By Yemi Itodo
With barely 6 days to the proposed national convention of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), the forum of aspirants has urged the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to shift the Congress, for the sake of peace, unity and success of the party in the 2023 general elections.
The Mai Mala Buni led CECPC had fixed the national convention of APC for Saturday, 26th February, 2022, amidst many controversies and court cases rising from the conduct of state chapter Congresses and intention to halt the Saturday’s exercise.
Various wings, organs and stakeholders of the party had earlier advised Buni and his committee to sheath the proposed convention, but the Yobe Governor appears adamant to go ahead with the exercise, as planned.
The ‘Forum of Aspirants for 2022 National Convention’, in a strong worded letter of advice to Governor Buni and his committee on Saturday, urged him to “critically examine the various agitations in different states of the country”, adding that, “the feelers are not pleasant, and with the benefit of hindsight, it would indeed spell doom if the party goes ahead with the national convention under such circumstances”.
The open letter, which was signed by Barr. Maxwell Yakubu Gowon, an aspirant for national youth leader and Chairman of all aspirants forum, and Hon. Mohammed Bala Mohammed, aspirant for national secretary who also doubles as Secretary for the Forum; also faulted the Senator Abdullahi Adamu report, which they described as worsening situations in the party, rather than proffering solutions.
Read the full text of the open letter:
“Forum of Aspirants for 2022 National Convention
Mai Mala Buni
Executive Governor of Yobe State/Chairman
APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee
Dear Governor Mai Mala Buni,
Please Call off the National Convention Now!
Your Excellency, we bring warm greetings to your esteemed personality and our appreciation of your exceptional commitment as evidence in your leadership strides since you assumed leadership of the APC as the Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.
We wish to state that you have indeed demonstrated an unalloyed passion for service to the country in your capacity as the Executive Governor of Yobe state and the added responsibility on your shoulders at the party level.
We note with excitement how you have been able to reposition the party in record time by reconciling all warring factions that hitherto refused to shed their swords in the tussle for control of the party structure.
As a body with considerable standing in the affairs of the party, we are constrained to issue this advisory to you in light of the recent happenings in the party with regards to the forthcoming national convention slated for 26th February 2022.
This advisory is hinged on the facts before us regarding the suitability of holding the party’s national convention on the proposed date. We are duty-bound to ensure that the party avoids, by all means, necessary actions that would reduce its chances of electoral success in the forthcoming general elections.
In case you might not be aware, a lot would be at stake should the party go ahead with the planned national convention. The issues you have strived to resolve are still looking at us in the face, and it is common knowledge that all is not entirely well in the party.
We know that issues such as this are commonplace. However, it is our opinion that it would spell doom for the party should the party go ahead with the national convention now. We are concerned about the party’s future, and it would be detrimental if we do not bring to your notice the dangers of going ahead with the national convention.
In case you might be aware, the Abdullahi Adamu led Reconciliatory Committee did not help matters in the task assigned to it. Instead, it further complicated the issues at stake by refusing to look at issues holistically but instead relied on rumours and hearsays in coming to a conclusion in its report.
The implication of the above statement is that those that were meant to be reconciled ended up infuriated by the actions of the reconciliatory committee. The signs in this regard are evident for every well-meaning member of the APC to see. But they have elected in their wisdom to downplay these contentious issues in the report submitted.
This, in our opinion, is a great disservice to your efforts at positioning the APC for electoral success. As you may be aware, the public space has been flooded with narratives that paint the APC as a party of strange bedfellows whose interests are propelled primarily for self-aggrandizement.
Mr Chairman may wish to critically examine the various agitations in the different states in the country. The feelers are not pleasant, and with the benefit of hindsight, it would indeed spell doom if the party goes ahead with the national convention under such circumstances.
As a party, we must be mindful of the burden of expectation placed on our shoulders in providing credible leadership to the country. Suppose we can’t put our house in order. In that case, we do not have any moral justification for promising the country credible leadership because charity must begin from home.
We must also be mindful of the embarrassing litigations that have bedevilled the party at the state and federal levels. As embarrassing it is already, we would be doing ourselves a great disservice if the party leadership under your watch goes ahead with the planned convention.
It is common sense that the party is not in the proper position to hold a national convention any time soon. The security reports within our disposal confirm this worrisome circumstance that would make discerning minds circumspect.
Mr Chairman, you must be conscious that a lot is at stake in the party on the heels that party leaders from the North East and the North Central have rejected the chairmanship position of the party. This is indeed a red flag that the party must take seriously at the risk of making a charade of the national convention and its unpleasant consequences on the party’s electoral chances in the 2023 general elections.
We are of the firm opinion that as a party, our emphasis should be on the stability of the party before the elections and not the interest of a select few who are blinded by their selfish ambitions without recourse to the sensibilities of the party members that have sacrificed greatly for the growth of the party over the years.
It would be unfair if the expectations of loyal party members were not met. The implication of this is that it would rattle the foundation of the party and, if care is not taken, might see to the final disintegration of the party to the advantage of the opposition party that has been strategizing to capitalize on our shortcomings to attain electoral success.
Mr Chairman, this advisory is in the party’s best interest as we cannot afford to entertain any form of rancour in this critical point of our drive towards positioning the party for electoral success in the 2023 general elections.
The truth remains that the February 26 date for the party’s national convention is not realistic. Mr Chairman may wish to be reminded that should the party disintegrate, all fingers would point in his direction. The tendency for unsavoury remarks on his personality would not be in shortfall.
Mr Chairman, we are buoyed by the fact that your antecedent speaks volumes about the penchant for carrying all along in decision-making processes. And the issue of the national convention of the party should not be an exception.
The rational thing to do with the issues on the ground is to call off the planned national convention of the party, for now, to allow for complete healing to take place to put the party in a prime position to attain electoral success in the 2023 general elections.
We wish to inform you for free that should the party go ahead with the planned national convention, we should be prepared for an onslaught of unimaginable proportion that would rattle the very foundation of the party.
We strongly advise Mr Chairman to, without further delay, stop all preparations toward the national convention slated for 26th February 2022. We must first resolve the issues at hand as a matter of urgency. The urgency of now is staring at us in the face.
While we anticipate a favourable response, please accept the assurances of our highest regard.
Hon. Maxwell Yakubu Gowon
Aspirant for National Youth Leader
Chairman, All Aspirants Forum.
Hon. Mohammed Bala Mohammed
Aspirant for National Secretary
Secretary All Aspirants Forum”.