By Adedayo Akinwale
The Governor of Yobe State and the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mai Mala Buni, has revealed that the vision of the party is to rule Nigeria for 32 consecutive years.
Buni, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the strategy and contact committee held at the party secretariat Tuesday in Abuja said, this would ensure effective implementation of the party’s manifesto, improve the lives of Nigerians and, that the party remains Nigeria’s leading political party.
He stated: “The vision of the party is to provide a wheel that would drive the party to go beyond 6th, 7th and even 8th term of office to effectively implement the party manifesto, improve the lives of Nigerians and, to remain Nigeria’s leading political party.”
Buni explained that the committee was put together by the party as part of the collective drive to recover, rebuild and reposition the ruling party.
Buni said with a sense of satisfaction, the Caretaker Committee has within this period made tremendous achievements by recording genuine reconciliations and settling irreconcilable differences among critical stakeholders of the party.
According to him, “As l said earlier, if you don’t manage your crisis, your crisis will manage you. I am happy to say that the committee is running an all inclusive administration, giving all stakeholders and indeed our members the opportunity to contribute in the onerous task of rebuilding the party.
Buni noted that the committee has continuously engaged members of the party to serve in various committees thereby supporting the committee to effectively manage the crisis within the party.
The Chairman noted that the achievements recorded within this period of time were made possible with the generous support and cooperation the committee is enjoying from every member of the party.
This, Buni added, has translated into massive return of stakeholders and their supporters who had earlier jettisoned the party, adding that on the other hand, the party’s efforts in wooing members of other political parties into APC, has recorded remarkable and unprecedented successes.
He further said that another major milestone the party has recorded is the membership registration and revalidation exercise which has given every member of the party a true sense of belonging.
Buni further explained that the membership registration would provide the ruling party with the numerical strength and serve as a guide towards planning.
He stated: “Similarly, the review of the party’s constitution would take care of ambiguous positions and loopholes that have caused confusion and controversies over the years. This will make our party dynamic and to be in tune with changing times.”
The chairman pointed out that the constitution of the Strategy and Contact committee therefore, was to consolidate on the achievements in building a strong party with a solid structure that would make APC to stand the test of time.
He added: “This committee is therefore very key to our process of transition towards successful congresses and national convention and, to establish a very solid, reputable and reliable future for the party.”
Buni noted that the composition of membership of this committee was not done on a state by state basis, but it was a selection based on merit and competence.
The chairman stressed that the terms of reference for the committee include; to establish constructive engagements between critical stakeholders at various levels of the party with a view to reviving confidence and trust among party leaders.
He said it also includes conducting a need assessment survey from party members and the general public and to create a statement of vision, mission and core values of the party that will foster unity.
Buni said other terms of reference are: to develop strategies that would reposition the party in an advantaged position in the public domain; develop a timeline and framework for the implementation of the recommendations of the committee; Co-opt such members as may be deemed most suitable and submit periodic reports to the National chairman.
Speaking with journalists after the inauguration, the Chairman of the Committee, and the Governor of Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru, said the national Caretaker Committee was committed to conducting the national convention in June despite rumoured tenure extension.
He added that his committee would do its best to increase the party’s base and its contacts and also bring in more people into the party.
Badaru stressed that those that are not happy with the party would be engaged with them also, adding that the idea is to build the party for greater strength.
The Governor however allayed the fear of Nigeria being a one-party state, saying there would always be opposition.
Asked if June was feasible for the national convention, Badaru said the caretaker Committee would be supported in all ways to ensure it would be delivered by June.
He stated: “It is very feasible. I know the national Caretaker Committee is committed to delivering in June. And we will support them and do whatever it takes to make sure we deliver by June.”
Badaru noted the constitution of the committee was important in bringing people together, understanding to ensure smooth running of the party, smooth conduct of party primaries and the convention.
He stated: “President Muhammadu Buhari has done wonderfully well. And that is why during the registration exercise, you will see people trooping in thousands into the party. Initially, we printed only 12 thousands materials but now we have gotten to 36 million. And that is not even enough. And now, we are printing more because people see what President Muhammadu Buhari has done.”