Convention: Reprieve For Buni As factional APC CECPC Collapses

Less than three weeks to the National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, reprieve came the way of the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC of the party on Monday following the collapse of a factional CECPC led by Prince Mustapha Audu.

Mustapha who is the son of a former governor of Kogi state and late chieftain of the party, Prince Abubakar Audu is the leader of an APC support group, the Progressive Youth Movement PYM.

The PYM had on November 20, 2021 unilaterally announced the disbandment of the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC.

Consequently, the movement named its leader, Prince Mustapha Audu as Chairman of the new CECPC with a mandate to conduct the party’s national convention on February 26.

The youths also named Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila into the new CECPC as representatives of the National Assembly.

Some elements of the PYM subsequently went to court to give judicial spine to the group’s declaration while its leaders also vowed to take over the Buhari House national secretariat of the party.

However, on Monday, the group withdrew its court case and thereafter met with representatives of Governor Buni at the secretariat.

Informed party sources said some members of the group had declared the need to withdraw the case and align with the mainstream APC since the demand for the February convention had been met.

Consequently, they had no choice than to collapse their structure into the main party structure. Most of their demands have been met”, said the source.

Both the APC National Youth Leader,  Ismaeel Buba Ahmed and Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Party’s National Caretaker Committee,  Yakubu Murtala Ajaka were on hand to receive the PYM leaders.

Speaking after a closed door meeting, Ahmed said both groups have now reconciled.

“You know we are all young people and APC is a party of young people. In any political party or organization, there is bound to be disagreement. Our brothers and sisters here have had to express their concerns over certain things over a period of time and now we are all here, we have reconciled.

They have tabled their concerns and the party have taken care of some of these concerns because the party is a listening party. We are here to hold our hands and sing ‘kumbaya’ that we are one united party. We are here to proceed and work together in the forthcoming party convention and the general elections in 2023.

“Some people had issues with the date of convention and we have been able to resolve it. Secondly, to make sure young people have stake in the party, especially for the position of the national youth leader of the party being allocated to a god father somewhere to determine who he brings without the consent of the youths that have contributed. Among other positions which the young people believe that in a party of over forty million membership, at least thirty million are youths and the leadership of the party must reflect this reality. Hence, it was more of an issue of structural leadership and reforms which the caretaker had worked on. They have shown that they are satisfied with some of the changes and progress made so far”, he stated.

Prince Audu on his part also disclosed that the demands of his group have been met.

He said; “As our leader has said, their were some points that we did not agree with the leadership of the party but in all honesty this is the only party that listens to young people. We clamoured for a convention in February and the leadership of the party listened and gave us February convention. We clamoured for 26th and they gave us 26th. We clamoured that a letter be transmitted to INEC and a letter has been transmitted to INEC as we speak.

“In all fairness, it will be wrong of us to continue anything further knowing that our leaders have listened to us. The only issue which of course we know they are working on is the inclusion of young people at the convention. So we are standing together with our leader who is representing over forty million youths to say that we are firming behind him and the leadership of the party because they have listened to us.

“With the statistics available to us it is quite obvious that the majority of the membership of the party are youths and it means that they cannot do anything without carrying the youths along. This is why we are here to say that we are going out there to tell everyone that though some mistakes might have been made in the past but no one is perfect. We are going to work together to usher in a new set of young and older people that will show that we have a group of leaders that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people”, he added.

Also speaking, Convener of APC Rebirth, Engr. Aliyu Audu said stakeholders look forward to more youth inclusion in the affairs of the party.

“We asked convention in February, that letter be transmitted to INEC and to be included in the scheme of things. All we have requested is to have confidence in the leadership of the party and to ensure we have a truly progressive party that meets the expectations of all. Every person in the party, especially the youths understand the disconnect between the leadership and Nigerians which those of us standing here typified. Going forward we look forward to actual inclusion of young people in the convention and post convention in the management of the party. By extension in the formation of government after 2023 election which we believe we are going to win”, he stated.