• As Buni denies tenure elongation plot, says “we’re not job seekers”
By Egena Sunday Ode
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday gave approval for the registration of new members as well as revalidation of membership by the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and Governor of Yobe State, Mr. Mai Mala Buni disclosed this to State House Correspondents after a meeting of the committee with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the committee submitted the timetable for party membership registration to the president during the visit and receive his approval for the exercise to commence.
According to him, the approval is “In accordance with Section 9.4 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (October 2014 as Amended), The Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee consulted all stakeholders and have organized for membership registration. The said Section 9.4 provide as follows:
“A Register of members shall be compiled and maintained at the Ward Level and be transmitted to the Secretariat of the Party at the Local Government Area, which shall transmit a copy to the State Headquarters, National Secretariat. Provided that the Party shall update its membership records every six months and remit updated copies to appropriate Secretariats. Thereafter, it shall be the responsibility of a member to ensure that his or her name is duly entered in the Ward Register.”
Buni said the committee is continuing the reconciliation efforts and its effort to secure Ondo state for the party and the return of high profile members including former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Senator Barnabas Gemade to the party.
The Yobe Governor, however, debunked rumours of his committee plotting to extend its tenure, saying that no member of the committee is a job seeker.
He noted that only the party’s national executive committee has power to end or elongate their tenure.
He said: “You are all aware. We have three sitting governors in the committee. And you should know that none of the governors is seeking for job. Already, we have a job. But we have to sacrifice to ensure that we reposition the party. So, anybody who is thinking that maybe we are job seekers is wrong. We are not job seekers. We are here to reposition and reunite our party so that we have a party we can all be proud of. This is our mandate and we are ready to discharge our mandate. That (tenure elongation) is left for NEC of the party to decide. It is not me or caretaker committee to decide. We are operating within the limit of our assignment because NEC of the party said we must rebuild the party bottom up….So, it is not for us to say that we are extending (tenure).”
Buni expressed optimism that the national executive committee will meet before the end of the year to work out a proper timetable for the party national convention.
“We attended the launch of the National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) programme, National Young Farmers Scheme. Thereafter, we had a meeting with Mr President. It was purely consultative and in line with the assignment given to us by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party under the able leadership of Mr President.
It’s to consult with him on the process of the membership registration.
“As from today (Tuesday), we are commencing with sensitization. Thereafter, it will culminate into membership registration across over 119,000 polling units in the country. It is part of our mandate as bestowed on us by National Executive Committee to rebuild this party bottom up,” he said.
Speaking also on the mandate of the Buni-led committee with particular regard to its tenure, Kebbi State Governor and Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum, Atiku Bagudu said:
“You may also recall that two days before the caretaker committee was saddled with the responsibility of leading the party , the party lost a serving governor to the opposition, so the chairman ( caretaker committee) came at the time when the morale was weak , but the committee worked so hard including the wining of the Ondo State gubernatorial election with the reconciliation of members and the national executive committee meeting that ushered in the caretaker committee did not give a definite date.
“We are conscious that these assignments will unfold and intervening circumstances across the country has made it more difficult , but certainly they are not people that are seeking for appointments or seeking to stay , particularly the chairman the sacrifices in Yobe and daunting challenges he faces and he will rather remain there everyday.”