Governor of Yobe State and Chairman, Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Mai Mala Buni, says change is inevitable in the ruling party.
Buni said this on Monday at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja during the inauguration of the 13-member caretaker committee.
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He said what happened to the party in the last few months was not totally strange in a big political party such as the APC as internal disagreements were common in all political parties.
Buni, who said it was time for the committee to commence the process of true reconciliation among leaders and members of the party at all levels, expressed belief that the decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to constitute the committee would mark the beginning of a new chapter in the party.
‘Withdraw court cases now’
He urged all party members to heed to the appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari on his call to all aggrieved members, who had instituted various cases in the courts, to withdraw such cases in the interest of the party to achieve true reconciliation.
He said: “Change is inevitable and disagreement on issues and concepts are an integral part of human and institutional relationship.
“As a political party built on strong ideology and parading men and women of enduring principle and integrity, we must prepare for real and anticipated changes and their consequences.
“The outcomes of changes that evolves in our party politics must be decided by us.
“As the interim managers and leaders of our party, our priority would be the recognition of the need to act appropriately and acceptably in the overall interest of the party.
“Our actions in the next few months would be proactive and responsive.
“From now, we will concentrate on medium and long term development of our strategies and internal organisation to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.
“This is the time for us to focus with determination to create adaptive institutional capacity to weather the current divisions in our party.”
He called on party leaders and members to put the past behind them and strengthen themselves for all current and future challenges.
Buni thanked President Buhari and members of NEC for what he called the “timely intervention and wisdom that brought the impasses to an end.”
He also appreciated all stakeholders who stood by the party in its time of turbulence and the “great patriotic leaders” especially the former National Working Committee (NWC) members, who showed maturity and belief in the party’s unity by accepting the NEC resolution in good faith.
Buni, who thanked the party’s teeming supporters nationwide who stood firm and prayerful during the period of crisis, solicited for their support and prayers for the successful execution of the assignment.
He said: “I am delighted to address you today on this very historic occasion in the life of our great party.
“It was six years ago when the All progressives Congress came on board.
“What separates us from other political parties and endeared us to Nigerians are the sincerity of purpose, our principles of internal democracy and the unblemished integrity of the founders of our Party.
“Nigerians have trusted and still have the trust in us that the party will create a country of our dream with a prosperous future.
“As the party trusted by Nigerians and voted massively for two times in a row, we must shun any attempt to distract us from delivering the dividend of democracy to Nigerians.”
We must learn from our mistakes – Giadom
Chief Victor Giadom, while handing over to the caretaker committee, said members of the immediate past NWC, including himself, must learn from their mistakes.
Giadom said, with the formation of the committee, the party was close to reaching a major deal and becoming stronger.
He said: “I’m grateful to God, President Buhari and leaders for rescuing our party from what would have fallen the party.
“Today, our party has been re-positioned to greater height and I can assure you with calibre of people so selected by the NEC to pilot the leadership of this party into the National Convention.
“I feel indeed grateful and reassure that our party will remain strong, become stronger and come out from the crisis which we were all in the past few months better than where we were before.
“I’m more grateful to the members of our party and decision of NEC.
“All immediate past NWC should be able to learn from our mistakes, including my humble self, to join hand with the caretaker committee to see how they strengthen the party.
“The party is bigger than all of us.
“So, it is our collective responsibility as former members of NWC to work hand in hand with the committee to see to the success of the committee.
“APC is a larger family and in every family, there is bound to be disagreements and what is important is ability of the family to come to agreement.
“Today, with the formation of caretaker committee, we are close to agreement and I’m sure this committee will do the needful and our party will become stronger.”
Members of the committee to oversee the affairs of the party for six months with Senator John Akpanudoede as secretary are; Governor Isiaka Oyetola of Osun State (South West); former Senate President Ken Nnamani (South East); Stella Okotete (Women Representative); Governor Sani Bello of Niger State (North Central); Dr. James Lalu (physically challenged); Sen. Abubakar Yusuf (Senate Representative); Rep Akinyemi Olaide (House of Representatives); David Lyon (South South); Abba Ari (North West); Prof. Tahir Mamman (North East); and Barr. Ismail Ahmed (Youth).