By: Edet Eyo Bassey

When on June 25th 2020, APC National Executive Committee (NEC) birthed the Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), political analysts dubbed the Committee a child of necessity. Recall that prior to the inauguration of the Committee, APC was at the throes of disintegration induced by multiple political interests who were poised and determined to grab the soul and take control of the Party. Interestingly, since coming onboard; albeit on interim capacity, CECPC has arrested the dangerous drift of the Party and averted what a commentator aptly described as political Armageddon in APC.

Since inception, HE, Mai Mala Buni led CECPC has shown wisdom and demonstrated tact in the management of affairs of the Party. Principally, it has focused on reconciliation of aggrieved members and warring factions in the Party. Without mincing words, the Committee has scored huge success in that regard; reconciling revered leaders of the Party hitherto at confrontation with each other and factions (in some cases multiple factions) in State Chapters of the Party occasioned by diverse and sectional interests.

The importance of internal reconciliation in the Party as a core mandate of the Committee can be gleaned as captured in the emphasis laid on reconciliation at both NEC meetings of June 25th and December 8th 2020. This emphasis on reconciliation no doubt stems from the bottom to top approach of rebuilding the Party and retaining its robust membership devoid of further acrimony. As a demonstration of good faith and sincere intention, the Party had taken steps to set up reconciliation committees to address the grievances of members. Members who in the heat of anger hastily approached the courts for redress rather than exhaust channels of seeking redress made available by the Party have been advised to withdraw all pending cases and avail themselves of the opportunity for reconciliation and rebuilding the Party. Additionally, the successes achieved in the process of reconciliation has engendered fresh hope of a bright future for the party that has provoked series of defections from other political parties to APC. Besides the vigorous effort at reconciliation, the CECPC led the Party to critical elections in the last quarter of year 2020. The Edo/Ondo governorship election and several bye elections into National and various State Houses of Assembly. It recorded good success except for the avoidable loss of Edo state.

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Driven by its foresightedness and the comprehensive report of performance presented to the President and leader of the Party, NEC graciously acquiesced to the request by the Committee for the extension of its tenure for another duration of six months to enable it undertake membership registration/revalidation exercise. According to the Committee, the exercise scheduled to commence on January 25th 2021 will serve as a foundation and a bedrock for the bottom to top approach of the Party rebuilding process. By implication, the exercise is expected to transfer ownership of the Party to the people and make way for reconstruction of the leadership structure of the Party at all levels through the ward, chapter and State congresses leading up to the Party’s National Convention scheduled for June 2021.

Anyone who has keenly followed the activities of the Committee as much as I do shall without any iota of doubt admit that Buni’s Committee has been meticulous and tactful in its operations mindful of the risk of relapsing to the days of yore. In a demonstration of its genuine intendment and sincerity of purpose, the Party in its new year message to Nigerians signed by both the Chairman and Secretary, relayed in my opinion a detail account of their stewardship touching on the state of the nation and trajectory of the Party. It is a comprehensive, informative and instructive message published at pages 34 & 35 of the Vanguard Newspaper of Friday, 1st January 2021. It is also widely circulated on various social media platforms.

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Finally, not many are given to knowledge, blessed with wisdom and crowned with vision. It seems obvious that a combination of these divine attributes is the foundation of the accomplishments and successes recorded by the CECPC. However, the task ahead of the Committee shall be unaccomplished without cooperation of every member of the party. It is in recognition of this that the Party wrote; “. . . ahead of the congresses and National convention, competent Party leaders will be invited to serve in the Committees to ensure that the mandate of NEC is achieved before June 30th 2021”.

Indeed, the CECPC under the able Chairmanship of HE, Mai Mala Buni and Secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe (Ph. D) is providing leadership, giving direction and offering hope to APC members and also setting the pace for others to follow in building a “strong political Party to strengthen our democracy”.

Edet Eyo Bassey is a former State Publicity Secretary, APC, Akwa Ibom chapter. He writes from Uyo.