By Jide Orintunsin – Abuja
A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, has said what the party needs for re-positioning is reconciliation and not national convention.
Okechukwu, who reacted to the 14- day ultimatum by Concerned APC members to the Governor Mai Mala Buni- led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee to roll a plan for December 2020 national convention, said: “reconciliation is more germane now than the convention”.
The APC chieftain, in a statement in Abuja barely 24 hours after the ultimatum was slammed on the Caretaker Committee, took a swipe on proponents of the ultimatum, insisting what the party needs most now “is a genuine reconciliation of gravely fractured party before the convention”.
According to him: “I’m not the spokesman of our great party, am just an ordinary foundation-slip-card carrying member of All Progressives Congress (APC) from Eke Ward in Enugu State. However, am in league with the spokesman of our great party, Yekini Nabena that this is not the time for an ultimatum.
“It is first reconciliation and subsequently election convention. Our great Zik in a similar scenario admonished that we first prepare the ground well before we lay the mat.
“I personally can’t factor the true reason behind Alhaji Abdullahi Dauda’s Concerned APC member’s preference for a December 2020 National Convention to a genuine reconciliation of gravely fractured party before convention?
“Truly, methinks we should all support the M.M.Buni (MMB) led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee to diligently fix and reposition our great party before any convention.”
On the six- month tenure for the Caretaker Committee, Okechukwu said: “A cursory glance at the damage done to the soul of our great party, beginning from our victory in 2015; to regrettably the culture of impunity which bedeviled our 2018 primaries, to say the least, is unprecedented.
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“Accordingly, the MMB’s Committee requires deep introspection to gather the pieces, reconcile the various warlords and tendencies. If it takes six or twelve months, one may not mind so as to achieve substantial cohesion before the crucial 2023 general elections.”
Faulting claim by the group that a tenure extension for the Caretaker Committee would be counterproductive, Okechuwku said: “Reconciliation is the main ingredient in forging a united front in line with our symbol, the broom.
“Without which the second terms of reference, which is the national convention will definitely produce a factional national chairman, who in turn will produce a keg-leg presidential candidate. Let’s avoid such a sordid scenario, as much as possible.
“Thirdly, it is important that they conclude biometric party registration. What we have today is slip-card and no one can in a fingertip, tell us our numbers.
“By the time they conclude biometric registration, we will know our exact number and exact demographic membership. This will help in the 2023 general elections.
“If actually, they do not want to discredit the conscientious efforts of President Buhari and his team, according to them, that took commendable steps to fight for the progress of our great party by setting up the MMB’s Caretaker Committee; then one cannot locate their amazement and disillusionment.
“When the Committee has not only commenced reconciliation but had devoted many efforts towards Edo and Ondo State gubernatorial elections.”