Concerned stakeholders of All Progressives Congress (APC) has called for the immediate rebirth of the party before it goes into extinction
In a statement which was issued and signed by Abubakar Usman Sadiq on behalf of concerned stakeholders of the party, urged the leaders of the party to rise up and prevail over the impunity that is rampant in the party.
Sadiq said, it is unfortunate that the party has deviated from the core objectives of the party, therefore, throttling down to the path of implosion
Below is the full statement:
Being Text of A Press Conference Addressed By Concerned Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress In Abuja, Today, 6th October 2021.
Gentlemen of the Press,
We invite you to this briefing to draw the attention of members and supporters of the All Progressives Congress, both within and outside the country on the urgent need to reverse the eminent descent of the party into possible extinction.
Let me start by extending the gratitude of the the Concerned Stakeholders for your keen interest in our party and the progressive politics and governance it seeks to entrench. As a collective, we believe that the fate of Nigeria as a peaceful, united and prosperous country is inextricably linked to the fate of the APC, not just as the government in power, but also as a progressive and reform-minded party. This is why what goes on in the APC should be of concern to every Nigerian, especially those of us who pride ourselves as bonafide members of this great party.
Our mission is to push for the rebirth of the APC, both in name, character and substance, and return it to the path of the very ideals upon which it was founded, where all its principles and ideologies as put together during its formation are honoured and respected by all members of the party.
Like majority of APC members nationwide, we desire a party that exists to cater to the varying interests of its diverse membership. We seek a party that is truly for all members, that is run by all members as stakeholders, that is owned by all members, and that derives its strength from the belief, trust and investment of the ordinary members, who are it’s backbone. We are committed to the rebirth of the APC as a viable party that is not owned by powerful individuals or cabals, but rather one whose strength and very existence are predicated on its ability to command the loyalty and dedication of its teeming members through justice, fairness and transparency. This is our expectation for the party, and it is the one cardinal desire in pursuit of which we are prepared to invest our time, energy and resources.
Gentlemen of the press, we take the courageous step of admitting that the APC has deviated from the ideal political party our founding fathers envisioned during its formation in 2013. Having succeeded in winning the elections and enthroning the government in 2015 to birth the radical change that was in urgent need in the country, the onerous task of managing the party as a true and progressive political party began to hit brick walls as early as the party came into power. Much more than not, the APC has functioned as an association run and operated in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of whichever group that is dominant at any particular period. If it seems like the APC is headed in the wrong direction today, it is because we laid the foundation and nurtured it towards that trajectory many years ago. We cannot continue in this manner, and we believe it is time for the APC to rebirth and reinvent itself as a true, progressive and reform-minded political party that is constantly evolving in accordance with its philosophical objectives and the yearnings of the majority of its members.
It is on record that some powerful individuals in the political party that was then in power engaged in this habit of micromanaging almost everything that went on in the party. Members were denied their legitimate rights to full participation in the affairs of the party and those not seen to be falling in line are ostracized. The aforementioned characteristics contributed to the eventual implosion of the party, an opportunity we took full advantage of and moved from being an opposition party to the party in power. It is therefore very surprising and, indeed, worrisome that the APC since coming to power has continuously toed the part of what brought down the other party.
As part of activities leading to our National Convention, we have held Ward and Local Government Congresses in a very undemocratic way, clearly imposing leadership on members at the grassroots in the guise of the so called ‘consensus’ candidate. While we acknowledge that consensus is one of our party’s Constitutional provisions, it is an irrefutable fact that the APC Constitution did not envisage a situation where certain individuals, whether as governors, former governors or party leaders would coerce members into accepting a premeditated outcome as a mutually agreed option. A forced outcome is never a consensus, because any procedure that does not uphold the freedom of choice of individuals cannot be said to embody the progressive politics that APC ought to represent.
We may have missed the opportunity to right these wrongs at the two levels where congresses already held, but the forthcoming national convention presents a perfect opportunity that we must take advantage of. Consequently, these Concerned Stakeholders demand that open contestation must be the only option for every position in the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, rather than the imposition of anointed candidates in the name of consensus as was the case with the party’s recent Wards and Local Government congresses.
We demand that the set of leaders that will emerge from the forthcoming national convention must be those who do not only have what it takes to give a new life to the APC in the interest of all members, they must be people with unquestionable characters and proven records of progressiveness. Therefore, stringent conditions must be given as criteria qualifying anyone to hold a national office in the All Progressives Congress. The question of the many ex-this and ex-that having to run the affairs of the party despite their glaring failures in previous responsibilities must not be entertained.
We equally charge the party’s Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) with ensuring that the National Convention’s date, guidelines, and other arrangements are made public prior to the state Congress slated for October 16th, 2021. This will not only dispel the widely held believe that the Buni-led committee is playing out a script with its continuous stay in office, it will ensure proper and adequate planning for the convention. Conducting this national convention and handing over to a duly elected and constituted National Working Committee is even more germane at this point in time that many legal challenges have been mounted against the Caretaker Committee in the court of law.
Gentlemen of the press. Shortly after it’s formation in 2013, the APC became a mass movement of not only its registered members but also a critical mass of Nigerians who believed in the visions and personalities of President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and some of the other founding leaders of our great party. These individuals must come to the realization that they represent the hopes and aspirations of a vast membership of the party, and must not continue to look away or remain in silence while the very fortunes they worked hard for are being frittered away by the actions of a few and self serving individuals. President Muhammadu Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other concerned leaders must rise up to reignite the confidence of the people who believes and rely on their leadership by ensuring that we do not only get the forthcoming national convention right, with the enthronement of leaders the APC needs at this time, but also safeguard their legacies from being wiped away.
On our part, we must reiterate that our demands here represent the yearnings of majority of members of the APC across the country. In the past few weeks, we have held series of consultations with relevant stakeholders who share in the APC of our dreams. In the days ahead, we will continue with these consultations and expand it to reach even more stakeholders who are tired of the status quo. It is on this note that the APC REBIRTH is borne. APC REBIRTH will be the vehicle through which all of our activities will be realised. We therefore call on members of the party with progressive ideals to join us in this onerous task of saving the All Progressives Congress from becoming extinct.
Suffice to conclude that this press conference officially signals our campaign toward the Rebirth of the APC. Depending on how the leaders of the party responds to our clarion call, we will continue to roll out our plans until we are certain that the APC has been given a new lease of life. We hope we won’t get to some of them before concrete actions are taken.
Thank you and God bless.
Signed by Abubakar Usman Sidiq