The All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday that it would require a minimum of eight consecutive terms in office, about 32 years, to implement its manifesto.
Chairman of the party’s national caretaker committee and governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni said this in Abuja during the inauguration of a 61-member strategic committee constituted to reposition the party.
This is even as Jigawa State governor, Badaru Abubakar, who also doubles as chairman of the strategic committee declared that the party membership has so far risen to 36 million following the party’s revalidation and registration exercise.
The party had in February this year declared that over 16 million members have registered with the party.
APC’s manifesto focuses on national security, good governance, human capital development and the economy, among others.
But speaking during the inauguration ceremony, Buni said the strategy and contact committee was set up to consolidate the achievements the APC was making in building a strong party with a solid structure that would enable it stand the test of time.
“Our vision is to provide a wheel that will drive the party to go beyond 6th, 7th and even 8th term of office to effectively implement the party manifesto, improve the lives of Nigerians and, to remain Nigeria’s leading political party,” he said.
The Yobe State governor added that the committee is key to APC’s transition process towards successful congresses and national convention as well as to establish a solid, reputable and reliable future for the party.
He noted: “As chairman and members of this committee, you are carefully selected based on your personal competence and selfless commitment to the development of our party. The party is confident that you will collectively execute this assignment successfully with high sense of responsibility.
“Let me also state that the composition of membership of this committee is not done on state by state basis. It is a selection based on merit and competence. The party will consider others who are not on this committee for appointment into our subsequent engagements to contribute your quota to the development of our party”.
On his part, chairman of the strategic committee, Govermor Badaru, insisted that APC’s national convention would hold in June as planned.
While revealing that over 36 million people have registered with the APC, Badaru said the ongoing registration exercises has demonstrated the popularity of the party in the country.
“And that is why during the registration exercise, you will see people trooping in thousands into the party. Initially, we printed only 12 thousand membership cards but now we have 10 million members. Now, we have gone to 36 million.
“And that is not even enough. We are printing more because when people see what President Muhammadu Buhari has done with one side of the resources than the previous administration, the support is really tremendous,” Badaru said.
Asked whether June this year was still feasible for the party’s national convention, Badaru said, “It is very feasible. I know the National Caretaker Committee is committed to delivering in June. And we will support them and do whatever it takes to make sure we deliver by June.
“I note with commendation that many Nigerians have continued to join the party daily and the ongoing registration exercises have further demonstrated the popularity of the party in the country. We are mindful of the time table publicised by the party and our committee shall work assiduously to support the party in delivering on the time table,” he said.
But reacting to APC’s position that it needed 32 years to implement its manifesto, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) told the governing party to stop hallucinating, stressing that it must leave power in 2023.
The national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said APC’s projection was a direct confrontation to the generality of Nigerians who had already reached a national consensus to kick them out of office by the next general election.
The PDP also described APC’s claim of registering 36 million Nigerians in it’s registration exercise as “another political hoax and empty claim, which cannot sway Nigerians in any way.”
The PDP said Buni made the statement in the “belief that APC’s intimidation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the judiciary and security agencies as well as deployment of thugs from neighboring countries, will help them to subvert the will of Nigerians in future elections.”
Ologbondiyan said, “In Buni’s whims and thoughtlessness, Nigerians should make themselves ready for another 26 years of anguish, pains, hunger and starvation, insecurity and limitless suffering. This is the height of recklessness, insensitivity and affront to the sensibilities of Nigerians.
“The PDP counsels the fizzling APC to end its pipe dreams and arrogant boasting and wake up to the reality that its tenure in office as well as its life as a political party will meet an inevitable end in 2023.
“The APC ought to know that Nigerians have never been and will never be suppressed or conquered by any political interest. In fact, Nigerians are now, more than ever before, ready, willing and prepared to resists the APC in its plots to use manipulations to perpetuate itself in power.
“It is incontrovertible that if our nation goes into a midterm election, the APC will not get up to 20 percent of the votes cast. They should therefore stop addressing Nigerians like a conquered people with no voice, will and aspirations”.
APC Disowns Claims Of PDP Meeting With Supreme Court Justices
The APC also denied alleging that some Supreme Court justices met with members of the PDP or any political party on any matter.
In a statement signed by his director-general of Press and Media Affairs, Mallam Mamman Mohammed, APC caretaker commitee chairman and Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni said he was saddened that such weighty allegation emanated from his party without his consent.
He however assured that the party will uncover those behind the accusation.
The chairman said, “It has come to my knowledge that an allegation was made against some Supreme court judges claiming that there was a meeting between their Lordships with the PDP to subvert the cause of Justice in the case of the Imo North Senatorial election.
“I want to make my position abundantly clear and in an unambiguous terms that, l Hon. Mai Mala Buni, the Executive Governor of Yobe state and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, had at no time personally said, written nor directed anyone to write on my behalf or the party to allege or claim that their Lordships met with members of the PDP or any political party on any matter.
“I must say l am conscious of the positions their Lordships occupy, and would not be a party or associated to such reckless statements against their Lordships.
“As Leader of APC, l am saddened by such weighty allegation said to be emanating from our party obviously without my consent. On behalf of every member of the party we distance ourselves from this allegation and sincerely regret the injury and hard feelings this might have caused their Lordships.
“The party will do the needful to uncover those behind such accusation”.