…Says Party Will Survive Post-Convention Crisis
…We Are Not Opposing Buhari on Consensus – Al-Makura
…| President Won’t Subscribe To Imposition – Sen Musa
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday gave assurance that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), would survive the anticipated post-convention crisis and remain strong after its March 26 national convention.
The president also told those foreseeing the collapse of the ruling APC at the end of his tenure that they would be disappointed. Buhari made these comments at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, just before leaving the country for a scheduled medical check-up in London. He said the party had the capacity to overcome his current challenges.
While responding to questions from journalists about the crisis trailing the party’s national convention, the president said, “They should wait and see. How did we come as a party to take power from the ruling party which had been there before us for so many years? So we have the capacity, everything will be all right”.
Meanwhile, the Al-Makura Campaign Organisation (ACO) has explained that the former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, is not opposed to President Buhari in the choice of a consensus candidate for the national chairman of the APC.
Convention: Fresh Crisis Hits APC Over Imposition Of Candidates
The campaign outfit stated this while carpeting what it described as sensational headlines and reports by some national dailies, which claimed that Al-Makura was bent on opposing President Buhari on the emergence of a consensus candidate.
The campaign organisation said Al-Makura could not have been opposed to a purported consensus chairmanship choice of Buhari when neither the president nor the party leadership had made any public statement on the matter.
In a statement issued by its director general, Comrade Dominic Alancha, in Abuja yesterday, ACO said: “Senator Al-Makura, as a bona fide aspirant for the position of the national chairman of the APC, was in Ondo to consult with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in continuation of consultations with APC governors, party leaders and stakeholders, which he commenced many months back.
“It is therefore mischievous and unkind for anybody to claim that he was working against President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice of a consensus candidate for the position of the national chairman of our great party. This is a deliberate, albeit failed attempt to paint a renowned party man and one of the founding fathers of the APC in bad light. This is even more so when neither the president, whom Senator Al-Makura holds in very high esteem, nor the party leadership has made any statement to the effect of any endorsed consensus candidate.”
ACO enjoined the media not to play into the hands of those which, it said, never wished the APC well. “These prophets of doom have continued to render false prophesies and tales on the forthcoming APC national convention. They are therefore looking for media houses they could latch on to ignite fire, hate, and confusion in the party.
“However, we have explicit confidence in our president and the leadership of the party to pilot the party through a turbulence-free convention to the disappointment of the enemies of the APC, troublemakers, and naysayers”, the statement concluded.
Buhari Won’t Subscribe To Imposition – Sen Musa
On his part, the chairman, Senate Committee on Services, Sani Musa,n yesterday said that President Buhari will not subscribe to the imposition of a national chairman against the will of the majority. According to Sani Musa, Buhari, as a democrat, will always support the will of the majority party faithful.
Musa stated this during the continuation of his consultation with stakeholders, leaders, members and supporters on his aspiration for the position of the national chairman of the APC. Musa promised that if elected as the national chairman during the convention, he would would re-engineer the internal structures and workings of the party. He added that he would continue with the consultations to prepare himself and others for the national convention with the hope of winning the top party job. According to Musa, a total leadership reorientation for the APC is needed for it to actualise its institutional potential.
In a statement yesterday, Musa said, “If given the opportunity to lead the party, I will completely re-engineer the internal structures and workings of the party. “Hence, I will be adaptive to participatory and affiliative workstyle that will usher in visionary and pacesetting leadership for the party that will give the party a new direction and philosophy. APC must be made an institution – which is the only antidote to reckless abuse of office and ethics, which brings about disharmony and wrangling within the various organs of the party viz a viz its followers.”
Speaking further on his plans for the party, the senator said, “My reform agenda for the party is expressed in what I call the three Rs for success, that is, Reconciliation, Reorganisation and Redirection. “We need to immediately reconcile aggrieved members of the party at all levels on a sustainable basis. We need to reorganise the party in such a manner that it is able to effectively mobilise all segments of the country, from youths to women groups, to meet up with the INEC timetables for 2023 elections. And, thirdly, we must redirect our efforts towards winning elections and nation building and not wrangling.
“Most importantly we shall govern by the rule of law, abide by the party’s constitution, guidelines, manifesto and in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We will run an inclusive leadership that is devoid of the habitual grain of the entrenched political culture of dynastic politics, sectionalism, favouritism, money politics, parasitism on the public pay roll, cronyism and patronage. We shall thrive to be self-funding and not rely on individuals that will later want to be dictating the tunes, and create wrangling and disharmony in the party,” he said.
A group under the auspices of APC Youth Stakeholders Forum yesterday warned the leadership of the APC against breaching the existing accord allowing party members to participate in delegates primaries.
Coordinator of the forum, Comrade Yunusa Yusuf, at a press briefing, said that although there is provision for a consensus candidate in the constitution, it should be a true consensus whereby all the aspirants will sign a written document to show they agree with the consensus. He stressed that all aspirants need to agree to the consensus arrangement so that the party does not run afoul of the electoral laws that were recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the group, the party, in the spirit of justice, equity and fair play should allow all the aspirants for the position of the national chairmanship of the party to run for the position. Yunusa, however, condemned the choice of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as consensus candidate for the national chairmanship position of the APC, adding it time for him to rest from active politics considering his age and strength.
“We insist on a level playing ground for interested persons to contest party’s executive offices. So, we as APC members are basing our call on Article 20 (i) (a) of the APC Constitution, which gives room for the emergence of candidates through consensus with a provision that “a vote of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ should be called,” he said.
The group vehemently warned against a selection process that would amount to imposition, saying it could breed discontent and crisis in the party, and later lead to litigations. “For us, the March 26 National Convention of the party is very sacrosanct and delegates should be allowed to carry membership right to elect and be elected as the national chairman following the agreed zoning arrangement, because many of them have been campaigning for the position, so they should not be robbed of their rights.
“It is no longer news that the party has suffered power tussle over the years, which has put some cracks in the party. But thank God, the party has come back strong and formidable again. We are advising that we should avoid anything that will make us go back to the old days of the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole.
“So, we are sending a clear signal that this should be reversed, the delegates should come to choose who they want to lead them as national chairman and other leadership positions of the party. The party should avoid anything that would make it breed a new set of aggrieved members,” he said.