem fit and proper, in line with powers given to the NEC in Article 13.3(v) of the APC Constitution.

Besides the need to conduct hitch-free primaries, The ICIR learnt that the decision to transfer the NEC’s powers to the NWC was also informed by the fact that some members of the NEC are going to be contesting in primary elections.

Already Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is seeking the party’s presidential ticket and he will contest the primary election with some governors who have also declared interest in the race.

Some governors who are rounding up their first terms are seeking reelection and as a result, they will be contesting party primaries.

Also, some governors who are concluding their second terms in office are likely to contest primary elections to seek the party’s senatorial ticket for the general election.

It is understood that, due to the likely conflict of interest situation that will arise among members of the NEC, the NWC is in a better position to discharge responsibilities relating to the emergence of party candidates for the 2023 elections.

Members of the NWC will not be contesting in any of the primary elections unless such a member resigns his position.

Recently, the party’s national chairman, Adamu, and the deputy national chairman (North) Abubakar Kyari, had to resign from the Senate. They were serving senators as at the time they were elected as APC national officers at the March 26 convention.

With the ceding of the NEC’s powers to the NWC for 90 days, it is expected that the APC will not hold any NEC meetings during the period.

As a result, the NEC will not meet or make any input in the party’s affairs until after party had selected its candidates for various elective positions in the 2023 elections.

The NWC will take decisions and implement the same within the period without requiring the approval of the NEC.

Explainer: Difference between political party NEC and NWC

The NWC is the elected administrative body that runs the day to day activities of a political party while the NEC is a collection of all the leaders of the party across the country.



    In the case of the ruling party, like the APC at the moment, the president and vice president are part of the NEC. State governors and principal officers of the National Assembly, and state party chairmen, are also part of the NEC.

    The NEC is the highest decision making organ of a political party.

    “Ordinarily, the NWC is acting on behalf of the NEC in all activities. The members of the NWC are more or less employees of the NEC,” an senior administrative officer at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, who did not wish to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the press, explained in a chat with The ICIR.

    Going by the political party organogram, the chairman and secretary of the party are also the chairman and secretary of the NEC.

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