Ahead of 2023, All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari’s party that has been dominating the affairs of Nigeria since May 2015, appears to be imploding.
Implosion here refers to the sudden failure or collapse of the APC system with the emergence of a new national faction.
In a seeming desperate bid to pour cold water on the intense heat in the party, Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and a factional Caretaker Committee National Chairman of the cracked APC, has added a comic dimension to the festering crisis rocking the party.
A new factional APC National Caretaker Committee that sprung up on Monday quickly announced its sacking of the Governor Buni-led Caretaker/ Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
In a seeming radical move, the new group says it has appointed President Buhari as the head of its Advisory Committee while Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, among others as members of its new Caretaker Committee.
Apparently dazed by the new twist in the APC crisis, Governor Buni describes the development as a treasonable act.
The Yobe governor must have been comical with the charge because for collinsdictionary.com, treason is the crime of betraying one’s country (not a political party), for example by helping its enemies or by trying to remove its government using violence.
So far, there is no evidence that the new group is after the Buhari administration nor any information that they have the violent Boko Haram/ISWAP and bandists as their political army.
As a Master’s degree holder in International Relations from Leeds Becket University, United Kingdom, Buni certainly knows that a crime is an illegal action or activity for which a person can be punished by law. Perhaps, not an internal party power tussle.
Arguably, domestic crisis in many ways is endemic to political parties in Nigeria as they battle for the titanic 2023 elections, retaining members and finding suitable leaders.
However, at a press briefing on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, the new faction also announced the sacking of the Governor Buni-led Caretaker/ Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, and in its place, announced a new National Caretaker Committee with Mustapha Audu as Chairman.
The new factional APC national leadership equally announced the formation of a National Reconciliation Committee with a mandate to reconcile aggrieved members before it’s National Convention billed for February 26, 2022.
Audu also announced a zoning formula for positions in the new National Working Committee expected to emerge at a national convention coming up February 26 next year.
While inaugurating the new committee, the new APC factional National Chairman, Audu said: “Today we are here to inaugurate the PYM – CECPC , these young men and women of noble repute have been carefully selected and mandated by all the well meaning young stakeholders of our great party the APC to plan and execute our convention before the end of February 2022.
“We are aware of the plethora of issues within the party, our party has had a history of shying away from true reconciliation and in many cases inflicting chastisement on members that should have been rewarded for their effort towards building the APC.
“We will also be setting up a reconciliatory committee to help reconcile aggrieved members within the party. It is clear that in the last couple of years the party has been on a regressive course and it is necessary for all well meaning party members to roll up our sleeves and do the needful to ensure that we correct the mistakes that have been made to ensure victory in 2023 for all stakeholders.
“I would advise all party members to look inwards and understand the need to do things differently so that we can ensure we win back the trust of the Nigerian people as we
move closer to the election year.
“Let us join hands and strengthen our internal democracy in our dear party the APC and show Nigerians that we have what it takes and we deserve their votes in 2023.”
The ‘ousted’ Governor Buni team in a statement by its National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, who is battling for the APC governorship ticket in Akwa Ibom State, described the new group as a “paid and misguided group.”
According to Akpanudoedehe, “we have recieved several enquiries from the media and concerned APC members on the felonious activities of a purported group parading themselves as “Progressive Youth Movement”.
“The purported group and membership are unknown to the Party, its structure or as a registered support group. Hence, we completely disown them and cannot account for their activities or join issues with them.
“However, laughable the criminal attempt of the purported group to usurp the leadership of the President Buhari-led APC now bothers on treasonable felony. Relevant security bodies must now check and address their unscrupulous activities.
“The attention the purported group seeks will not be given to them by the party. We can only advise that the general public completely disregard them. Members of this group are not registered members of the APC and are being used by opposition elements and fifth columnists to cause confusion.
“As widely reported, the successful meeting between the APC leadership, Progressive Governors’ Forum and the President produced February 2022 as the timeframe for the Party’s National Convention. Our focus now is preparing the ground for a rancour-free excercise.”