The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Committee on Monday unfolded plans for what it described as “nationwide reconciliation” to restore peace and cohesion in the ruling party.
Its chairman, Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni, urged party members to support the initiative, stressing that it is the cardinal priority of the committee.
Buni spoke on the comprehensive peace initiative at the swearing in of committee members at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, following the handover of the baton of leadership to him by the former factional acting national chairman, Chief Victor Giadom.
The members of the committee include 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 adopted a six-point working document aimed at repositioning the party at its inaugural meeting.
The outcome of the meeting, which was contained in a statement by its spokesman Mr. Yekini Nabena, appealed to members to support the committee in the discharge of its duties.
Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma urged party members to support the committee to strengthen the platform ahead of 2023 elections.
Urging members to unite, Buni said 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 said: “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.
Urging members of the committee to 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 urged 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 said: “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 solicited for the support and prayers of party members for the successful execution of their assignment.
Giadom, who handed over to Buni, said members of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) have collectively and individually learnt lessons from the leadership crisis that led to the setting up 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 urged members of the dissolved NWC to subsume their personal interests and avail the committee of their experience.
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 as a member of NEC who participated in the decision, he was satisfied that President Buhari meant well, not only for the party, but also the nation.
He said it would be ridiculous and impudent of him to criticize the NEC’S decision presided over by no less a person than Buhari.
The governor also said it was mischievous for anybody to impute disagreement among NEC members, adding that he is a loyal party man, irrespective of his position as a governor.
Uzodinma called on APC members in the Southeast to support the committee and give the members the required cooperation.
He assured that as the leader of APC in lmo State, he would work closely with other leaders in the regions to realise the vision of the president for the party.