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How Governor Buni charted a new course for APC

By Mamman Mohammed  When on June 28, 2020 a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the ruling APC sacked its National Working Committee and…

By Mamman Mohammed 

When on June 28, 2020 a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the ruling APC sacked its National Working Committee and appointed a 13-man interim committee under Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni, little did people know that the party was in for a major transformation. 

The committee was given a six-month deadline to organize an election to elect new leaders for the party. 

Buni came in with a lot of experience as the party’s immediate past secretary but beyond that few knew about his political doggedness, acumen, discipline and mobilizing prowess.  

The tenure of the team went beyond the earlier six month mandate extended twice but it turned out as one of the major turning points of the party. It is a classical example of the saying that he left it better than he found it.  

Although as a team player, Buni worked closely with his fellow members of the committee but it was largely the factor of his tenacity and planning that saw him through the murky waters of the politics within the party and able to not only reconcile its members but also bring in new strong members, including three governors of the opposition PDP, into the party. 

Under Buni’s watch, the party conducted a nationwide membership drive which saw it rising from 11 million to 40 million members. 

Calm, calculated and soft-spoken, Buni approaches every political complication and problem with measured steps to disable the compass of adversaries, rendering ill-motivated path finders of his direction and movements ineffective and clueless. Buni is blessed with the patience to listen, critically observe and analyse situations. He is never in a haste to respond to criticisms. Thus, leaving his adversaries in bewilderment and setting more confusion into their hearts. While awaiting his reaction on certain issues or attacks, he moves ahead like the submarine beneath the sea, only to emerge far ahead and successful. 

The most trying moment of this test however came at the end of his tenure as the chairman of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the APC, when unsubstantiated  accusations were thrown at him in a bid to provoke him to throw away the bath water along with the baby and to depict him as a failure, and/or for the party to go back to square one, just some  few months to the 2023 general election. But Buni resisted and refused to be provoked and never responded to any of the vituperations. He made it clear to all his aides not to respond to the attacks. 

For lovers of His Excellency Governor Mai Mala Buni, political pundits and adversaries, the APC National Convention, and transmission of power from the CECPC to a substantive National Working Committee, was undoubtedly peaceful and successful. It has made Buni to walk honourably and gloriously in Nigeria’s political history as attested by President Buhari who repeatedly said APC has bounced back to life courtesy of the Mai Mala Buni- led caretaker committee. 

Buhari said: “I want to congratulate us all for being part of this history making event and to specially appreciate the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee which has been on a rescue mission, under the leadership of His Excellency the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, for successfully piloting the affairs of the party in the last 18 months and organising this convention to elect a new National Working Committee that will take over from the Caretaker Committee. 

“I am glad the party under the caretaker committee has bounced back to life with the reconciliation of several key and critical stakeholders and groups, that had hitherto left the party or were on the verge of leaving it. The reconciliation process gave the aggrieved stakeholders a true sense of belonging and assurance. 

“It is gratifying that the party recorded massive and unprecedented defections under the caretaker committee administration. APC received three sitting governors, a deputy governor, senators, members of the House of Representatives and state assemblies, and other key officials from opposition parties who defected along with millions of their supporters.” 

The Buni led CECPC, had also reconciled feuding critical stakeholders, groups, camps and factions. 

The purchase of the APC National Secretariat ‘Buhari House’ is no doubt a monumental achievement by the CECPC as this has permanently settled the accommodation challenges of the nine-year-old political party when compared to 23 years and above political parties with lots of resources but yet to own permanent secretariat. 

The engagement of women, youth and People Living With Disabilities by the Buni-led CECPC in the affairs of the party, makes APC different in terms of inclusiveness in Nigeria’s democracy. 

And not to be forgotten is the successful conduct of the ward, local and state congresses, as well as the amendment of the party’s constitution. This provides a solid, stable and unwavering platform for the just concluded peaceful, successful, rewarding and fruitful national convention of Africa’s largest political party, the APC. 

The ground preparation by the Buni led committee for APC, has no doubt lessened internal problems, narrowed down animosities, and resuscitated party loyalty and supremacy. Unarguably, the Abdullahi Adamu-led National Working Committee has the advantage and capacity to build on these fortunes for a successful ride to victory in the 2023 general election. 

Mamman is the DG, Press and Media Affairs To Governor Mai Mala Buni