APC convention: Why caretaker committee is slow ― PGF DG

Director-General of the forum of governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman, has blamed certain leaders of the party for the slow pace of activities that would precede the conduct of its national convention.

The national secretary of the APC Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, had penultimate week announced the extension of the membership registration and revalidation exercise by three weeks, fuelling speculation of tenure elongation.

Akpanudoedehe said the CECPC took the decision to extend the exercise following the demands of stakeholders who expressed concern that a lot of Nigerians anxious to join the APC were being shut out.

The Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum who had last week in a statement cautioned the interim leadership against tenure elongation in a fresh statement, on Monday, blamed chieftains of the party with aspirations for elective offices for undermining the Governor Mai Mala Buni spirited efforts to finish the registration exercise and proceed with the national convention to elect a new set of national officers.

He said: “A shared expectation therefore among both party leaders and members around the dissolution of the Comrade Oshiomhole led NWC and the appointment of the APC Caretaker Committee led by His Excellency Mai Mala Buni, was that the conclusion of the work of the Caretaker Committee will produce a new beginning, which may come with a strong capacity for the APC to resolve the challenge of manipulating party organs during the election of candidates.

“A factor that may be slowing down the process of ensuring that the Caretaker Committee conclude its work and return all organs of the party back to normal operations is the need for strong unity among APC leaders, and by extension members. Unity among party leaders is required to come with all the support needed by the Caretaker Committee to complete its work of returning all organs to normal operations as provided by the constitution of the party.

“Noting that the APC Caretaker Committee was never designed to have a tenure longer than six months, the additional six months extension provided by December 8, 2020, NEC was necessary because of the challenges of producing a credible membership register, which necessitated the membership registration/revalidation exercise.

“To what extent are leaders of the party cooperating with the Caretaker Committee to ensure that the registration exercise is successful? A source of problem for membership registration exercises of political parties is always the ambition of leaders. Are APC leaders creating problems by way of blocking so-called perceived opponents from registering as members of the APC?

“Once the conventional Nigerian politics is allowed to play out, many APC leaders would attempt to control the membership of the party so that they are able to emerge as candidates for elective offices. How is the Caretaker Committee addressing such challenges?

“Part of the appeal that must be made to both the Caretaker Committee and all APC leaders is that they need to exercise restraint and ensure that every prospective member of the party is allowed to register.

“The need to allow every prospective member the opportunity to register is a determining factor in terms of whether APC can continue to enjoy the confidence of Nigerians based on which the party is able to win the votes of Nigerians. The Caretaker Committee and APC leaders must take steps to avoid any situation that could weaken the confidence of Nigerians in the party, which can negatively affect the disposition of Nigerians to vote the party in 2023 elections at all levels.”

Ahead next general elections, Lukman advised the chieftains of the party to cooperate with the Caretaker Committee to conclude its assignment as he noted that “winning the confidence of Nigerians will be more guaranteed once the Caretaker Committee is able to complete its assignment and return the party to normal operation.

“Recognising that the Caretaker Committee, especially the Chairman, His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni has already achieved a lot by bringing back sanity into the party, a strong foundation has already been laid for APC to win the confidence of Nigerians. Not only that problems of leadership dispute are minimised, but the party is also becoming more attractive for political leaders of other parties.”

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