Buni: On the threshold of making history, by Yusuf Ali
Reading through the address of Governor Mai Mala Buni, Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee after his triumphant return to office, one cannot but have a feeling of optimism that, at last, APC is united as one indivisible family.
Not only is the address a message of hope, it also shows, clearly, that we have a Chairman who understands the nature and complexity of the challenges facing our great party, APC; that he is an honest leader and a loyal party man who wants the best for APC, and who has the political will as well as commitment to take the governing party to greater height. That is what will make this National Convention unique and different from previous ones.
So far, the APC has held three National Convention since the formation of the party in 2013, and most of them have been rancour-free. The first is the 2014 National Convention under the Interim Chairmanship of Chief Bisi Akande where Chief Odigie Oyegun was elected as the Chairman of the APC and, more recently, the 2018 National Convention, held under President Buhari where Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was affirmed the new National Chairman by members of the party, while 17 aspirants won other offices unopposed.
Unfortunately, neither the Oyegun Convention nor the previous exercises recorded major breakthrough in the unity of the APC to arrive at consensus to push forward the interests of the party above any other personal and parochial interests than the Governor Buni-led APC National Convention.
It is interesting how Governor Buni has spoken more to party unity, to arrive at consensus for rancor free national convention as requested by the leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buni said “As we head towards the National Convention of our great Party, the All Progressive Congress, the will and support of every member and stakeholder is key. Our strength in this democracy is our unity as individuals and group, the unity of our purpose as progressives whose ideals resonate with the dream of a united and prosperous Nigeria.
“One of the unique gifts to the APC is the character and leadership of President Muhammad Buhari, on whose shoulders and pedigree the party rode to prominence and victory. And one who has always strived and succeeded in keeping the party united and strong.
“In the past few days, a lot was said on, and within our great party. These are simply the features of every institution that witnesses growth and expansion. What matters the most is to always focus on the assignment and the goal. Hence, I appreciate the role played by my colleague Gov. Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, who acted on my behalf and stared the activities of the party during my absence. Every action and decisions he took were with my consent.
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“The mandate you placed upon me as the Chairman of the CECPC is a great honour. Along with my members and stakeholders, we’ll toil to lead a successful and unifying convention. We will also sustain our best for the prospect of our party and for the endless possibilities that Nigeria presents.
As numerous party leaders and stakeholders harp on consensus, the unity of the APC as stated by the President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Mai Mala Buni the Chairman CECPC remains sacrosanct.
Thus, the emphasis of the 2022 National Convention under the Governor Buni-led CECPC, as conceived by the President, was on the will and aspirations of the stakeholders as well as party unity.
It was the message of returning APC as a strong progressive party institution committed to promoting national unity and democracy.
The APC, as a party belongs to all. The party is bigger than all its members and its interests must come first and first. The sincerity of Buhari and Buni’s determination to give the party a unity was evident from their appeal for calm among aspirants. What it means is that at the end of the deliberations towards the Convention, it is the party stakeholders that will take a final decision on the recommendations made. This is the essence of democracy -a progressive party of the people by the people and for the people. That is what Buni means when he speaks of the dawn of a new era.
After all said and done, indeed, Buni is on the threshold of making history.
Yusuf Ali is the Media Officer, All Progressives Congress (APC), Headquarters Abuja.