By Tunde Opalana
The chairman, Caretaker / Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni on Wednesday revealed that the Nigerian political space will be shocked with defection of more high profile politicians from other parties to the ruling APC.
He as well charged members of the APC to assiduously work towards entrenching the APC in power beyond 2023.
Addressing a consultative meeting between members of the APC Senate Caucus and the national leadership of the party at the National Assembly, Buni said the reconciliation drive of the Caretaker Committee has resulted in swelling the membership if the party.
Delighted by the introduction of the newest legislators, Sen. Elisha Abbo from Adamawa North, the caretaker chairman said the party now has political heavyweights in all the states of the federation.
Listing high profile politicians that defected to the APC in recent times, Buni said “ the party now proudly parade political heavy weights in their respective states who have either returned back to the party or freshly joined the party.
“We have the former Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Former PDP National chairman, Senator Barnabas Gemade, several members of the national assembly, Chief Jimoh Ibrahim, former Head of service of the federation, Mr Danladi Kifasi, Sen. Isa Hamma Misau, Alhaji Salisu Takai among others.
“Our recent big catch of a very no less personality than the Executive Governor of Ebonyi state, His Excellency Mr Dave Umahi and several legislators of the state assembly are indeed great milestones in our restoration process.
Many others have indicated interests to either return or join the party.
“In fact, I want to assure you all that APC will soon shock Nigeria’s political space with massive and unprecedented defections ever witnessed in the political history of our great country, and by the grace of God, APC will undoubtedly remain Nigeria’s leading political party”.
He charged APC members to be thinking and working for the party beyond one, two, three or even four terms of office.
“As it is obtained in advanced democracies and with older political parties, we must ensure the victory of the party at all times to successfully and effectively implement the party manifesto and programmes to the benefit of Nigerians”, h said.
He commended the efforts of members of the reconciliation committee inaugurated by his leadership.
On the different committees, he said “we have His Excellency, Ken Nnamani, former Senate President who chaired the Edo state Reconciliation committee while, His Excellency Niger state Governor, Abubakar Bello headed the Ondo state Reconciliation committee.
Similarly, we had Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru chairing the Imo and Ogun state reconciliation committee among others.
“Today, we are proud to say that the conflicts in most, if not all of the states have been settled”.
Speaking on APC membership registration drive, Buni said “it becomes imperative for the party to revalidate its Membership Register, expunge names of those who had left the party and include those who have joined the party from 2014 to date in compliance with Article 9:4 of the Party Constitution.
“Similarly, the annual membership dues payment, which has almost been totally neglected overtime, is a clear violation of Article 9:1(I) of the Party Constitution.
The committee therefore finds the membership revalidation exercise as necessary to capture all members to promote internal democracy in the party.
“I am glad to inform you that preliminary plans had been concluded for the commencement of the first phase of the exercise in the next few weeks with the expectation to cover members both within the country and those in diaspora”.
As the party approach the national convention with a new beginning and, on a very clean slate, he submitted that, the party should as a matter of priority do the needful by resolving all contentious and constitutional matters.
The caretaker committee chairman appreciated the APC Senate caucus for having faith in and supporting the party, saying “ I commend you most sincerely for supporting the Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee constituted by the National Executive Committee which I am opportune to chair.
“Your individual and collective support has contributed immensely to the progress made in repositioning our great party.
“Similarly, your support to government from 2019 to date has been exemplary.
The timely confirmation of ministers and other requests by Mr. President as well as, your commitment to ensuring early passage of the budget further demonstrates the cordial and excellent relationship maintained between the legislative and executive arms of government.
Let me also reassure you that you will always enjoy the support of the party.
Assuring that the Caretaker Committee will continue to serve the party diligently , the chairman said “I want to assure you that with your support, the committee would continue to serve the party diligently through collective participation and all-inclusive process”.