THE ruling party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee yesterday kicked off its consultations with visits to pioneer chairman Chief Bisi Akande and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It was the committee’s first step since its inauguration following dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC).
The NWC-led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole served for two years and two days – but in-fighting and multiple law suits-bogged it down, leading to its dissolution.
Speaking last night after the meeting at his Ikoyi, Lagos home, Tinubu, the party’s national leader, said: “We have no differences to be sorted out. We just had consultations and those consultations are about how our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) , will continue to be a progressive party.
“Politics without seeming ‘media crisis’ will be less interesting, depending on your (reporters’) persistent questioning.
“But the question is: are we committed to building this party and Nigeria? That is what we are all about. We’re steering the ship of our party and our nation in the right direction.”
He added: “We lost one of our brothers, Isiaka Ajimobi. We discussed him, sent a very sincere condolences to the family and looked at our party, the APC, which is the cure for aches and pains.
“We’ll apply the ingredients of APC to what appears to be pains in our party so we can heal.
”Sincerely, we have trust and respect for the character of the chairman of the caretaker committee.
“We’re willing to support him to succeed for the party to continue its crusade of progressive governance in the country.”
Asked if it was a reconciliatory visit, he said: “Who was fighting who? The caretaker committee is on consultation. We have never been divided.
“In politics, there can be disagreements. There are instances where you disagree but it doesn’t mean that you cannot discuss it, and be a good example in leadership and politics.”
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said: “I am a good host, I am happy to have my colleagues here, it has been a very fruitful discussion we had here this evening.”
The Caretaker Committee Chairman Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe State Governor-led the delegation to Tinubu’s home.
Other members of his entourage are: Secretary Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, Kebbi State Governor Abubakar Bagudu and Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello.
Governor Buni said the meetings were part of the consultations “we are making. You know the task before us is daunting and we need guidance, experience and prayers from our leaders.”
Buni had earlier led a five-man delegation to Akande’s Ila-Orangun home in Osun State, for a one and half hour parley.
Members of the delegation and caretaker committee are Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, Niger State Governor Sani Bello, Senator Akpan Udoedehe and Governor Bagudu.
Speaking on the meeting with Akande, who is the chairman of the party’s Reconciliation Committee, a source said: “The shuttle to Osun was part of the ongoing consultations with stakeholders to seek their input.
“The session is all about how to reconcile and reshape the party in the overall interest of all. It was on the future of the party and how to make it stronger.
“Akande is very important because he is the foundation chairman of APC. He also heads the reconciliation committee which has received over 170 petitions. The committee went to consult Akande in order to know where the shoes pinch.
Director of Press to Governor Buni, in a statement said: “Akande urged the committee to differentiate true party men from platform seekers for the party to grow.
“There is a great hope in what l have seen in this committee, the party will certainly bounce back stronger.
“I will continue to leave myself open with a call on other stakeholders to cooperate and support the committee to succeed”.
Buni described the meeting as successful and very fruitful.
He added: “This meeting further gave the committee a lot of confidence towards a very successful exercise.
“With such support and encouragement from founding fathers like Chief Akande, we are strengthened and confident that all other stakeholders will extend the required support for the party to emerge stronger.”