It is self evident that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has passed through a very challenging period which is not uncommon in the political terrain with different contending interests.
But the ability to minimize the centrifugal tendencies of such interests, bringing majority of them to coalesce their expectations for the overriding interest of the party is a sign of quality leadership. And that is what Mai Mala Buni has provided through the instrumentation of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
As a ruling party political party with responsible structures and built-in integrity to preserve the kernel of our democratic institution, the CECPC leadership on assumption of administration of the party recognised that it cannot entertain the flagrant display of impunity in the management of the party most especially as it regards the crucial processes that would lead the party into its national convention.
These concerns of CECPC are the flagrant abuse of set constitutional and procedural steps that, if not promptly addressed, may create a volcano of crisis both for the coming party convention and general elections ahead.
To this end, CECPC has been judiciously guided to observe all prerequisite political processes to the convention, and has been working to set the party structures aright to ensure compliance with all sacrosanct rules and regulations of the party and the electoral law as regard to the conduct of National Convention of the party.
It must be recalled that political processes that lead to a political party’s national convention are virtually fixed and conventional – over a fairly long consensual period of time – and are the same for all political parties in the country.
The party, under the CECPC administration has done a commendable job of meeting up with the prerequisites of party convention preparation, having conducted relatively very successful Ward, LGAs congresses, and States congresses, across the wards, LGAs, the 36 states and FCT.
It is appropriate and in the interest of the party that we recognise the noble achievements of the party under the management of CECPC and build on its many successes that have ably redefined the operational pedestal of the party.
Recalling the achievements of the party under CECPC leadership that has further endeared the party to the electorate and the entire population of Nigeria, without controversy, APC is a stronger party than it was years back. It is very easy to identify and list the achievements of CECPC overtime because they are uniquely visible for all party members and Nigerians to see. Among the many landslide feats achieve for the party by the committee are:
The conscious efforts to bring the party totally out of conflicts that had bedevilled it, with the emergence of a reconciliation committee that worked assiduously and recorded huge outcomes. We are all conversant with the condition of the party as at the time the erstwhile chairman, comrade Oshiomole was being excused from the chairmanship position of the party; the party was literally in shambles and destabilised.
The CECPC came on board, and in no time was able to stabilise the party. It was on record that the party was bedevilled with numerous conflicts and litigations, with many strong members taking their leave from the party and the party losing its number of strategic political officeholders in its fold. The conflict resolution committee set up by CECPC did a good work that led to various consensus agreements that led to the withdrawal of almost all court cases against the party and among members of the party.
Though the APC had earlier lost the governor of Edo state to the main opposition party, but CECPC was able to recreate trust in the party that swells the rank of governors in the party from 19 to 22 since its resumption of duty.
For the first time in the history of a political party in the country, and as an aftermath of the peace that was restored in the party after the conflict resolutions, CECPC on behalf of the party puts together the plan for and executed a nationwide membership registration that has significantly swollen the membership population of the party and has allowed the intake of many bigwigs that trust the party enough to dump PDP for APC. Thanks to the successful membership registration exercise, the party now enjoys a robust membership register across the 36 states and FCT.
Not limited to these alone, in the course of the period under review, CECPC successfully set up a constitutional review committee that reviewed the Party Constitution to give the party a more contemporary and proactive rules of engagement.
The party under the administration of CECPC has assumed total ownership of the Party National Secretariat, after meeting all financial commitments with the former owners of the structure. Before now, the building has been held by the party on a yearly rental agreement, a situation that is unbefitting of the status of the party as a ruling party in the country.
Also, when CECPC came on board, the party was hugely indebted to lawyers as a result of several lined up litigations in the immediate past. It is now on record that CECPC has offset the entire bulk of this debt in the course of the period under review.
As part of the preparation for the party national convention and the 2023 elections, the party began its array of congresses with successful ward congresses across the 36 states and FCT. The ward congresses were uniquely successful, because unlike past experiences of political parties in the country, we were able to midwife peaceful, seamless congresses without a single report of casualty or litigation.
The LGAs congresses had followed suit with similar success levels across the entire local governments in the country.
The state congresses were conducted towards the end of the year and recorded successes in about 80 percent of the state, enough to adjudge it successful.
It is without controversy that the party under the leadership of CECPC has become much better than anticipated, with a stronger membership base, influx of political bigwigs from other parties and a whole list of successful pertinent undertakings, including legal prerequisites to the convention.
By any reasonable consideration, CECPC deserves many commendations and at these critical times, a vote of confidence that it is more than capable to round up its assignment by delivering to the party a national convention that bears the same mark of successes associated with the committee.
The table is set with the timetable rolled out for the national convention; and CECPC deserves the support of the entire members of the party at all levels, units, and groups within the party and of whatever remote connection to the party.
As the party prepares for its national convention, the Mai Mala Buni leadership would no doubt deliver as usual.