Noah Ebije, Kaduna
A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, Yusuf Ali, has cautioned the party’s Chairman, Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Committee, and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, against extending the six-month period prescribed for the committee to hold an extra-ordinary convention with a view to electing new leadership for the party.
Ali, who made the call in a statement issued to reporters, said the report making the rounds that the Buni-led committee might seek an extension in order to reform the party would be counter-productive.
‘Majority of party members indeed welcome the Buni-led caretaker committee with open arms and the committee also enjoyed widespread support across the party especially when it commenced the reconciliation of estranged party members and leaders.
‘We are aware that the caretaker committee has a six-month tenure within which it is to reconcile members aggrieved due to the poor handling of the party by the former Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and equally set in motion machinery to organise an extra-ordinary convention to elect the party’s National Executive Committee.
‘However, four months down the line, there are speculations in the media on alleged moves by the Buni-led committee to seek an extension. I am appealing to them not to follow that trajectory even though the committee hasn’t refuted the media report,’ Ali said.
Ali said it is time for the Buni-led committee to come out with a clear timetable for the conduct of the extra-ordinary convention instead of ‘fishing for flimsy reasons to remain at the helm of the party.’
The APC chieftain said the alleged moves by Buni and his team to reform the party should be left to the incoming National Executive Committee, which will have the full backing and mandate of party members to carry out the wholesale reform of the APC.
‘The Buni-led Committee has no business fishing in troubled waters. Its work is cut out for it and it’s to reconcile members and conduct elections and nothing more. I will advise that all other fundamental reforms should be left to the incoming leadership to carry out and not for an ad-hoc team to put it upon itself to reform the party.
‘I hope that by the end of October 2020, the interim leadership of the APC should announce the time-table and subsequently appoint the convention planning committee for the conduct of the extra-ordinary convention, which is to come up sometime in December.
‘Anything beyond the conduct of the extra-ordinary convention by Buni will be counter-productive and will further breed controversies and discontent within the APC,’ he said.
Ali said it is incumbent on the APC to start reforming the party and planning on how to retain power in 2023 at the centre and also capture more states from the PDP, adding that such activities can be best carried out by a duly elected leadership of the party and not through an ad-hoc arrangement.
The APC chieftain is confident that with proper planning and the election of capable leaders, the APC will maintain its lead and even win more states from the PDP in the 2023 general elections.