GUEST Column by Abba Dukawa
Now with interim NWC put in place, All members of APC believe that the party will benefit from of MMB’s vast experience to mediate and negotiate between the different interest and ambitious groups within the party. Like he and other stakeholders know politics is a game that moves together with interest and ambitions. As you can’t separate blood from the tissue so, also, you can’t separate politics from interests and ambitions.
Another challenge before caretaker committee is charting a new course with renewed commitment and dedication for the Party to be more strong party with emblem of internal democracy and mutual understanding among leaders and other stakeholders achieving these tasks will be a dire need by finding lasting solutions to the party lingering crisis before the mini convention will write your committee in the anal of history.
Surely, the tasks ahead of Mai-Mala Buni’s led Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Committee is bigger because different camps within the party are alienated with the ways former National Working Committee (NWC) handled their grievances with impunity. The party started wrestling with internal democracy and the nature of the relationship between party NWC, Party members, party NWC, legislative members, legislative members and government. This lack of cohesion and fragile harmony among APC all the ranks of the party in the country manifested after wining emporia
Therefore the APC Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Committee has to go the extra miles in uniting the party which requires firm and clear decisions that will be in the best interests of the Party. At the same time to instill party discipline and respect of the party constitution. This will stop drifts and internal wrangling within the party before the mini convention otherwise the party may witness more crises. You and your led committee can restore the lost fortune of the governing party that plunged into a leadership crisis. A great and effective party is built on merit, truly democratic principles and responsiveness to APC members concerns.
Issues That Need Urgent Attention:
1. Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Committee has the responsibility to instill discipline into the party and ensure strict adherents of APC ARTICLE 2: SUPREMACY OF THE PARTY CONSTITUTION; provides that subject to the provisions of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and any other laws for the time being in force in the federal republic of Nigeria, the provisions of this constitution shall be supreme, provided that where any rule, regulation or any other enactment shall, to the extent of its inconsistency, be null and void and of no effect whatsoever. This document leaves no room for any form of aberration or brigandage.
2. Article 20, Subsection 10 of the party’s Constitution, offences against it included the following: Filing an action in a Court of Law against the party or any of its officers on any matter relating to the discharge of the duties of the party without first exhausting all avenues for redress provided for in its Constitution. Need to use diplomatic approach in handling these issues to wooing the confidence of aggrieved members to take full advantage of the reconciliation committees the party has just put in place. While on part need for aggrieved members to withdraw all court cases with a view to resolving any outstanding disputes. Buni’s led caretaker committee should understand that as a progressive party that needs to operates on the principle of change, the committee should keep to the rules of change in discharging its assignment.
3. You and your led Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Committee need to change one of the party greatest challenge which is former national executive committee not strictly follow as constitution of the party stipulates a mandatory meeting of the national executive committee (NEC) every three months (Article 25 B (i) of the APC constitution as amended.). Like you all known regular meeting is not only targeted at keeping the members abreast of developments but ensuring collective responsibility of decision taken by the combined effect of the above provision and Article 18 of the APC Constitution as amended).
4. You and your led committee knows that from 2015 to 2019 the strength of the party in controlling states government is weakening as the party lost more states than adding state in it fold of APC’s governors. it is obvious that the fortunes of the Party are currently in jeopardy as the party lost controls of Sokoto, Benue, Adamawa,Bauchi,Zamfara and now Edo to PDP. Your led National Working Committee must obliged to understand the tasks ahead is tedious one and diplomatic approaches needed therefore the test is to restore the party image among Nigerians make the party wax stronger again, reconcile party aggrieved members, successful making APC win Edo /Ondo state during the forthcoming gubernatorial and also state respectively. Ensure Party Unity during and after and organize transparent convention which can be acceptable to all and importantly APC Caretaker and Convention Committee obey simply rules as contained in the party constitution and the caretaker members should avoid impunity and arrogance that brought APC to its present quagmire.
5.Mai Mala Buni’s led APC caretaker committee will face a huge test on the issue in the days ahead and turns out of the duties will be of interest to many political observers, as pioneer party secretary need to engage other parties members. Like you know APC is a merger of four former parties plus a breakaway group of the PDP. Need for urgent engagement with all aggrieved members from former parties. Party national leaders like Chief Bisi Akande, John Oyegun and Tinubu both should be fully engaged. It is no exaggeration to suggest that it is a threat to the survival of the party if not fully co-opts any party leaders and members if the committee wants to succeed and to avoid likely doom that may fall on the party as being a divided party.
Finally, Nigerians expect you and other members of APC NWC to be a team player and not to allow certain individuals interest to supersede the well being of the party. As you said you and your members are there to manage a crisis because without justice there will be no peace. So your committee needs to do justice to every APC member. Ordinarily party members cast fear that certain party leaders that have made great sacrifice are likely to be frustrated. Nevertheless, APC as a governing party faces its greatest trying moments as result of its dwelling popularity among its diehard’s members. Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Committee should move quickly to put its house in order, get its acts together party discipline, party loyalty, and party cohesion are made sacrosanct and are imbibed by members by high and low.
Dukawa wrote in from Kano and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org