APC and the Mala Buni political doctrine

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Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, Governor of Yobe State.

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By SALISU NA’INNA DAMBATTA

As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) expressed worry over the inability of the leaders of political parties in the country to register more members, the Speaker of aqqlthe House of Representatives, Alhaji Abbas Tajudeen, recently advised the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, to consider setting up reconciliation committees that would work on uniting members of the ruling party in the country.

Worried Abbas lamented that many members of the APC in different parts of the country are aggrieved, making the need for reconciliation both urgent and necessary.

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Many factors led to the situation refered to by the Speaker as a few example here sufficiently illustrate. The move to recall Senator Sahabi Yau representing Zamfara North Senatorial District is evidence of a crisis in the APC there.

Due to the crisis, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara state on May 17, 2024, announced the suspension of House of Representatives member Alhaji Sani Jaji for activities allegedly inimical to the interest of the party.

It is equally worrisome that crises exist in the party in Ondo and Osun states in the South West, the home base of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. And Aregbesola and the faction he leads in Osun state, the Omoluabi Progressives caucus, are working ahead of the 2026 governorship race. The group is disenchanted with the lack of interest in resolving the crisis by the national headquarters.

Although the most aggrieved person in Ondo state, Senator Jimoh Ibrahim of Ondo South Senatorial District, has withdrawn his suit against the All Progressives Congress (APC), Independent National Electoral Commission and Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the APC there needs a serious political re-engineering through strong internal democracy to remain an election winning machine.

Loyalists of the APC were genuinely taken aback when the leadership of the national chairman’s ward in Ganduje village, Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area, Kano state, announced his suspension from the party as widely reported in the national media in April, 2024.

The reports said, the leader of the ward, Haladu Gwanjo said that the suspension was agreed by the executive members of the party in Ganduje ward.

Jaafar Adamu, the APC ward secretary said the members of the Ganduje ward executives that announced the suspension of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje were part of the legitimate ward executive legally elected on 31st July, 2021.

Jaafar, a nephew to the acting APC national chairman told journalists, “We are the authentic executives of Ganduje ward and have passed a vote of no confidence on Dr Umar Ganduje for a series of reasons.”

He was quoted saying, “We have suspended Dr. Ganduje’s membership for creating internal conflict among party members at the ward level. Another (reason) was the issue of anti-party activities he generated during the 2023 elections, which resulted in the party’s failure in the state”.

Meanwhile, stakeholders in the North Central states insists that the national chairman of the party should be from that geopolitical zone. They hinged their claims for the post on the constitutional zoning principle of the party. Some APC chieftains found this unending agitation irksome. Nevertheless it is one of the clearest evidence of the numerous disputes simmering in the APC.

No leader in the APC has repudiated zoning as an essential tool for accomodation, cohesion and a mechanism to reflect the federal character of the Federation of Nigeria in the leadership of the party.

Regardless, dismissing the agitation to return the APC national chairman’s post to the North Central zone, Ganduje’s Media Adviser, Chief Oliver Okpala, alleged that, “Those clamouring for Ganduje’s removal and claiming to be representing the North Central are agents of the NNPP mobilised and induced financially to execute their plan to undermine the name, honour, and integrity of Dr Ganduje.”

That allegation aside, it is important to respect and give effect to the federal character of the federation. Many Nigerians believe that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu showed respect for the federal character principle when he reportedly stopped the inauguration of the Board of Federal Tertiary Educational institutions because their composition was nakedly lopsided.

With such crises rocking the APC, the best way to restoring calm in the party is by adopting the Mai Mala Buni Doctrine which he and the team he led in the rested Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) deployed.

The doctrone includes accomodation; tolerance; reaching out to members and listening to them; attending to grievances promptly and justly; respect for party members; respect for the APC Constitution; inclusiveness with regards to the legacy parties that formed the APC; accessibility by state and local government areas leaders of the party; appropriately rewarding party members with political appointments; regular meetings and consultations with members of the National Working Committee and real work to entrench the supremacy of the APC as a political machine designed to accelerate nation-building.

Some of the achievements of Mai Mala Buni as Chairman of the Caretaker Committee included the expanded registration of party members, ending many disputes that crippled the party, acquisition of a national headquarters building for the APC, bringing more influencial leaders to the party and organising a smooth national convention.

*Salisu Na’inna Dambatta is APC National Director of Publicity on leave.


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