The Director-General, Progressive Governors Forum, Salihu Moh. Lukman, says the ability of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress to successfully organise a National Convention in June will be a necessary first step at repositioning the party for greater effectiveness.
The 13-member Convention Working Committee was appointed by an emergency National Executive Committee meeting of June 25, 2020, under the leadership of Governor Mai Mala Buni, with initial tenure of six months, which was extended by another emergency NEC meeting of December 8, 2020 to June 2021.
The caretaker committee is expected to midwife a national convention in June where new leaders will emerge to manage the affairs of the party for another four years.
But Lukman says the success of the committee, and by extension the party, would depend on how well it avoids the factors that led to the dissolution of the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC.
Key among such factors, he says, is guaranteeing that meetings of organs are taking place as provided in the constitution of the party.
He said in an article on Monday: “Conforming to democratic principles requires that initiatives being implemented by the Caretaker Committee are based on decisions taken by competent organs as provided in the constitution of the party.
“Absence of meetings of organs partly contributed to most of the disaffections in the party during the tenure of the Comrade Oshiomhole-led NWC.
“To what extent has the APC Caretaker Committee distinguished itself from the old characteristics of managing the affairs of the party without meetings of organs as provided in the party’s constitution? This is the fundamental operational question, which, however considered, would have implication in terms of whether APC leaders are taking the necessary steps to rebuild the party based on any considered vision of progressive politics.”
Lukman alleges: “For more than nine months, the Caretaker Committee has not convened any meeting of any organ of the APC apart from the emergency NEC meeting of December 8, 2020. Sadly, even the 13-member Caretaker Committee is hardly meeting.”
Most decisions taken by the caretaker committee, he alleged, were done by Buni, and the Secretary, Senator James Akpanudoedehe.
Though he conceded that the challenge of ensuring that the party is able to have a verifiable membership register is being resolved, without organs meeting as provided in the constitution of the party, there is no guarantee that the old problem of having inaccessible membership register will not be replicated.
He asks further: “Given that the party’s membership registration/revalidation exercise was done based on the old analogue method without applying modern virtual technology, what is the guarantee that the process of leadership reformation in the party, from ward congresses up to National Convention, will be done based on the new register? Will all members of the party be able to participate in the process of electing leaders of the party at all levels?”
Lukman said there is a need to set a timetable for congresses and national convention and there should be no justification for extending the tenure of the caretaker committee.
“In order to ensure that no extension is being considered, committees for congresses and national convention should be established without any further delay. Similarly, the dates for Congresses and National Convention should be decided,” he said.