Under my watch, no strong man will control APC ― Governor Buni

•Our crisis, storm in a teacup  Senate President

Yobe State governor and chairman, All Progressives Congress Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Mallam Mai Mala Buni has said that the vision of his team is to build a party where no strong individual would be in control of its structures and party organs.

He gave the commitment on Friday while speaking at the 2020 Annual Conference of the APC Press Corps held at Valencia Hotel, Abuja.

Represented by the Secretary of his CEPC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, Governor Buni maintained that the scheduled membership registration, revalidation and update were aimed at giving the party back to the people.

He further noted that the reconciliation efforts under his leadership were to give aggrieved chieftains a sense of belonging by allowing them to ventilate their grievances.

The Yobe State governor recalled that the party was embroiled in crises at state chapters and national secretariat because of lack of internal democracy when godfathers hijacked the party structures and give party ticket to their anointed candidates.

He said: “By the grace of God, the APC under the watch of the CECPC, Honourable Mai Mala Buni is more interested in seeking solutions to identified problems and we have initiated certain fundamental interventions to remedy intra-party conflicts.

“The membership registration, revalidation and update are aimed at giving the party back to the people. When the people are involved in a transparent selection process, they will be more interested in the process and this cures voters’ apathy and unnecessary dissension in the polity.

“The conventional system of one strong man in politics is no longer fashionable in the APC under Honourable Mai Mala Buni. I was an aspirant in 2015 but I saw my opponent and his supporters with cards, incidentally, he only came to the party 2 weeks to the primaries, while I was at the formative stages of the party. That’s how bad it can get when internal democracy is lacking.

“The APC understands that persons must be given platforms to ventilate their grievances within the party. Exhaustive internal mechanisms are being created within the party to handle grievances before it snowballs into cracks within the party.

Reconciliation committees are there with persons of high integrity to intervene and intercede on issues within the party. For instance, a few days ago, the South-South APC caucus set up a high powered Committee with H.E Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as its Chairman. It is my opinion, that if members are discouraged from going to courts, there must be avenues to air out their grievances.”

While appealing to party chieftains and ordinary faithful to submit themselves to the party constitution and other documents guiding the operations of the APC, he further assures that only individuals of impeccable character would henceforth be saddled with party assignments in order not to compromise target results.

“The functioning of political parties are regulated by our extant laws like The Electoral Act, The 1999 Constitution and the party’s constitution. These laws have defined procedures for certain activities and deviations from these rules and procedures are recipes for disaster.

“The CECPC has insisted that only persons of high moral standing and repute will be sent on party assignment to reduce the incidence of compromise and collusion with certain interests to undermine the task.”

In his goodwill message, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan, represented by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi said the internal wrangling within the party was nothing to worry about as he submitted that internal contestation was a regular feature in party politics.

Senator Lawan appealed to party chieftains to be patient with Governor Buni-led caretaker team as he insisted that the party has the capacity to survive its present challenges.

“What we require is to be painstaking and the need to be positive about our efforts, the sacrifices of leaders, and the patience of the followers. While the leaders have a constitutional role, the followers also have to be vigilant. “A conscientious interplay of the two will eventually result in a rewarding outcome, considering that patriotism and nationalism would emerge therefrom.

“The APC story is a story that is founded on fostering understanding amongst a divergent interest. It is the story of creativity and ingenuity in the management of difference. The APC story is a pacy story of brilliance in the administration of a plural system.

“It is a story that hallmarks how well democracy should flourish, for its adaptive capacity, and its potential as a
lesson, and the possibilities it bears for the future. The APC story understands the workings of democracy, through its aggregation of variegated interests, and how it has managed the interests.

“Though there are challenges, but they are not always insurmountable. They are like the storm in the teacup. They will always blow away, given our continued resolve to remain the vehicle for the emancipation of Nigeria. We have come a long way and will not be distracted.”

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