APC Reconciliatory Moves Suffer Setback Ahead Of 2023 Elections

By newspayforum ā€¢ 5 months ago ā€¢ 265 views ā€¢ 5 comments

The moves by the rulĀ­ing All Progressives Congress (APC) to reconcile its memĀ­bers ahead of the 2023 genĀ­eral elections appear to have hit the rocks following unresolved issues and latĀ­est upheavals in some state chapters of the party.

President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the APC in February 2020 named Chief Bisi Akande, the former Interim National Chairman of the party as the Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee of the party.

The initial chairman, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, was dropped after some party members, espeĀ­cially in Edo APC, accused him of alleged bias in the political crisis that rocked the state before the goverĀ­norship election.

Other members of the Akande-led committee inĀ­cluded governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello; Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola; Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Idris Wase; Sen. UmaĀ­ru Tanko Al-Makura; Sen. Kashim Shettima; Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; Alh. NasiĀ­ru Aliko Koki; Sen. Khairat Gwadabe-Abdulrazaq, and Sen. Binta Garba.

Credible party sources said the committee has not achieved much since its forĀ­mation and party members are worried that the party may go into the 2023 elecĀ­tions more polarised than it is presently.

While some party memĀ­bers have blamed the outĀ­break of the COVID-19 as a major impediment to the committeeā€™s work, others blame the indifference of Akande to the assignment owing to the latest developĀ­ments in the party, especialĀ­ly alleged attempts by some power brokers to humiliate his ally, Asiwaju Bola TinuĀ­bu, former governor of LaĀ­gos and the partyā€™s national leader.

According to a credible source in the party, who was asked to compare the pace of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)ā€™s ReconciliaĀ­tion and Strategy CommitĀ­tee led by former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and that of the ruling party, many APC members are not really feeling the impact of the reconciliatory efforts of the Akande-led committee and are calling for change.

Aside some unresolved crisis in states like Kwara, Imo, Osun, Ogun, Edo, Ondo, Zamfara, and Rivers which are being managed silently, they also cited the latest developments which led to an open confrontaĀ­tion between Governor AbĀ­dulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara State and the MinisĀ­ter of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and the altercation between GovĀ­ernor Hope Uzodimma and Senator Rochas Okorocha.

He said: ā€œAs you are aware, the Akande-led comĀ­mittee was inaugurated in February 2020.

ā€œThat was when COVID-19 outbreak started in Nigeria and this greatĀ­ly affected the work of the committee as they couldnā€™t do much.

ā€œSome have said the comĀ­mittee could have deployed the use of technology such as zoom, but we all know that in resolving crisis, that method of virtual meeting wonā€™t be as effective as havĀ­ing a one-on-one meeting where the warring parties will sit together and even embrace after the issues are resolved.ā€

However, another party source said Akande is not really keen about the task after he and other leadersā€™ opinion were not sought before the party leadership embarked on the ongoing party registration and reĀ­validation exercise.

Akande had publicly criticised the exercise as an aberration and a waste of money considering the economic situation of the country.

ā€œMany of us in the party believe that Papa Akande is not really keen about the reconciliation exercise owĀ­ing to certain developments in the party.

ā€œThe first is the sidelinĀ­ing of party leaders by the current national executives of the party, led by GoverĀ­nor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, especially on the ongoing membership registration exercise.

ā€œThe second is also the issue of alleged attempts to humiliate his ally, Asiwaju Tinubu, over his perceived presidential ambition.

ā€œIf you remember, Akande, Chief Olusegun Osoba, Prince Tajudeen Olusi, and Dr. Abayomi FinĀ­nih visited the president in Aso Villa in November 2020 and many believed this was the issue they discussed, even though it was not reĀ­vealed made public.

ā€œThe issue is the party cannot keep watching while everything is in disarray and the committee set up by the president is not doing its job of reconciliation.

ā€œWe have seen what is going on in the other party and this is a source of worry to us as 2023 is around the corner.ā€

In the PDP, a member of the Saraki committee said they had achieved 50 perĀ­cent success rate in reconĀ­ciling aggrieved members ahead of the 2023 elections.

He said the major crisis rocking the party is the criĀ­sis in the South-West chapĀ­ter of the party which, he believed, would be amicably resolved.

According to him, with the support it has received from all PDP stakeholders so far, especially the NationĀ­al Working Committee led by Prince Uche Secondus, the committee is confident that all grey areas would be sorted out and the parĀ­ty would be in good shape ahead of the 2023 elections.

Also speaking, Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National ChairĀ­man of the PDP, has hailed the Saraki-led committee on its ongoing efforts to unite the party and return it to winning ways in future elections.

Speaking with Daily InĀ­dependent at the weekend, George, the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, who hailed Sarakiā€™s maturity in hanĀ­dling the assignment, said he was highly impressed with the fact that the forĀ­mer two-time governor of Kwara State had been speaking truth to power without mincing words on the way to go for the party to reclaim its place of pride in Nigeriaā€™s political areĀ­na.

He said: ā€œThe national reconciliation committee set up by the party headed by Dr. Bukola Saraki is doĀ­ing a very wonderful job.

ā€œIā€™m highly impressed with Sarakiā€™s handling of the responsibility so far. He is calling a spade a spade and telling the truth to power.

ā€œSaraki is like an eleĀ­phant in the room, saying the truth the way it should be said.

ā€œWhen I listened to him, I was very, very impressed that he has really grown and developed. He is no longer the ā€˜BukĀ­kyā€™ that I knew when he first came to the Villa. He is very mature, very intellectually sound, and very deep.

ā€œHe is now making a speĀ­cial name for himself and I said, Oh, we thank God, we are getting to be fathers now but all is not lost. If we have the younger ones like him coming up that we can handover the baton to, why not?

ā€œI had a one-on-one meeting with him in my ofĀ­fice here. He never minced words when it comes to speaking the truth and I beĀ­lieve that is what the PDP needs at the moment.ā€


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