Gov Buni led APC Caretaker Committee addressing grievances from Congresses, by Yusuf Ali
The Media Officer at the All Progressives Congress Party (APC), Malam Yusuf Ali, in this interview bares his mind on the on-going congresses of the party, describing the scramble for positions as indication of its acceptance, strength and success.
He also spoke on the opposition PDP on the brinks of extinction and allayed fears that Ward and LG Congresses would breed more troubles. Excerpts:
The ward and local government congresses of APC have been bagged by complaints of alleged marginalisation, disenfranchisement and imposition. Don’t you see this creating disaffection and threatening the party’s fortunes in the 2023 elections?
To begin with, in every election there is a winner, loser and of course complaints. There is also no election anywhere in the world that is not accompanied with one complain or the other. Simply put, there is no election that is 100 per cent accepted anywhere in the world.
We have seen even in America where election were marred with fraud claims. Therefore, complaints are the twin brother of elections, especially in Nigeria.
Secondly, the increasing defection and growth in acceptance of the party give room for more aspiration among the members.
This also demonstrates the increasing strength of the party in every part of the country.
In fact, one of the advantages of the congress is the exhibition of readiness and commitment by the people willing to serve the party in various capacities.
This is happening at a time when members of the opposition were awash on the social media with fabrications of falsehood that APC is losing acceptance from the same people who we see today aspiring for various offices in the governing party.
Again, you must have seen the growing population of the party and active participation in the congresses across the country, especially in the PDP controlled states.
Before now, belonging to APC in some of these states was seen as a taboo but now, we have recorded geometrical growth of membership in these states.
APC now has over 40 million registered members based on the recent membership revalidation exercise we organised nationwide.
People are defecting daily in hundreds into the party. In fact, i have even lost count of the numbers in the two chambers of the National Assembly. There is no a single day that the leadership in both houses would not announce members dumping PDP to APC.
As to whether there is disaffection with perceived consequences on the fortunes of the party, you know the party constituted electoral and appeal committees to organise and look into problems arising from the congresses, and this is being done religiously to give every member, including aggrieved members, a sense of belonging.
Over and above all, we have a leadership who is listening and operating a open door policy in all affairs of the party.
He has carried everybody along and has given all members that sense of belonging. The Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, His Excellency, Hon Mai Mala Buni is a gentleman and a leader who knows how to make peace with everyone. Under his leadership, APC is waxing stronger and stronger.
As a family, we will sort out every problem and remain united to work for the success of the party. We are every day getting improved understanding, solidarity and cohesion. Thus, l assure you, APC will continue to wax stronger and victorious.
The affirmation process adopted in the congresses led to a lot of frayed nerves in some states. Why affirmation?
I think the party has given a lot of explanations on this. However, let me quickly explain it. There were three options for the congress, one: election among aspirants, two: election by consensus of candidates and three: affirmation of the existing executive members by the congress. You very much know that in every election, you need ample time to prepare, organize and mobilize to conduct credible straight elections. You also need resources to fund the election.
You, like every other Nigerian knows that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, unlike the previous governments would never use public funds to finance the party.
Secondly, the time limit is so short that the states opted for affirmation and replacement of existing vacancies. This explains why affirmation was adopted.
Again, even if the congresses were conducted through straight election, there are bound to be one complain or the other. However, the party will look into every genuine complain to consolidate our strength and reposition the party to win the 2023 general election with landslide victory; this l assure you.
What measures has the party taken to avoid mistakes encountered in ward and local government congresses in the forthcoming state and national convention?
I wish to remind you that APC is the true and only party in Nigeria with respect for rule of law and internal democracy. We have sufficiently demonstrated that in 2015, 2019 and will build on our successes in 2023.
And like I said earlier, the party is carefully studying cases with genuine complaints with a view to address same.
Therefore, any identified loophole will be avoided in the conduct of the state congress and national convention for us to have a credible and acceptable process. There is no cause for alarm.
To what do you attribute your anticipated victory against opposition parties like the PDP that are intensifying preparations to challenge APC in 2023?
Yes, our strength and anticipated success are made easier by the massive infrastructural developments by the Buhari administration.
You will agree with me that Nigeria today has more than ever funded various capital intensive projects being executed simultaneously across the country. The achievements speaks for themselves.
For the first time in this country contractors handling road and other projects are paid as at when due. Nigeria is recording massive transformation in road network.
Nigeria’s roads were, in spite of their economic and national development value, abandoned owing to lack of political will. The rail system is also receiving favorable attention under this administration.
It is also no longer news that Nigerian farmers are fast growing into millionaires. The support provided by government through the Anchor Borrowers Programme funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria and other interventions has recorded unprecedented growth in food security and sufficiency with great value for agricultural production in the country.
It is this administration that summoned the courage, political will and financial backing to complete four standard gauge railway projects between 2016 and 2021: Abuja-Kaduna Rail Line, Abuja Metro Line, Itakpe-Warri Rail Line and Lagos Ibadan Rail Line. Its worthy to note that President Buhari is the first President to start and complete a rail project in Nigeria’s history (Lagos-Ibadan Rail).
Similarly, most of the APC governors have done very well in areas of road construction, healthcare delivery, education, agriculture, housing, manpower development and water supply among others to improve the lives of the people.
This has been attested to by many reputable professional bodies that bestowed awards of excellence on the state governors for their performances. Its a fact our APC Governors are doing progressively well than the governors of the PDP.
It is very important to mention here that the commitment of the Buhari Government to move Nigeria forward is further proved by the fact that this government has refused to play politics with projects and programmes that would improve the lives of Nigerians.
Unlike other administrations in the past, this government is working assiduously to complete all projects including those initiated by previous regimes as long as they have value to the lives of Nigerians. Perhaps, this explains the growing support APC is now enjoying in the South-East and South-South against what was obtained in the past.
There are threats from some members over alleged marginalization. Are you not worried with this development?
In politics, like any other gathering of many people, you find such vituperations, sometimes to attract attention but, this is a very simple family issue which is very surmountable. I think some people out of mischief are deliberately blowing the issue out of proportion to give APC a bad name but, we will sort ourselves out.
Let me state without fear of contradiction that it will amount to political suicide for any serious politician to contemplate leaving APC for another political party at this moment in Nigeria.
I think you must have seen the tremendous support the APC led administeation of President Muhammadu Buhari is still enjoying across Nigeria. This will continue Insha Allah.
So, as the ruling party with the support of Nigeria’s electorate, we will consolidate issues that unite the party and move forward. There is no cause for alarm, l assure you.
Gov Buni led APC Caretaker Committee addressing grievances from Congresses, by Yusuf Ali