TO BE TOGETHER OR NOT TO BE, is the task before, the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC Interim Caretaker Panel, as it begins its carved out assignment. Thursday, June 25, APC National Executive Committee, NEC meeting, presided by President Buhari, sacked the fictionalized party’s National Working Committee, NWC, hijacked by Adams Oshiomhole’s faction, former national chairman of the party. His suspension from the party, was, also, upheld on June 16, by Abuja Court of Appeal.
In its place, APC NEC, appointed Interim Caretaker Committee, headed by Mai Mala Buni, Yobe State Governor, and mandated the panel to reposition the party, reconcile aggrieved members and return them to the party’s fold. It seems, there will be ceasefire from the warring groups in APC divided house. Already, pledges of loyalty to decisions taken by APC’s NEC, by some aggrieved members of the party, have been going on.
Monday, June 29, the APC Interim Caretaker Committee, was inaugurated at the party national secretariat, Abuja. Dare Oketade, Head, APC Legal Department, administered the oaths of office and allegiance to members of the committee. The Caretaker Committee and the Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, went into session for its first meeting, immediately, after the inauguration.
Will the “centre hold” this time around, and APC’s house is put in order? The optimism seems high. As Mai Mala Buni, APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, takes over, he pledged to reform the party. In his inaugural address, Buni, assured party members that the committee would work on short and long term strategies to reposition the party.
Buni, said since APC was formed, six years ago, Nigerians were attracted to the party, largely, due to what he described as “sincerity of purpose, principles and unblemished integrity of its founding fathers”. The least Nigerians deserved from the ruling party, he said, was good governance, exemplified in provision of dividends of democracy.
“It is time for this committee therefore to commence the process of true reconciliation among leaders and members of the party at all levels. It is our belief that the decision by NEC to constitute this committee will mark the beginning of a new chapter in our great party.
“Changes are inevitable and disagreements on issues and concepts are an integral part of human and institutional relationships. 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”, Buni acknowledged.
The big stick President Buhari wielded, described as “legal position” in recognising Victor Giadom’s faction of the NWC, that convened the NEC meeting; and the sack of NWC loyal to Oshiomhole, has been construed by analysts as Buhari’s move against 2023 presidential ambition of Bola Tinubu, an APC Chieftain.
The presidency quickly doused that interpretation in a statement, on Saturday. It said Buhari and Tinubu remain mutual APC stalwart. No cracks in their relationship. Tinubu followed suit. Same Saturday, he pledged loyalty to the dissolution of the cracked NWC under Oshiomhole’s watch, by the intervention of the president during the NEC meeting. Tinubu said, in a statement, that himself and Buhari acted as true fathers, to save APC from disintegration.
On court cases instituted by members of the party, Buni charged members to heed Buhari’s appeal to withdraw such cases in the interest of the party’s survival. “I urge all party members to heed to the appeal by our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on his call to all aggrieved members who have instituted various cases in the courts to please withdraw such cases in the interest of our great party.”
Victor Giadom, ‘legally”, acting former National Chairman of APC, after handing over to Buni, told journalist: “I, feel extremely grateful to God and also extremely grateful to the leadership of our own party especially Mr President, Commander-in-Chief, Muhammadu Buhari, and the entire leadership of the National Executive Committee for rescuing this party from what would have befallen the party.”
Reconciliation talks and peace moves must have been initiated, and included in the “six-point working document” aimed at repositioning the party, which Buni’s committee, unanimously adopted, after its inaugural meeting, according to a statement by Yekini Nebena, APC Deputy National Secretary.
All Progressive Congress, APC, is a fusion of political parties with different ideologies. The political parties merged ahead of 2015, general elections, to wrestle power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which had completely, lost the confidence of Nigerians to continue to remain in power in the country.
APC won the 2015 presidential election, and has been in governance in the country. Critics of the government, have, severally, accused Buhari’s government and the ruling APC, as lacking in competence and in direction to govern the country.
The ruling party, APC, has been embroiled in several self-inflicted crisis. And has lost some of its political strongholds to the main opposition PDP. APC Interim Committee, led by Mala Buni, is on a new bridge building mission of the party. To bring aggrieved members together and reshape APC’s wobbling house.