By Omeiza Ajayi
Secretary of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC of the All Progressives Congress APC, Sen. James Akpanudoedehe has declared that the era when one “strong man” dominated the politics of the ruling party is over.
Speaking at the 2020 annual conference of the APC Press Corps in Abuja on Friday, Akpanudoedehe said the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led CECPC has been able to entrench internal democracy in the party, making it difficult for any individual to hijack it.
“The membership Registration, Revalidation and update aims at giving the party back to the people. When the people are involved in a transparent selection process, they will be more interested in the process and this cures voters’ apathy and unnecessary dissension in the polity.
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“The APC understands that persons must be given platforms to ventilate their grievances within the party. Exhaustive internal mechanisms are being created within the party to handle grievances before it snowballs into cracks within the party.
“Reconciliation Committees are there with persons of high integrity to intervene and intercede on issues within the party. For instance, a few days ago, the South South APC Caucus set up a high powered Committee with H.E Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as its Chairman. It is my opinion, that if members are discouraged from going to courts, there must be avenues to air out their grievances.
“Strict adherence to rules and procedures: The functioning of political parties are regulated by our extant laws like the Electoral Act, the 1999 Constitution and the Party’s Constitution. this laws have defined procedures for certain activities and deviations from these rules and procedures are recipes for disaster.
“Recruiting Persons of integrity for party assignments: The CECPC has insisted that only persons of high moral standing and repute will be sent on party assignment to reduce the incidence of compromise and collusion with certain interests to undermine the task”.
Akpanudoedehe noted that disagreements within members of the same political party are basically witnessed during the leadership selection processes, whether for party offices(congresses) or during nomination processes for candidates or flag-bearers.
He said: “Where an aspirant loses in a free and fair contest, he is more inclined to accept the outcome of the contest, however where the process is flawed, the entire process becomes undermined and this leads to endless litigations between members of the same party and this affects the development of democracy.
“No man was born a slave, so resistance to oppressive tendencies is inherent in every human being. When pushed to the wall, he/she will fight back and oftentimes, the party will be distracted and this leads to avoidable loss of elections.
“These skewed selection processes could occur due to: The politics of god-fatherism: Where a certain strong man is allowed his wayin return for patronage to the party or leaders of the party.
On his part, Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan assured that the APC administration has the capacity to surmount all the challenges confronting the nation.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Ola Awoniyi, the Senate president said; “The APC story is a story that is founded on fostering understanding amongst a divergent interest. It is the story of creativity and ingenuity in the management of difference. The APC story is a pacy story of brilliance in the administration of a plural system.
“It is a story that hallmarks how well democracy should flourish, for its adaptive capacity, and its potential as a lesson, and the possibilities it bears for the future.
“The APC story understands the workings of democracy, through its aggregation of variegated interests, and how it has managed the interests.
“Though there are challenges, these challenges are not always insurmountable. They are like the storm in the tea cup. They will always blow away, given our continued resolve to remain the vehicle for the emancipation of Nigeria. We have come a long way and will not be distracted.
“What we require is to be painstaking and the need to be positive about our efforts, the sacrifices of leaders, and the patience of the followers”.
Chairman of the occasion and Director General, Voice of Nigeria VON, Osita Okechukwu said the contestation today is the issue of restructuring, adding that it has however been difficult to build national consensus on the subject.
“Why? The simple answer is that our contestation over restructuring is fouled by – I Pass My Neighbour Syndrome! My Dear Countrymen lets Change it”, he stated.
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