On Monday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee unveiled proposals for what it described as “national reconciliation” to restore peace and harmony in the ruling party.
Its chairman, Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni, urged the party members to support the initiative, stressing that it’s the primary concern of the committee.
Buni spoke on a comprehensive peace plan at the swearing-in ceremony of the members of the committee at the National Secretariat of the Party in Abuja, following the handover of the leadership baton to him by former factional acting national chairman, Chief Victor Giadom.
The oath of office was performed to the members of the committee by Dare Oketade, Director of the Legal Service of the Party.
The members of the committee are as follows, Osun State Governor Isiaka Oyetola (Southwest), Senator Ken Nnamani (Southeast), Mrs. Stella Okorete (Women Representative), Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello (Northcentral), Dr. James Lalu (Physically Challenged), Sen. Abubakar Yusuf (Senate Representative) and Hon. Akinyemi Olaide (House of Representatives).
Others are Mr. David Lyon – SS, Abba Ari (Northwest), Prof. Tahir Mamman (Northeast), Ismail Ahmed (Youth) and Sen. Akpan Udoedehe (Secretary).
The committee implemented a six-point working file aimed at repositioning the party at its inaugural meeting.
The outcome of the meeting, which was set out in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr Yekini Nabena, appealed to the members to support the Committee in carrying out its duties.
The committee approved the composition of the Edo State Governorship National Campaign Coucil and the Consultation / Reconciliation Committee in the run-up to the upcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma warned party members to support the committee to strengthen the platform ahead of 2023 elections.
Urging members to unite, Buni insisted that the proposed reconciliation will cut across national, state and local levels.
He advised party leaders and members to put the past behind them and prepare for future challenges.
Buni reacting: “The committee will commence the process of true reconciliation among leaders and members of the Party at all levels. The decision by the NEC to constitute the committee marked the begining of a new chapter of the party.
Maintain that members of the committee should demonstrate patriotism, Buni added: “As the interim managers and leaders of our party, our priority would be the recognition of the need to act appropriately and acceptably in the overall interest of the Party. Our actions in the next few months would be proactive and responsive.
“From now onward, we will concentrate on medium and long term development of our strategies and internal organisation to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.
”This is the time for us to focus with determination to create adaptive institutional capacity to weather the current divisions in our party”.
The Yobe State governor said the party cannot afford to disappoint Nigerians, adding: “What separates us from other political parties and endeared us to Nigerians, are the sincerity of purpose, our principles of internal democracy and the unblemished integrity of the founders of our Party.
“Nigerians have trusted and still have the trust in us that the party will create a country of our dream with a prosperous future. As the party trusted by Nigerians, and voted massively for two times in a row, we must shun away from any attempt to distract us from delivering the dividend of democracy to Nigerians.
“What happened to us as a party in the last few months is not totally strange in a big political party such as the All Progressives Congress (APC), internal disagreements are common in all political parties, so ours is not an exception”.
Buni warned aggrieved members who have instituted court cases to heed to the appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the cases in the interest of the party.
He noted that: “Change is inevitable and disagreement on issues and concepts are an integral part of human and institutional relationship. As a political party built on strong ideology and, parading men and women of enduring principle and integrity, we must prepare for real and anticipated changes and their consequences. The outcomes of changes that evolve in our party politics must be decided by us”.
He then called for the support and prayers of party members for the successful execution of their assignment.
Giadom, who handed over to Buni, said that the members of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) have collectively and individually learned lessons from the leadership crisis that led to the establishment of the Caretaker Committee.
He said: “All members of the immediate past NWC should be able to learn from our mistakes, including my humble self. It is time to join hand with the Caretaker Committee to see how they strengthen the party. The party is bigger than all of us. So, it is our collective responsibility as former members of NWC to join hand with the committee to see to the success of the committee
“APC is a larger family and every family, there is bound to disagreement and what is important is ability of the family to come to agreement. Today, with the formation of caretaker committee, we have close to agreement and I’m sure this committee will do the needful and our party will become stronger,”
Uzodimma advised the leaders of the dissolved NWC to subsume their personal interests and to render their experience to the body.
He said the wise and proactive decision to set up the caretaker committee by the NEC will save the party from self-destruction.
Uzodimma said that he was pleased, as a member of the NEC who took part in the decision, that President Buhari meant well, not just for the party, but also for the country.
He said that it would be absurd and impudent for him to question the decision of the NEC chaired by Buhari.
The governor also said that it was wrong for anyone to impute disagreement among NEC members, adding that he was a loyal party man, irrespective of his position as governor.
Uzodinma called on the leaders of the APC in the Southeast to support the committee and to provide the leaders with the requisite cooperation.
He promised that, as the leader of the APC in the lmo State, he would work very closely with other regional leaders to realize the president’s dream for the party.