Gov. Buni-led CECPC: “Promises Made, Promises Kept”, by Yusuf Ali
On June 25, 2020, Nigerians anxiously welcomed a democrat, peacemaker, bridge builder and an extraordinary gentleman to lead the APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), in the person of the Yobe State Governor, His Excellency, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, who would pilot the affairs of the governing party to the path of peace and reconciliation.
Then, the party was practically on the brink of implosion. Following moves and counter moves to oust the then National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, there were many cases in court over the leadership of the party at the National level. With the ouster of Oshiomhole, three men – late Senator Abiola Ajimobi; Hillard Eta; and Victor Giadom laid claim to the national chairmanship of the party.
The infighting prompted the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC), of the APC and the inauguration of Governor Buni-led CECPC. Decrying the state of the party before the CECPC came in, President Muhammadu Buhari said: “There are also other associated disputes as to the legitimacy or otherwise of holders of certain national offices of the party. The party is also contending with judicial claims and counter-claims, orders and counter-orders and indeed, judgments and counter-judgments that are predominantly at cross-purposes.
“Confronted with these issues, it is obvious that the fortunes of the party are currently in jeopardy, administration of our party is becoming impossible and there is consequently an urgent need for intervention to immediately arrest further drifts and internal wrangling which may lead to total disintegration. What we see clearly emerging, is that we are beginning to self destruct. This, my dear party members, is not just regrettable but utterly gut-wrenching.”
Thus, in carrying out his constitutional mandate of steering the activities of the party, Governor Buni has fulfilled the major promises made at his inauguration as the Chairman of the CECPC. No doubt, Governor Buni has lived by the dictum, ‘promise made and promise kept’.
First, he pledged to calm frayed nerves which arose from the perceived combative style of Comrade Adams Oshiomhle. He achieved that through his humble and inclusive engagement with all stakeholders of the party. His tact and diplomacy in managing intra-party crises to the rescue.
Secondly, he pledged to execute the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari, which was to make the party a mass movement. In pursuit of this, Buni initiated registration of members across the country, which resulted in APC recording 41 million members, making it the largest political party in Africa.
The party under Governor Buni embarked on wooing top political heavyweights across the country. This resulted in the entrance to the APC of three serving Governors, several former Governors, Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, in the process swelling the rank of the APC at the top echelon of political engagement.
The next was the hugely successful ward congresses across the country in line with President Buhari’s charge to build the APC bottom-up approach. He followed it with LGA congresses and subsequently state congresses across the country.
To address grievances arising from the fallout of the Congresses, Governor Buni led CECPC raised a National Reconciliation Committee headed by Senator Adamu Abdullahi, a former governor of Nasarawa State. Governor Buni said “The Caretaker Committee found it expedient to constitute the National Reconciliation Committee, to reconcile emerging misunderstandings and differences which might arise from the outcome of the congresses.” Buni urged the Senator Adamu Committee to “conduct appropriate engagement between identified groups in each state where there are disputes with a view to bringing about genuine reconciliation and establishing lasting peace and unity in the party; consult with party leaders and concerned members as the committee deems necessary with a view to achieving peace therein.”
The Committee, Buni said, is to “critically examine areas of conflict on the just concluded Ward and Local Government Congress, and advance solutions in the circumstance.”
Last Monday, the committee turned in its report to the CECPC with Governor Buni saying that the findings of the Committee would contribute in no small measure to a successful convention and the 2023 general election.
Thanking the committee for handling the assignment with a high sense of commitment and responsibility, Buni said: “The great achievements the party has recorded in reconciling the differences among our stakeholders in Gombe, Ogun, Kwara, and many other states have justified the confidence the party has in your individual and collective capacities. You have truly done us proud.
“I wish to assure you that the Caretaker Committee will carefully study the report and implement the same to improve the unity and strength of the party. “As you are aware, the party conducted a successful membership registration and revalidation exercise and now proudly has over 41 million members making APC Africa’s largest political party and Nigeria’s leading party.
“With this numerical strength, APC remains the party that can confidently win elections with a landslide victory in all the national elections.
“However, in spite of all the achievements recorded by the party under my stewardship, and the high profile defections into the party, it is very pertinent for the party to promote the philosophy of unity of purpose, to pursue national interests against personal interests and a functional system of internal democracy to have a united, stable and prosperous political party.
“Let me once again solicit your collective support to the Caretaker Committee for the party to organise a very successful National Convention that will be a stepping stone to the party’s success in the 2023 general elections.
What is remaining now is the National Convention and finally, Governor Buni’s pledge to ensure President Buhari finishes his tenure strong politically. It is his desire to ensure that President Buhari’s choice of a successor succeeds to take the party to a greater height.
Yusuf Ali is the Media Officer, All Progressives Congress (APC), Headquarters Abuja.