Opinion: Tasks Before APC Caretaker Convention Committee

By Abba Dukawa

Immediately after the APC was elected into the power in 2015 elections the party started wrestling with issues of party building, party structures, internal democracy and the nature of the relationship between parties and members, parties a, legislative members and government. In spite the party appears to be most darling party among Nigerians in history but due to the absence of internal democracy in the party and fragile harmony being experienced among its NWC since 2015. This party lack of cohesion and internal party discipline among APC among all the ranks of the party in the country manifested after Short while wining emporia.

Without taken much times political observers sensing the party itself lack internal party discipline like other nation’s political parties. Party members and peoples are worry about both its preparedness and its capacity to deliver on the party’s CENTRAL ELECTORAL PROMISE OF ‘CHANGE’ to, assumedly, better politics and better governance. Henceforth internal party discipline it’s vital in any democratic party which any party constitution emphasized. Internal party discipline means that a member of the party must be loyal to the directives of the leadership of the party except where such directives are contrary to the clear provisions of the party’s constitution.

This is to say that party leaders must also comply with the party’s constitution, which they have subscribed to. So, when members have an issue with the party’s constitution with regards to directives given by the party, it is still within your party that one lay complaint, not to go to court. When you take that party to court, you have taken steps to ridicule the party and there is provision for disciplinary measures against any person who has taken steps to ridicule the party or bring the party to public embarrassment. Now Mr. Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been dissolved. The party former national secretary and governor of Yobe state Mai-Mala Buni was named chairman caretaker/extra-ordinary convention committee. Even though he had inside experience but the tasks ahead of him is challenging one more than when left the national Secretariat in 2019.

A power struggle within the APC has been going on quietly Oshiomhole-Obaseki rift was just a small part of it until it became the epicentre in March this year when a Federal High Court in Abuja suspended the party chairman Oshiomhole. While those on other side saw Oshiomhole removal the national chairman as the obstacle to their 2023 political ambition.

  1. Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Committee has burdened of 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 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 state during the forthcoming gubernatorial and also /Ondo 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 engage. 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.

The issues facing your committee are very serious requires firm and clear decisions that will be in the best interests of the Party. Buni’s led Caretaker Committee must instill party discipline and respect of the party constitution. Need to 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. By chart a new course with renewed commitment and dedication for the Party more strong party with emblem of internal democracy and mutual understanding among leaders and other stakeholders achieving these tasks will be a dire need because finding lasting solutions to the party lingering crisis before the mini convention will write your committee in the annal of history.

Nigerians expects you and other members to be a team player and not to allow certain individuals interests to supersede the well being of the party as you said you and your members are there to manage a crisis because If not manage crisis, crisis will manage your works as without justice there will be no peace, so your led committee need 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.

Dukawa wrote in from Kano and can be reach at abbahydukawa@gmail.com

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