By Ovasa Ogaga,
The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) is more than ever before focused on conducting a national convention to usher in a new National Working Committee (NWC) for it.
The party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yekini Nabena stated this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, disclosed that the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led CECPC also focused on reconciling aggrieved party members as mandated.
He explained that the committee was committed to achieving and sustaining true and lasting unity among party members and reconciliation across party ranks ahead of its planned national convention.
According to Nabena; “While a section of the media has been awash with reports of a tenure extension for the committee, the focus remains achieving and to sustain the APC caretaker committee’s peace and reconciliation core mandate.
“It is important that the APC conducts its planned national convention to produce the party’s national leadership as a united house.
“Otherwise the main aim of constituting the committee following the dissolution of the immediate past NWC will be defeated.
“Commendably, the Gov. Buni-led caretaker committee has deployed a combination of true reconciliation, consultation and inclusiveness in achieving unity and cohesion in the party,” Nabena said.
He added that the essence was to reposition the party to ensure good governance in the interest of all.
He, however, said that ahead of the planned APC national convention and the 2023 general elections, stakeholders should continue to support the committee’s efforts to unite the party.
Nabena stressed that this was critical to making the party formidable enough to consolidate on its national governing status and landmark achievements.
He said the APC must not go into a national convention and a general election in crisis.
Nabena advised that there was a need to take one step at a time and ensure that the ongoing national reconciliation process being undertaken by the caretaker committee was sustained, successful and continued to yield results.
According to him, Buni who is also the governor of Yobe is a peacemaker and stabilising voice who has been meeting APC leaders and known party groups to accommodate all interests.
This, the APC spokesman said, had resulted in renewed commitment on the part of party members.
Nabena said it was, therefore, not surprising that APC National Executive Committee (NEC) members at a recent meeting with the party’s national leadership, passed a vote of confidence on the Buni-led caretaker committee.
He recalled that this was sequel to an earlier passed confidence vote on the committee by 36 states APC Chairmen, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Nabena added that to further carry along dedicated party members, the committee was already working with the APC leadership to address the reward system for dedicated and loyal party members.
This, he said, was particularly with regard to the appointment of deserving party members into several boards, agencies and government parastatals.
He expressed optimism that the committee’s planned nationwide update and revalidation of the party’s membership register would undoubtedly cement its political and numerical status as the country’s largest political party.
Nabena said the Buni-led committee had resuscitated the party’s internal dispute resolution mechanisms and had set up reconciliation committees for Oyo, Edo, Ondo, Imo, Ogun and Ekiti States among its other state chapters with reported disputes.
He said the committees were already meeting with key stakeholders in the various states and had achieved substantial reconciliation in many states.
Nabena said the success stories of the Buni-led caretaker committee’s ongoing reconciliation efforts abound in most of its state chapters, including Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Zamfara, Ondo and Oyo States among others.
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“The committee brought together all the contending interests under one roof and achieved true reconciliation.
“Today, in Akwa Ibom, leaders such as Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Obong Nsima Ekere, Mr Umana Umana, Sen. Ita Enang, Mr Bassey Dan Abia (Snr) among others are working together and in a collective pursuit of party interests.
“At the national level, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, have resolved in the party interest to work together and strengthen the party, particularly in the south south geo-political zone,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Buni-led APC Caretaker Committee was inaugurated by the party’s NEC in June.
The committee had the mandate to achieve peacebuilding, true reconciliation and to give a sense of belonging to every member of the party and conduct a national convention.