Ahead of the planned national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), concerned stakeholders have warned the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee against imposing any of the aspirants for the seat of national chairman and other offices on members of the party.
The stakeholders who constituted a group led by Mr. Abubakar Usman said any form of imposition, no matter how well it is disguised as a consensus arrangement, would not be acceptable to well-meaning members of the party.
In a statement, they charged the Buni-led caretaker committee not to repeat the mistakes of the ward, councils and states congresses conducted in controversial circumstances.
“We make bold to say today that the realities that emanated from our state congresses across the country have justified our concerns and proven that the fears we have about the future of this party are potent.
“From Kano to Kwara, from Osun to Ogun, from Lagos to Sokoto, and a couple of other states, Nigerians were treated to embarrassing spectacles of multiple congresses by members of the party who simply wanted to exercise their rights. Even in Akwa-Ibom, the home state of the Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Senator John Akpanudoedehe, who was quick to issue a statement celebrating this fiasco as the true reflection of internal democracy in a progressive party such as ours, more than one congress held.
“To make matters worse, he said in his statement last Sunday that the congresses held across the country were conducted in compliance with ‘the charge by the leader of our great party, President Muhammadu Buhari that the party be returned to the people.’ If, indeed, this was the case, it would almost be impossible to record the sort of congresses we had across the country.
“While a few states conducted the congresses with a semblance of the true letters and spirit of consensus, which they must be commended for, in many other states, the congresses were mere gatherings to confer some sort of legitimacy on already prepared list of party executives without the involvement and acceptance of other stakeholders from those states. Where attempts were made at all to arrive at consensus, it was largely within the camp of those who call the shots.
“Indeed, we are not unaware of the bickering that usually accompanies contest for political power, especially for a ruling party like the APC, but more than half of those bickerings are results of the many incidences recorded in the build up to the various congresses.
“While we condemn the resort to self help by the conduct of parallel congresses, the leadership of the APC should reflect on the fact that sometimes, when you are pushed to the wall, you take certain actions unexpected of you.
“This is why we have always appealed that the APC should return to its core ideals of inclusion and mass participation which were the hallmarks of its very foundation.”