Following the leadership crisis that rocked the fabric of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), culminating in the suspension of the party’s erstwhile national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, it became expedient for major stakeholders to devise a more ways of resolving the crisis threatening its survival.
This process of salvaging the APC translates, in literal terms, to the need for reconciliation of aggrieved party chieftains across Nigeria who are at the root of the feuds, disputes and crisis of confidence that was rocking the party to its very foundation to the extent of plunging it into a deeper crisis that could have destroyed the pillars upon which it was built. We cannot forget the fact that APC was a child of necessity. A conglomerate of well-meaning politicians and political parties united with a resolve to save Nigeria from 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) misrule that nearly tore Nigeria apart.
Sadly, this same party Nigerians placed so much confidence to take them out of the woods under the able leadership of His President Muhammadu Buhari was now conflagrated by a raging political inferno. Coming at a time Nigeria is facing numerous problems as they move towards the 2023 general election, concerned stakeholders called for drastic action against the leadership crisis in the APC to reposition the party for the task ahead.
It is against this backdrop that the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the constitution of a Caretaker Committee under the leadership of Yobe State governor, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, must be understood and appreciated. As the leadership crisis raged, it became obvious that the dissolution of the party’s NWC by the National Executive Council (NEC) was the only window opened for the resolution of the crisis and wriggling the APC out of the political morass it was enmeshed in. And the appointment of Governor Mai Mala Buni as Caretaker Committee Chairman was the tonic needed to achieve this crucial objective given his position as former national secretary of the party. This, indeed, placed him in a perfect position to understand the factors militating against the smooth sailing of the party and what needs to be done to restore sanity in its leadership.
Governor Buni’s unquenchable desire to ensure the party survives cannot be questioned. As one of its founding fathers and a major stakeholder who has invested much in building the party as well as a two-time national scribe, the caretaker committee chairman has what it takes to turn around the fortunes of the party as well as prepare the grounds for holding a National Convention with a view to democratically reconstitute of the party’s NWC.
It is interesting to note that the Yobe State governor fully appreciates his role as a peacemaker involved in a rescue mission to restore the glory of the APC which was, and still remains, the hope of the average Nigerian for addressing the numerous socio-economic problems facing the country at the moment. And it is in appreciation of this fact that Mai Mala Buni set out to reengineer the bridges that led to the party’s formation by rigorously pursuing a process of reconciliation of aggrieved members.
For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Buni had even before his emergence as APC caretaker committee chairman made concerted efforts to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable contradictions and avert the degeneration of the crisis to a total collapse of the party. It is gratifying to note that since his appointment as caretaker committee chairman, Governor Buni has since swung into action by setting up a machinery aimed at establishing a reconciliatory structure to address the differences that gave birth to the crisis of confidence bedeviling the party.
It is in this context that the Ccretaker committee chairman has been visiting major stakeholders such as the party leader and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Bisi Akande as well as other APC chieftains. The idea is to cultivate a spirit of reconciliation among major stakeholders as a starting point for reengineering the APC and repositioning it to meet its current challenges as well as empowering it to face the tasks ahead like the 2023 general election.
It is interesting to note that Governor Buni’s reconciliation efforts have started yielding fruits in the form of a renewed confidence in the capacity of the party to address and resolve the internal crisis facing it. A case in point is the views expressed by Chief Bisi Akande, a former interim national chairman of the party who expressed confidence that Governor Buni’s emergence as chairman of the party’s caretaker committee has renewed his faith in the party. Chief Akande went a step further by appealing to chieftains and other stakeholders to support Governor Buni in his task of rebuilding the party and restoring its lost glory.
In the same vein, party leader, Ahmed Tinubu, said that with Governor Buni as chairman of the caretaker committee, the APC was now in safe hands, saying he was confident that the governor will promote a process of consultations and reconciliation. The positive responses by major stakeholders of the party to Governor Buni’s interim leadership are not accidental. They are a reflection of his disposition to fairness and justice to all, a trait that has endeared him to all party faithful.
No doubt, Governor Buni’s nomination and endorsement as chairman of the APC caretaker committee was a reflection of the wide and popular acceptance of him by his fellow governors, chieftains and supporters of the party. His disposition to giving all parties in the dispute a fair hearing and sense of belonging is a vindication of the confidence reposed in him to reengineer the APC and reposition it to conform to contemporary realities of respect for internal party democracy as a step towards sustaining Nigeria’s fledgling democratization process.
In the final analysis, one can authoritatively say that Governor Buni, the chairman, caretaker committee of the APC, has all it takes to reconcile the feuding members and save the party from the conflict that not only consumed former national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, but also posed as severe threat to the party’s survival.
As one of the founding fathers, and a major stakeholder who has invested his resources in building the APC into a formidable political party that massively and convincingly won the 2015 and 2019 presidential and general elections, Governor Buni has the capacity, competence and every wisdom to resolve the current crisis bedeviling the party and place it on a more solid foundation to enable it fulfill its promises to Nigerians as well as retaining power in the 2023 elections and even beyond.
All he needs is the good will and support of party chieftains and stakeholders towards the attainment of the desired objectives for which the caretaker committee was established by the party’s National Executive Council.
The APC cannot afford to be a house divided against itself or torn by petty squabbles among its members as the nation approaches the 2023 elections. That is why the party must put its house in order and the surest way of doing so at the moment is to stand behind Governor Buni and other members of the caretaker committee in their bid to deliver the APC from the fangs of destruction.
Maina wrote in from Kaduna