Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have expressed satisfaction over the recent conduct of the party’s Local Government Congresses, saying the exercise has positioned the party well ahead of upcoming elections in the country.
The stakeholders stated this in separate interviews with our reporter.
Ahmed Gunna, the APC Organising Secretary in Niger, said that the party’s congresses were conducted peacefully in the state.
Gunna said the party’s guidelines were strictly followed to ensure a rancour-free, fair and inclusive exercise, and as a result, over ninety percent success was achieved in the conduct of the congress in the state.
He said with the way and manner the party was conducting its congresses, he was confident that the party would win the 2023 general elections.
“What is happening in the party is normal in a political setting; we will sit down and resolve our political differences to enable the party to win the 2023 general elections.
“We are progressives and have the political maturity to solve our internal differences for the overall political growth of our party,” he said.
Similarly, Malam Abubakar Ahmed, an APC supporter in Nasarawa State, hailed the consensus option used in conducting the party’s local government congress.
Ahmed said the initiative was a pointer that upcoming elections could be peaceful and rancour-free if those participating in the election agreed to reach a consensus.
“The consensus adopted by the party in most parts of the state shows that elections can be held peacefully with all participants ending up happy. If upcoming elections are held in this manner, Nigeria will be the biggest beneficiary,” he said.
And the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, also lauded the peaceful conduct of the party’s local government congress in the state.
Abdullahi said that the consensus arrangement used in conducting the exercise was responsible for the feat achieved.
“I am happy and delighted by the peaceful conduct of this exercise where the new executives of our great party, APC, emerged through consensus.
“This will promote unity, peace and the overall development of our great party and the state,” he said.
He also expressed happiness with the maturity exhibited by the stakeholders and other party members during the exercise.
Also, the APC Acting Chairman in Plateau, Mr Enoch Fanmak, said both the party’s Local Government and Ward Congress were conducted peacefully in the state.
Fanmak said the exercise was done through consensus and affirmation, which according to him, had shown the unity and commitment of members of the party in offering Plateau people and Nigerians quality leadership at all levels.
He said the exercise which was conducted across the 17 local government areas in the state was a good example of political maturity and dialogue, where individual interests were harnessed for the good of the party, the state and nation.
The APC Leader in Benue and Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume, also said the party held a successful and peaceful local government and ward congresses in the state.
Akume stated this at a mega rally held to honour both himself and President Mohammadu Buhari in Makurdi.
He said party members did very well during the conduct of the Ward and local government congresses in the state and urged them to continue to remain one family.
The former governor of the state said that where minor hitches from the conduct of the congresses were recorded, they would be addressed.
“I want you to continue to have faith in our party as we move toward 2023. The political ball has already started to roll and you are part of the process.
“You have done very well at the Ward Congresses, we just concluded Local Government congresses in Benue State and where there are little hitches they are being looked into. We want to remain members of the same APC family.”
The State Caretaker Public Secretary of the party, Mr James Orgunga, also said, “in Benue, we had no parallel local government congresses”.
He said the party recorded huge successes during the exercise as most of the candidates emerged through consensus.
The APC spokesman, however, said the party had hiccups in few places where there were disagreements over chairmanship positions but admitted that on the overall, the conduct was fair.
“We recorded huge success. We have been able to produce consensus candidates in many local government areas.
And in Jalingo, Sen. Abubakar Tutare, an APC stalwart and a member of the National Assembly Service Commission, also expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the congresses, adding that some of the impediments experienced during the exercise were normal in the political process.
“What matters is how the leadership is able to resolve the seeming differences between now and the election time of 2023,” he said.
Tutare observed that the most critical thing was for all political parties to respect internal democracy in order to reduce, to the barest minimum, the number of complaints from such processes.
Similarly, Prof. Dalhatu Sangari, a member of the APC board of trustees who is also a critical stakeholder of the party from the Taraba South Senatorial District, observed that fairness and justice in the electoral process were key to successful 2023 polls.
Sangari observed that honouring the will of the people in any of the processes was important, adding the decision of the party to adopt consensus as a means of electing leadership for the APC at the Local council level was to avoid crisis that would not augur well for the party.
He explained that he was optimistic that the process was leading to the target of having a rancour-free State Congress and National Convention.
However, a Jos-based civil society activist, Steve Aluko, urged Nigerians to insist that all political parties should conduct free and fair primaries for the emergence of the best of their candidates.
Similarly,Mr Ben Adaji, a veteran Journalist based in Jalingo, Taraba, advised the APC to put its house in order to forestall crisis before and during electioneering process for 2023.
Adaji also urged the party to be wary of some defectors from other political parties who would wish to continue with their unwholesome characteristics in their new party.
He noted that the mass defection to APC should be checked to ensure adherence to party ideology.