Caretaker leadership in APC abnormal, says Akande

  • Ex-interim chair: membership registration wasteful

  • Party: we hold Akande, Tinubu in high-esteem

  • No plan to field Jonathan in 2023, says ruling party

Former Interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief Bisi Akande, Wednesday described the national caretaker committee headed by Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni as an abnormality.

He urged the committee to avoid the temptation to elongate its temporary tenure to avoid contempt and disgrace.

The former Osun State governor also described the on-going party membership registration as an aberration, saying that it contradicts the rule of periodic census.

Akande spoke on the challenges facing the ruling party when members of the Registration and Revalidation Committee posted to Osun State visited him at his Ila-Orangun country home.

With the former governor were Governor Gboyega Oyetola, Senator Ajibola Bashiru and House of Assembly Speaker Segun Owoeye. Akande was registered by the committee.

Peeping into the future, the elderstatesman said whatever structure that may be imposed on the party at the end of the programme, the greatest test for the APC would be the election of President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.

Akande noted that a political party register, as distinct from population census or voters register, is supposed to include the list of opinion leaders within a particular ideological orientation.

He recalled that he had the privilege of presiding over the creation of the original party register, adding that the take-off register was the foundation of all the structures that stimulated the movement that propelled the APC to power in 2015 and 2019.

In his reckoning, the register has remained the foundation of the party’s enviable hegemony and influence throughout the country.

Akande maintained that the party’s national caretaker committee is an aberration, urging it to discard any elongation agenda.

He said: “In normal circumstances, a Caretaker Executive Committee for a political party is an abnormality. If not carefully controlled and expeditiously managed, most aberrant authorities end up in contempt and disgrace.

“For this reason, I want to urge that present APC Caretaker Executive Committee to resist all temptations of sit-tight syndromes that usually characterised most handpicked authorities in most underdeveloped countries of the world.”

Taking exception to the ongoing party membership registration, Akande observed that, even, the population census is not repeated within less than a decade, stressing that voters are also not registered at every election.

He said: “Within this context, I see the present APC membership registration within less than a decade after the original register as an indefensible aberration leading to certain ugly perceptions.

“The first major perception is that APC, already having a well-computerised register for an average of 100 leaders of similar ideological orientation per each of more than 120,000 polling units across Nigeria, might be lacking comprehension and matric of the modern-day technology.

“The second major perception is that APC leadership might be wasteful and unappreciative of the proper use of money in kind of scanty economy in which Nigeria finds itself.

“These seeming ugly perceptions put into abeyance the applause of the two national election successes that the original APC register enjoyed since its completion on 15th February 2014 and the over one billion naira of 2014’s value that the original register cost when APC had no money of its own.”

Akande said the greatest test that will confront the ruling party is the 2023 presidential election.

He said: “I want to emphasise and warn that the next national election that would elect a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari is going to be the most important test of the on-going APC membership registrations and whatever structure being envisaged to be imposed on it.

“It is my advice and prayer, therefore, that every sense of responsibility should be selflessly employed to make these efforts ultimately result in success for our APC.”

Oyetola, warned that “The (registration) exercise should not be about faction. Many gladiators left our party so we want to revalidate our members, register new members. This exercise should be seamless. This is not in connection with any election at all.”

The Southwest Chairman of APC Registration Committee,  Senator Shuaibu Lawali, explained that the advantage of registration of members in any political party is to have a membership register.

He added:”Membership registration is the most valuable asset of a political party. The exercise is for the survival of the party.”

We have not been able to separate those members who left and those who are with us and those that joined us, it would be difficult. For example, Senator Bukola Saraki left with hundreds of our member. Many members left our party in villages. By the time this new register comes out that will be the authentic, reliable and verifiable membership list”.

The Southwest Registration Committee followed Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to his hometown, Iragbiji, Boripe Local Government Area for his membership revalidation.

Party: we hold Akande, Tinubu in high-esteem

The Secretary of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the APC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, declined to react to Chief Akande’s comment.

The APC scribe screamed when asked for the party’s reaction. “Ha, ha, anything that concerns Baba Akande is a no go area. For me, I owe Baba Akande and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu a lot of gratitude, honour and respect.

“Mr. President, the Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni and the party  hold them in high esteem too. Whatever he (Akande) said, we allow it to pass,” he said.

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