The Northeast geo-political zone of the country recently witnessed series of political crises as a result of the poor conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party primaries. In an attempt to resolve all the troubles that erupted after the primaries, the APC Northeast peace and reconciliation committee led by Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa state recently brought together all aggrieved contestants and party leaders in the zone for a peace dialogue aimed at reconciling members and promoting peace in the party. CHUWANG DUNGS reviews what transpired during the reconciliation meeting
The All Progressives Congress (APC) would need the overwhelming support of its members in the Northeast geo-political zone to maintain political power in 2019, chairman of the party peace and reconciliation committee of the zone, and Governor of Nasarawa state, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, stated this recently at the party’s peace and reconciliation dialogue in Bauchi.
Members of the APC Northeast Peace and Reconciliation Committee chaired by the governor were tasked to visit the North East States of Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Borno and Yobe to help reconcile members of the party that had grievances resulting from the concluded APC Primary elections and make recommendations to the National Secretariat of the party .
The Committee led by Al-Makura conducted marathon hearings in Bauchi, Yola and Maiduguri. Other members of the committee were Governor Mohammed Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, Governor Bello Masari of Katsina State ,Chief (Mrs) Jumoke Anifowoshe, Mr Matthew Omegara, Hajia Hafsat Baba and Gen. Abdullahi Aboki (rtd.) with the Nasarawa State Secretary to the State Government, Barr. Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi heading the Committee Secretariat.
While in Bauchi on Tuesday 27 November to address cases that erupted from Bauchi and Gombe states respectively, the Chairman of the committee, Al-Makura, said the committee was in the state with a view to addressing and resolving all emergent issues after the party primaries and also to actualize effective reconciliation of all aggrieved parties.
He said the reconciliation process is dear and important to the party because the party needs the full support of its members in the zone to effectively execute its plan to retain political power in 2019.
“The party and president Mohammadu Buhari hold you, in Bauchi state, and the Northeast zone in very high esteem. We rely on your support to succeed”, he said.
While assuring all aggrieved aspirants of fair hearing and justice, he said the intention was to engage and interact with them with a view to promoting amicable resolution and better understanding within the APC family.
“I want to assure you that I and my colleagues will discharge our duties with high sense of responsibility, without fear or favour, we will be just and fair by giving everyone of you a fair hearing. At the end of the day, we will articulate all the views and positions put before us and make necessary recommendations to the progress of our great party.”
He said the committee which has only two weeks to submit its findings and recommendations is guided by the following terms of references: “To identify all areas of conflicts arising from the last primary elections, identify aggrieved groups or persons, to proffer political solutions acceptable by majority of members and leaders in the giving states, generally restore confidence and renew commitment and trust among party members and groups by assuaging their feelings.”
He added that the committee would also look at any other decision not mentioned, but of which they feel suitable provided it is not in conflict with the constitution of the party.
He stressed that the committee would interact with only those that have locus standi so that it will be guided by the modus of the exercise.
He also revealed that the committee would not delve into issues that are before the courts, in order to avoid contempt.
“For the fear of any contempt to legal processes, we will not go into issues before the courts, however we will assist in areas where they parties involve are willing to settle the issue out of court without trampling on anyone constitutional rights.”
Our Correspondent reports that all the aggrieved contestants that spoke in Bauchi during the interactive parley opened up to the team, on their travails in the party as a result of the posture of Governor Muhammed Abubakar of Bauchi
They all recalled their individual and collective contributions to the growth and success of APC at various levels and wondered why the governor allegedly decided to hijack the party.
They all claimed that primaries were not conducted for various positions in the state, that the governor on his own decided to illegally nominate candidates of his choice, stressing that for true reconciliation to be achieve the Governor should be suspended and the abnormalities corrected.
While speaking,man aggrieved gubernatorial aspirant and former minister of police affairs, Yakubu Lameh, who lost out to the incumbent governor urged the committee to be sincere and show full commitment in ensuring the right thing is done so that people will build hope and confidence in the party.
