As the All Progressives Congress (APC) prepares for its national convention, President Muhammadu Buhari said, this week, that the ruling party has the capacity to resolve its differences.
One of the contentious issues ahead of the convention is getting a consensus national chairman. With it comes the myriad of issues that have bedevilled the party from inception, but have recently become more pronounced through all its organs from the ward, local government, state chapters and the national body.
No doubt, the ouster of the former APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, led to a series of problems in the party until the President intervened to bring in the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe state to put the party back on stream.
As a ruling party at the centre, there is pressure on the APC to put its best foot forward all the time. Most Nigerians look to the APC to present itself as a political party with responsible structures consisting of built-in integrity to preserve the kernel of the country’s democratic institutions.
The APC is not expected to entertain the flagrant display of impunity and brazen abuse of established constitutional and procedural steps.
As things stand today, to return from the convention with its honour intact, the APC must remain guided that having judiciously observed all prerequisite political processes to the convention, it must equally set the party structures right to ensure compliance with all sacrosanct rules and regulations of the party and the electoral law.
Political processes that lead to a political party’s national convention are fixed and conventional – over a fairly long consensual period of time. It is the same for all political parties in the country.
The party, under the CECPC administration, has done a commendable job of meeting up with the prerequisites of party convention preparation, having conducted relatively very successful ward, LGAs congresses and states congresses across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It is appropriate and in the interest of the party that it builds on the successes of the caretaker committee’s handling of the party over the last couple of months and the achievements that have ably redefined the operational pedestal of the party.
Reflecting on the achievements of the party under CECPC leadership that has endeared the party more to the electorate, one can say, without controversy, that the APC is a stronger party than it was years back.
With a much stronger membership base and lesser internal rancour and litigations associated with other contemporary political parties, a peaceful and transparent convention would just be the icing on the cake and a final impression of the readiness of the APC to maintain its hold on the reign of power in the country and across an increased number of states.
This much the handlers of the party and all interest units within the party must take to heart in the overall interest of the party and its members.
Now that the party is set for the convention tomorrow, as part of measures to guarantee a successful, rancour-free outing, the APC should consider the fact that as a responsible political organisation, it has in the past proven that it is only guided by its rule book. The party should do the same again in the coming national convention.
The party must ensure a speedy and successful conclusion of all ongoing reconciliation actions and, to a large extent, as much as it is possible, bring the party into the convention ground tomorrow on a truly united front.
The unity of the party is paramount, and the fact that there are pockets of disagreements means there are aggrieved members, groups and concerns.
Thus, to this end, the party cannot afford to downplay the reconciliation process and its outcome for a reason of a limited time or any other.
Thankfully, if things go right, and it appears they will, the chairman of the party’s reconciliation committee, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, will be crowned its next national chairman and having known what the grievances are, it is expected that he will work to resolve them.
This is one agenda the party cannot afford to play with and which must be taken very seriously. Now, as the national convention comes up tomorrow, as a sign of seriousness and allegiance with constitutional procedures, it must set its house in order among several other necessities.
The party is expected to identify and collate the list of its appropriate delegates to the national convention. The list should be prepared and displayed for scrutiny prior to the convention.
Having released the time schedule of activities for the party’s national convention, the ball is now in the court of all the APC members, stalwarts, leaders and interested units and groups to work together to give the party a peaceful, rancour-free convention that will further endear the party to the electorate nationwide and prove President Muhammadu Buhari right that, indeed, the party has what it takes to resolve its members’ differences and speak with one voice.