ANALYSIS: Extension of Buni-led caretaker committee and APC Chairmanship tussle

A year after it was inaugurated to take over the affairs of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee has yet to organise the national convention that should ordinarily see to the election of a new Chairman of the party.

The Yobe Governor succeeded the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in June, 2020.

For some anti-party activities and controversies , Oshiomhole was shown the way out of the office earlier than expected. An Oshiomhole Chairmanship cost the party its grip of Zamfara and Edo states, which were ceded to the opposition party.

This wrong APC aims to correct with the election of a new chairman that will lead the party to the much anticipated 2023 poll.

The election or selection process for the new chairman can only be done at the national convention. However, the indefinite extension of the timeline of the caretaker committee saddled with this expedient responsibility may be counter productive.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, for the second time, extended the timeline of the Committee, which is tantamount to repeating the mistakes made by the party’s immediate past national leadership.

The Committee has failed to convene meetings of party organs since its formation on June 25 last year and the earlier it does this, the better for the party, some political analysts posit.

With the initial tenure of six months, which was extended by another emergency NEC of December 8, 2020, to June 2021, the work of the caretaker committee is expected to end with a national convention, where another leadership should emerge to manage affairs of the party for another four years.

This would alter the timetable of the ruling party because some state chapters that ought to be preparing for their fast approaching Governorship elections are yet to have their state congresses or decide on the modus operandi for their primaries.

Based on the timetable recently approved by the President, ward, local government and state congresses are scheduled to hold on 24th July, 2021, 14th August, 2021 and on 18th September, 2021.

Notwithstanding, the crises in some state chapters have not been solved and the furore surrounding the controversial nationwide revalidation and registration exercise still lingers. All these may affect the chances of the ruling party in the forthcoming elections.

Nevertheless, some APC Governors have thrown their weights behind the committee, lauding it for taking its time and securing the defection of opposition Governors like Cross River’s Ben Ayade and Ebonyi’s David Umahi, both from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Apart from the alteration of the timetable and the lingering crises, the national chairmanship contest might suffer a setback as stakeholders are yet to decide on the turn the game would take.

While some believed the next Chairman of the party should come from the Northern region because the Presidency is going to the South, some maintained that the party is yet to finalise on zoning.

Another section of the party opines that the party needs a consensus chairman but the only limitation is the time because consultation has to go through the major blocs that formed the APC — the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Even if there would be a consensus candidate, a choice must also be made between the league of former Governors and that of contestants who have not held any political office in the past.

So far, those jostling for the seat include a former governor of Nasarawa State and serving senator, Tanko Al-Makura; two former governors of Borno State Kashim Shettima and Ali Modu Sheriff; a former governor of Gombe, Danjuma Goje; former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari; a former member of the House of Representatives from Bauchi, Ibrahim Baba; and a former chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Abuja, Sunny Moniedafe from Adamawa State and a former Deputy Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Saliu Mustapha.

Whatever the decision the party wants to take regarding the chairmanship contest, it should consider timing because it is of essence.

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