APC vows to conduct rancour-free National Convention –

Supreme Court judgement: APC Govs back Caretaker Committee Chairman, Buni

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), has reassured teeming party supporters and Nigerians of its determination to conduct a rancour-free National Convention in 2022.

APC, in a New Year message described the outgone year 2021 as an eventful year for the ruling party and the Governor Mai Mala Buni CECPC leadership despite the multiplicity of challenges it encountered.

The statement signed by the National Secretary, Sen John James Akpanudoedehe, read: “Our great party, the APC, its leadership, supporters, and teeming members join all Nigerians to celebrate the commencement of the 2022 New Year.

“Despite the challenges brought by events of 2021, notably the effects and restrictions of several waves of the COVID-19 global pandemic, and most recently the Omicron variant, the year 2021 was indeed an eventful year for APC and the Governor Mai Mala Buni CECPC leadership of the Party.

“The APC CECPC was birthed by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in June 2020 as an interim administration to steer the affairs of the Party following widespread and crippling internal rancours that had threatened the kernel and continued existence of the Party.

Under the able leadership of Mala Buni who doubles as the Governor of Yobe State, the CECPC leadership consulted widely and immediately undertook the task of understudying the state of the party and setting agenda to identify issues and to resolve all pending and emerging internal crisis within the party at all levels, and to create a harmonious working atmosphere for the party’s planned National Convention,” it noted in the statement.

Accessing the journey so far, the party wrote: “Thus far, CECPC can now report real and positive progress. In fulfillment of the NEC mandate, CECPC in 2021 respectively and successfully conducted ward, local and state congresses to elect substantial party executives.

“On December 20, 2021, at its 18th regular meeting, it deliberated on the planned National Convention and resolved to set up sub-committees on budgeting and other relevant substructures for the National Convention. All is now set for the conduct of a rancour-free National Convention.

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“On other fronts, the 13-member caretaker committee while delivering on its mandates has continued to break barriers and achieve truly remarkable milestones.

“Following CECPC’s conduct of a nationwide membership registration, revalidation and register update exercise, APC is now unarguably the most populous political party in Nigeria with a membership base of over 40 million registered members.

“The caretaker committee has established a truly unified, strong, repositioned and progressive political unit that has gone on to win a number of critical elections across the country.

“Under the leadership of Governor Buni, the CECPC has created a member-centered party structure — one that guarantees the full participation of all members in decision making and Party activities.

“It has won into the APC fold three serving state Governors and scores of parliamentarians from other political parties. It has successfully reviewed the APC Constitution.

“It has scrutinised and paid for the inherited debts with respect to the services to the party in the past administration.

“It has ended and resolved inherited litigations and court cases instituted by many aggrieved members against the party for various reasons by reaching out to the aggrieved members who have consequently responded to the CECPC reconciliation.

“It has entrenched stronger internal democracy in the party as demonstrated in the transparent candidate nomination processes and congresses.

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“It has purchased the building housing the APC National Secretariat which was previously leased, and has been subsequently named as Buhari House, giving APC a permanent abode in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“It has established a National Reconciliation Committee under the leadership of Sen. Abdulahi Adamu to reach out to aggrieved members, in the current dispensation, with the view to resolving areas of misunderstanding and proactively preventing a crisis.

“The committee has received various memoranda and has recorded a good number of resolutions that have improved the Party’s cohesion subsequently.

“Since the coming of CECPC, it has been engaging and entrenching in the party processes, previously marginalised groups such as the youths, women, and persons with disabilities and hereby enriching the democratic experience of the party,” it noted.

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Commending those behind the success story, the ruling party wrote: “None of these feats could have been achieved without the support and encouragement of the leader of the party and President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We equally appreciate the National Assembly leadership and the APC legislative caucus, the Tripartite Consultative Committee of the Executive, Legislature and leadership of the APC, the Progressive Governors’ Forum, development partners, the press, and indeed the entire National Executive Committee (NEC), for their mandate, total support, collaboration, and understanding towards CECPC.

“We particularly appreciate the unflinching loyalty and support displayed by our party members and executives across the wards, local and state levels in rejecting fifth columnists and sponsored agents in their failed attempt to destabilise and change the leadership of the party by unconstitutional methods.

“APC is greater than any individual and CECPC is at the forefront of defending the party’s collective interest and putting the party first,” it quipped.

On its campaign promises, APC noted that; “We deeply appreciate Nigerians for reposing confidence in us as a party and from inception to date. On our part, APC will continue to keep and fulfill our election promises by taking citizens out of poverty through massive social investments, revamping the economy, securing lives and property, and ultimately tackling corruption and impunity from their root causes.

“The APC-led administration has expanded access to tertiary education by establishing new universities, both regular and specialised, more colleges of education to train professional teachers, and polytechnics to develop skilled technical manpower needed to spur the country’s development in different facets. We will continue building and improving infrastructure in the transportation, power, telecommunications and agriculture sectors to further drive economic growth.

“Our diversification drive is a huge success. That Nigeria is no longer the largest importer of rice in the world, but currently the largest producer in Africa is a testament and an achievement that is attributable to Nigerian farmers who responded to the national call by the President Buhari-led administration by massively participating in the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) driven by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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Looking ahead of 2023, the party dismissed Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as any form of threat, noting: “Clearly, PDP’s sole intent is power grabbing by any means, as it ignores the need for genuine restitution. However, PDP cannot return to power in a free and fair election because the electorate are intelligent and wiser and know that PDP has nothing to offer Nigerians going by its sordid antecedents.

“To reiterate our strong conviction, a democracy is as strong as the political parties it produces. We must break from the past and reject practices of imposition of candidates and electoral fraud which the main opposition has refused to discard. As a political party and in line with the progressive ideals APC fiercely defends, our commitment to free, fair and credible elections is unwavering. In all elections, valid votes must count and the popular will of the electorate must prevail.

“APC assures all party members and indeed Nigerians that the CECPC is poised and ready to meet up with the tasks ahead in 2022, particularly the conduct of a rancour-free APC National Convention. The CECPC will surely bequeath a progressive party and structure that will continue to install and entrench APC at all levels to put Nigeria in its deserved rank in the comity of nations. The Party will continue to proactively and constructively engage critical stakeholders on issues that affect Nigerians.

“Finally, APC urges all to be mindful of the COVID-19 global pandemic, particularly the recent wave of the Omicron variant. We encourage citizens to take the widely available vaccines and adhere to public health protocols in order to halt the spread of the virus,” the statement read.

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