The Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress is exploring the possibility of a political solution to the disputes emanating from its ward and local government congresses, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.
It was gathered in Abuja, on Friday, that the party’s leadership had started reaching out to aggrieved members to sheath their swords in the overall interest of the party.
Several aggrieved members had instituted various court actions challenging the conduct and outcome of the recently concluded congresses, in Bauchi, Ogun, Delta with others threatening to do the same.
However, a party insider confirmed to our correspondent that the APC leadership is more inclined to seeking a political solution than going through the litigation route.
A member of the party’s National Caucus who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media on the issue, explained that the Mai Mala Buni-led CENCPC was determined to explore the consolatory approach in order to reduce intra-party tension and win over those who may be thinking of leaving.
The party leader said, “One of the principal functions of the Buni-led committee is to reconcile aggrieved members and reorganise the party.
“We are aware that some of our members are aggrieved but you see, we must first have a party before we can aspire to contest for anything on its platform.
“We are doing everything to ensure that our members who have issues with the congresses approach the appeal committee which will soon be established.
“The appeal committee will submit its report to the CENCPC and if their recommendations are considered unjust, it will certainly be revisited in the overall interest of the party. It will be a win-win situation.”
Another party source said, “At the heart of the complaints we are having is the struggle for control ahead of the 2023 general elections. However, it is not a problem that cannot be dealt with.
“We have refrained from wielding the big stick for now because we want to rebuild and reposition the party and we cannot at the same time be chasing people out. We have learnt from the mistakes of the opposition PDP which was in power.”
An Enugu State chieftain of the party, Osita Okechukwu, who belongs to one of the aggrieved groups, confirmed the development in a telephone interview with our correspondent.
He said, “I’m aware of the ongoing process of finding a political solution to whatever challenges we are having. The truth is, resorting to litigations on issues we can sit round a table to resolve, will do the party more harm than good.’’
“This is a party that is just making inroads into our region, we are looking at the bigger picture. At the root of the problem, we are having a generation of politicians who were used to imposition in the APC. But, for us in the APC, what we are practising is liberal democracy with the respect for the rule of law as its core value. It is clearly spelt out in Article 20 what consensus means.”
Speaking in a similar vein, the spokesperson for Concerned APC Members, a pressure group within the party, Abdullahi Dauda, said “Some members of the party leadership have reached out to us on the need to settle our grievances without going to court. We will only do so when we have a guarantee that justice will be done.”
National Secretary of the CENCPC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, told Sunday PUNCH, “Our doors are always open for our members who have issues to come for discussions. The National Secretariat belongs to every party member. We have processes and procedures for dealing with grievances.”
In response to a question on when the appeals committee for the local government congresses will be inaugurated, he said, “When we are ready the public will duly be informed.”
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