Party faults group’s position
By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
A group under the auspices of ‘Concerned All Progressives Congress APC Members’ has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the party to roll out its plans for convening a national convention by December.
This was as it kicked against any planned extension of tenure of the caretaker committee, saying it would be counterproductive.
The Buni-led Committee was inaugurated on June 25 at an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee NEC with a six-month mandate to reconcile warring tendencies in the party and convene an elective national convention within the period.
At a news conference Monday in Abuja, the group said it has “watched with amazement and disillusionment for several months the inability of the APC Caretaker Committee to provide direction for the party and set up a timetable for December elective convention”.
Its spokesman, Abdullahi Dauda said the group was not out to discredit the conscientious efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Executive Committee NEC which birthed the current leadership but to bring to his notice that there are certain areas that the Buni-led committee has outrightly failed, especially as it concerns the non-compliance to the scheduled December National Convention.
The members also condemned the disposition of the party leadership to the September 19 governorship election in Edo, accusing its leaders of selling out.
“We are less than two months away from the December deadline and no meaningful plan is in place for the much-awaited convention.
“Recall that the committee led by Mai Mala Buni was inaugurated to carry out two critical challenges faced by our great party. One was for it to reconcile aggrieved members and the second, was to conduct a National Convention by December 2020. But information reaching us reveals that they are already scheming to extend their tenure for another one year.
“The Buni led Committee has shown in its actions that tenure elongation is its priority and being stakeholders in the Party, we see the urgent need to speak out loudly on time to save our party from another round of self-inflicted crisis. It is as our responsibility to speak up for posterity’s sake.
“We are aware that the composition of the committee is illegal and alien to our party’s constitution abnitio and we are aware some members are in court already as regards that anomaly but due to our respect for Mr President, we allowed the process as a child of necessity and supported it but the present action and body language of the committee necessitated our press conference today.
“Furthermore, we are aware that the committee is planning registration of members which is not part of the resolution of the last NEC. We call on the committee to let legally elected and constituted NWC to come and conduct the new membership registration for the party and jettison this idea. Does the question remain?
“Why is the Caretaker Committee planning to extend its tenure? To what end? Governor Buni is elected to govern the good people of Yobe state not to jettison his constitutional responsibility and be arranging a sit-tight regime in the party. A word is enough for the wise!
“Why were the caretaker members and all the governors not present at Edo rallies if they had not compromised the election?
“We note that Gov Fayemi said he did not attend because as chairman of Governors Forum, there existed a silent rule not to campaign against another governor of another party. This shows Fayemi is more loyal to PDP than APC who gave him the platform to be a governor in the first instance.
“From our deep analysis, the Buni led Committee lost out in its first assignment in Edo where it allegedly conspired with some over-ambitious Governors to sabotage the party.
“We have it on good authority that Governor Buni personally called Caretaker Committee members not to go for campaigns in Edo. This act of betrayal to a party that has done so much for him is condemnable.
Ondo would have been another disappointment but for the unity of purpose by the leadership of the South West zone to avoid another embarrassing outing. We cannot hold our peace anymore, our collective silence is an indictment.
“We have therefore resolved as follows: That we are giving the Caretaker committee 14-day ultimatum to roll out plan of action/timetable for the party’s December elective convention, Or face mass demonstration of party members nationwide.
“That a time table leading to a hitch-free convention be released within the next 14 days.
“That the Caretaker Committee should halt the proposed registration of fresh members and allow the next National Working Committee members to carry out such assignments.
“That Mr. President should call the Buni led Caretaker Committee to order before it buries the party”, the concerned members added.
Party leadership reacts
Reacting, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Yekini Nabena said while the group does not have the locus to issue ultimatums, the position they have taken would also not help resolve anything.
He said: “They don’t even have the right to issue an ultimatum. There is no need of giving an ultimatum. If they have any option or solution to fast track whatsoever their demand is, let them come to the Secretariat and put in their paper so that we can listen to them.
“It is not about issuing a 14-day ultimatum; the party secretariat is open, let them come, let us put heads together, and know what they are talking about. Ultimatum does not help matters. If you are giving an ultimatum, on what grounds are you giving ultimatum?,” He queried.
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