The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) seems to have rediscovered its rythm after the emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party yesterday.
The NEC under the leadership of President Buhari took the landmark and commendable decision to dissolve the national working committee (NWC) of the party for a new leadership to emerge.
It needs no emphasising the fact that the former NWC was laboriously factionalised and cannot stand. The contending pro and anti-Oshiomhole forces within the NWC have balkanised the APC and turned the party into a sort of ballasted ship.
Thank goodness that superior reasoning eventually prevailed and party supremacy was restored. Indeed, President Buhari has yet again displayed exemplary leadership expected of a leader in the efforts towards strengthening the party in the years ahead and for elections to come.
Sufficing to state that the APC must not be enmeshed in the euphoria of the NEC resolution to slow down its tempo. Albeit the stage has been set for a rebound of the APC, there is still so much work to do.
The emergency NEC meeting is a watershed moment that has reset the APC, however, it has raised several questions that need answers.
Foremost amongst these questions is whether or not the dissolution of the NWC has signalled the end of conflict in the APC. Is the party now at a good stead to win the Edo and Ondo guber elections? Is the crisis within the party over? Have all party members particularly the gladiators within the APC bought into the NEC resolution or are we going into another round of needless litigations?
The last question comes to mind when juxtaposed with the current feelers that some factions within the party are mulling a court action to challenge the NEC decision. This to say the least, will not help in achieving genuine reconciliation within the party. Any party member who takes the party to court henceforth should be liable to a disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion from the party. Party discipline is sine qua non to building a stronger APC.
The NEC is the principal executive body of the party whose decision is binding on ALL party members as contained in section 13(3)(iii) of the APC constitution which states explicitly that:
‘Decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) shall be binding on all organs and all members of the Party, except the National Convention’
Any further legal action against the decision taken by NEC will therefore amount to insurbodination and clear anti-party activity.
For the NEC resolutions to succeed, all members must key into it in the spirit of genuine reconciltion and party unity. The supremacy of the party must be upheld in all cases.
The caretaker committee has a big task ahead of it particularly in uniting the different factions of the party and rebuilding the party. Without doubt, the first litmus test for the caretaker committee is the Edo guber elections scheduled for September 19th 2020. A win in Edo 2020 will further cement the new found rhythm of the APC and build momentum into Ondo 2020 and by extension, the 2023 Presidential elections.
It must be restated that the key to resolving the crisis lies not only in the dissolution of the factionalised NWC and formation of a new broad-based neutrally standing APC NWC but also in the amicable resolution and out-of-court settlement of the cornucopia of litigations during the Oshiomhole crisis. All court cases instituted in the logjam must be withdrawn in the interest of genuine reconciliation.
Indeed, state governors have played a pivotal role in the peaceful resolution of the APC crisis. The progressives governors forum has stood up to be counted in the efforts to save the great APC.
The composition of the caretaker committee is also appreciable but could have been better. One would have expected tested and trusted experienced unifying professional figures in the mould of Prince Tony Momoh or the likes to be saddled with the responsibility of building the new APC rather than a sitting state Governor.
Of course his excellency Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe state Governor and new APC caretaker chairman is an experienced and loyal party stalwart having served two terms as APC national secretary back-to-back. However, his excellency has too much on his hands in running his state still trying to contain insurgency to devote enough time to run the party.
It beggars belief that state governors do everything from organising party conventions to running the party even on caretaker basis. Are there no competent people around who have the time to organise party conventions and run the party? Must state governors do everything?
Is the appointment of a state Governor to run the APC as caretaker part of the politics of 2023?
Of course, state governors have done great in terms of funding the party. This really shouldn’t be the case as state funds are not meant to fund political parties, but there is really very little anyone can do about it as there are limited sources of party funding. Nonetheless, it would have been much better if state governors strictly devote their time to running their states and staying away from running political parties.
By the way, some takeaways of the COVID-19 pandemic is the efficacy of virtual meetings. It will help governance particularly at state levels if some of the official meetings in Abuja involving state governors are converted to virtual meetings to give their excellencies some reprieve from coming to Abuja almost every week.
It will help if the state governors are excused the rather weighty task of attending meetings in Abuja sometimes almost 3 times a week which certainly takes off some time otherwise meant for running the states.
By and large, the APC is roaring back to its natural path of victory. It must however not be lost on party members on the need to make sacrifices. All factions within the party must sheath their sword for the party to move forward. Party supremacy must be respected as the party is greater than all members individually and collectively.
BY DR ABUBAKAR ALKALI