While in Yola, the Adamawa state capital to address issues of Adamawa and Taraba states, Al-Makura restated his committee’s desire to ensure fairness to resolve the lingering crises arising from APC primaries conducted in the Northeast.
He called on the aggrieved aspirants to state their cases clearly and accord the committee the same type of cooperation received in Bauchi when they attended to Bauchi and Gombe States where their conduct and manner enable the committee to see that they had genuine cases which required attention.
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura explained that his committee would be fair in the discharge of the onerous task bestowed on it by the national working committee of the All Progressives Congress. Emphasizing that the committees is keen on ensuring success in the mediation process.
He also assuring all present that they were there with open minds and ready to broker peace among APC members in the given states.
Also speaking, the Deputy Chairman of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of the All Progressives Congress for the North Eastern states, Governor Abubakar Badaru assured the aggrieved members that the APC was a fair party that would work to ensure all members were satisfied and content .
He lauded the successes that President Muhammadu Buhari has recorded, stating that it was a clear proof that APC could change the system for the better, end as he called on them to look at the vision and the reason they were in politics and the change they want for Nigeria should be the focus of the reconciliation.
The Jigawa Governor expressed confidence that with Governor Al-Makura leading the committee, they would do justice for all, by coming up with very good recommendations taking into account the major focus of changing the country.
While rounding up the tour in Maiduguri for Borno and Yobe states, Al-Makura assured all those concern that they would tidy their report and ensure the continuation of negotiations and peace building, stating that they would cause dialogue to commence between leaders of the party in the states and seriously aggrieved party members .
He assured them that some of the prayers they have made regarding what happened would be taken care of, stating that those that have found themselves disadvantaged without any fault of theirs would be pacified by whatever he party may considers fair.
He thanked all for the faith and commitment , for their respect to the committee by coming before the committee and venting out all their grievances , assuring them it was not in vain.
He also expressed appreciation to all those that took time to come and met with the Committee, assuring them that the committee would bring up recommendations that would be in the best interest of the APC, and strengthen their resolve for the party.
The Committee Vice Chairman,mGovernor Mohammed Abubakar Badaru appreciated seeing all those that came before the committee signaling that they were still with the APC and committed to the party and the ideals of the party, noting that people have different reasons for joining political parties by all joined APC because they shared the same view and wanted to change from the old ways of doing things to the new way.
The governor assured all that the committee would do its best to find a way where everyone can be happy and have some sense of belonging.
While presenting the submissions to the Committee, many of the APC members appreciated that the Committee was setup and had come to hear their grievances, hoping that with the recommendations of the committee the APC would emerge stronger, unified and be successful in the 2019 general elections, given their assurances of their support to the party, and President Muhammadu Buhari .
Speaking on Monday at the APC National Secretariat when he led his committee members to submit the reports to the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the Nasarawa governor said he was impressed with what he called forthrightness of the aggrieved members.
“We are happy to also say that members made presentations and they were blunt, honest and open. And we gave everyone the opportunity to air their own views and grievances with a view to making necessary recommendations to the national headquarters of the party. Having gone through all these clusters and haven received all the complaints and grievances, we were impressed by the commitment of persons in their forthrightness to the party.
“Not in any single sitting did we find any aggrieved person willing to leave the party in spite of their complaints. They were committed to stay within the party and to ensure that the party excels.
“We are also appreciative of the support and cooperation and maturity of the leadership in this zones. The stakeholders and particularly those who were aggrieved. They made their presentations in the most expected decorum and etiquettes for venting their grievances without sentiments; misdemeanor”, he said.
While thanking the Al-Makura’s committee for devoting quality time to listern and analyse the problems, Oshiomhole said his leadership will study the recommendations and do justice accordingly.
His words: “I am excited by the comment you made, the fact that people have not decamped and that they have faith in the president, they have faith in the party, and we will do everything to service that faith, we will do everything to justify the confidence they have shown to your committee and to our leadership”.
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