when Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni took over the affairs of All Progressives Congress, it was in a state of chaos, torn by varying political differences and interests. The party was on its way to self-destruction.
The caretaker committee under Governor Buni commenced the process of reconciliation with visitations to founding members of the party including Chief Bisi Akande and Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who gave their blessings to the committee.
Buni constituted various committees and embarked on reconciliation of all aggrieved persons, stakeholders and groups to give everyone fair hearing.
As a team player, he gave responsibilities to key stakeholders of the party to promote inclusiveness and sense of belonging, to strengthen unity and enhance the repositioning of a divided APC.
Among his major achievements were the massive return of those who left the party just as those contemplating to leave dropped the idea.
It is an indisputable fact that Buni’s leadership made ground-breaking records nationwide by among others, bringing in three serving governors into the party.
Governors of Ebonyi, Mr Dave Umahi, Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade, and Zamfara State, Bello Mutawalle, were great gains made by the committee to the party. The governors defected along with millions of their supporters.
Apart from the governors, scores of national and state assembly lawmakers also defected to the APC.
To the credit of the Governor Buni-led committee, APC conducted successful membership registration and revalidation exercise. Today the party has over 41 million registered members and still counting as the registration continues.
APC under Buni promoted youth inclusiveness with the organisation of Youth Summit. The summit assembled representatives from across all the political wards in the country.
Similarly, the committee organised a women’s conference to mobilise youth and women for the 2023 elections.
Buni’s commitment to the party is unparalleled compared to any of the party’s stakeholders.
In the spirit of wide consultations, Governor Buni has consistently engaged Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, Hope Uzodima of Imo, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Yahaya Bello of Kogi,as well as governors of Plateau, Ogun, Kwara, Niger and Gombe states among others.
As Governor Nasir El-Rufai said, Governor Mai Mala Buni is a victim of the secretariat staff and indeed some of his colleagues in the governors’ forum and some members of the caretaker committee.
Certainly, the gains made by Mai Mala Buni for the All Progressives Congress in the last 19 months cannot and will not be wished away easily.
Unfortunately, there is yet no official communication from President Muhammadu Buhari to the party or Governor Buni.
With just 12 months to the general elections such a conspiracy will only breed more trouble for the party.
The building tension in the APC is becoming a great threat to its chances in the 2023 general elections.
It is said a stitch in time, saves nine. The earlier President Buhari moves to save the party and its 2023 chances, the better.
Aliyu Habib Zaria can be reached via [email protected]