With less than two weeks before the opening of the campaign window for the presidential election and the National Assembly, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has yet to reconcile most of its aggrieved members. and he is always in search of peace.
The aggrieved members include those who felt alienated at the party’s ward, local government and state conventions, as well as those who contested its presidential primary alongside presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in July and are unhappy with the plot and manipulations. that took place during the elections.
In order to facilitate peace and reconciliation, it should be recalled that a meeting of former APC presidential candidates was planned in Abuja, but could not take place.
The postponement of the meeting was announced a few hours before it opened. Since then, nothing more has been heard of it.
The meeting was reportedly canceled due to lack of commitment from the aspirants, many of whom had indicated they would not be available.
The aborted meeting was found to seek to address a number of factors, such as a decision to reconcile aggrieved members, the challenges plaguing the country, inclusive politics and the adoption of winning campaign strategies to win the victory ahead of the 2023 general election.
Among those expected at the botched meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; former Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi; the former Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu; former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba and former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
Five incumbent governors, namely Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) were also expected.
Others were Senate Speaker Ahmad Lawan; former Governor of Ogun State and incumbent Senator, Ibikunle Amosun; a sitting senator, Ajayi Boroffice; former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmad Sani; former Imo State Governor and incumbent Senator, Rochas Okorocha; a former Senate Speaker, Ken Nnamani; a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; Pastor Tunde Bakare; Pastor and businessman, Dr. Nicolas Félix; the former Minister of Information, Ikeobasi Mokelu; Businessman, Tein Jack-Rich and the only woman among them, Uju Ken-Ohanenye.
Since the primary, most of these aspirants have not been active in party affairs and preparations for the 2023 presidential election as they were not included or had no role in the Campaign Council. .
In addition, there are crises in many APC state chapters, with reconciliation efforts underway in some and unsuccessful in others.
It should be recalled that the crisis in the Osun State APC chapter led to its defeat in the Governor’s election on July 16, 2022. The incumbent governor and faction leader in the crisis, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, lost his re-election bid to PDP candidate Senator Ademola Adeleke.
The other factional group led by former state governor and current interior minister, Engr Rauf Aregbesola, reportedly backed the PDP candidate, earning him victory in the polls.
APC National President Abdullhai Adamu agreed with this when he said, “We lost the race not because we are incapable, but because of the internal crisis. We had a massive gathering of supporters a few days before the elections in Osogbo. No one could ever predict that we would lose the election.
He hoped, however, that the party would win the 2023 general election.
“We’ll sit down and check on each other. We have to ask ourselves what is right and what is wrong and what needs to be fixed,” he said.
Surprisingly, since the election defeat, no attempt has been made by the party leadership to reconcile the conflicting groups.
In Abia State, there was an indication that the leadership crisis in the APC state chapter would be resolved as the reconciliation committee set up by the NWC expressed readiness to submit the mission report
According to committee chair Chris Adighije, the panel has completed its task and is ready to deliver the report, which should settle all outstanding issues.
Recalling how the committee was set up by the National Working Committee (NWC) to deal with the crisis, Adighije said, “Having heard all sides of the misunderstanding, I am confident that the APC will triumph in Abia during the next year’s elections”.
Speaking on the actions taken so far by his committee, Adighije, who is also pro-chancellor and chairman of the board of the Federal University of Lokoja, Kogi State, said the committee began by engaging state stakeholders to capture all the nuances. of opinion.
He said the opinions helped shape the committee’s report, which was far-reaching as the committee recommended punitive action against recalcitrant members, even as it pleaded with stakeholders and members of the State APCs to sheathe their swords and give peace a chance.
“There is no way anyone is saying we delivered when APC wins nationally and loses in the states. One would assume that the Abia people did not contribute much to the victory in the center. The reconciliation committee was therefore intended to strengthen the party and foster inclusion and unity.
It should be recalled that on August 4, a reconciliation committee was set up by the APC National Working Committee with a mandate to reconcile aggrieved stakeholders in Abia State, following allegations of conflict on congresses and state primaries.
The committee was headed by former Abia Central senator Adighije. Other members of the committee included Deputy Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikoh; Emeka Atuma; Martins Azubuike; former Minister of Labor and Productivity, Dr. Emeka Wogu; APC National Welfare Secretary Sir FN Nwosu and APC rival gubernatorial candidate Chief Ikechi Emenike.
APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, had instructed the panel to do what is necessary and unite the state chapter to be able to pursue the 2023 elections as a family “by lobbying and reconciling considering that politics is local”.
In the Kano State APC branch, stakeholders have called on the top echelon of the party to initiate a strategic reconciliation mechanism to appease aggrieved members ahead of the 2023 elections.
Stakeholders appealed recently when officials of the North West Zone of the party led by APC National Vice President for the Zone, Salihu Lukman, held a meeting with them during an information tour .
In addition, Governor Muhammadu Yahaya of Gombe State recently inaugurated a 21-man reconciliation committee to resolve all grievances stemming from the APC congresses and primaries that have just ended in the state.
A statement signed by Ismaila Uba Misilli, Director General (Press Affairs), said the committee is headed by Deputy Governor Manassah Daniel Jatau and is specifically tasked with the responsibility of harmonizing and uniting members. of the party, before the general elections of 2023. .
Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Yahaya explained that the establishment of the committee becomes necessary given the apparent differences that ensued in the party primaries that just ended in the state.
The governor said that “in a contest such as the last CPA primaries, it is virtually impossible for every candidate’s every desire and aspiration to be satisfied without some form of apprehension, reservations or grievances arising from the process. “.
How soon the party leadership will be able to reconcile aggrieved members before the election is a question that cannot be answered immediately.