The All Progressives Congress (APC) has inaugurated a national reconciliation committee.
A ten-person committee was initially set up last year December to pacify the warring factions across different levels of the party in the country.
Due to the rejection of the committee’s leadership by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and his supporters, the APC reconstituted a 12-member reconciliatory team to be led by Bisi Akande, the first interim chairman of the party, rather than the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan.
Mr Obaseki had in his rejection statement faulted both Mr Lawan and the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase.
He said the duo, alongside the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, “fall short of the most basic of integrity tests” and will therefore be of disservice to the objectives of the reconciliatory team.
Even though Mr Lawan has been replaced by the party as desired by Mr Obaseki’s faction, Mr Wase still made the list not as a member but the vice-chairman of the mediating team.
The APC National Working Committee, at its headquarters in Abuja, on Tuesday, inaugurated Mr Akande as the chairman of the mediating team while the deputy speaker, Mr Wase, was declared the vice-chairman.
“It is traditional for progressive parties to engage in internal contestation, arguments, disagreements, etc. There is nothing wrong with that. If we have a party where there is no divergent view, something must be wrong. It can only become a problem when we are not capable to forge agreement after disagreement. And particularly when there is no question that we all subscribe to the same share set of values which binds us together as members of All Progressives Congress (APC),” Mr Oshiomhole told PREMIUM TIMES and other journalists on Tuesday.
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In his address before the closed-door inner caucus meeting, the national chairman said Mr Akande-led team has been tasked to “recognise the intra-party conflicts, misunderstanding in any of the 36 states. To identify those involved in the conflicts with the view to resolving the issues.”
He added that the reconstituted committee was borne out of the resolutions made during the last party NEC meeting and was thoroughly reviewed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his acceptance remarks, Mr Akande noted the situation of things in the country as the possible reasons for the growing crisis in the party.
“We have never been to the realm of the angels before, and we cannot say whether they argue or not. We can know for sure that in the society of the imbecile, there is no argument.
“We are neither angel nor imbecile and it is not a surprise to us as we move along to confront the mountain burden of the economy, insecurity and of corruption in the country, definitely there will be a lot to argument,” he said.
Apart from Governor Gboyegba Oyetola of Osun State, who was absent and did not send a representative, other members of the reconciliatory team present include the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello; Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi; Tanko Al-Makura (a senator); Kashim Shettima; Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; Aliko Koki; Khairat Abdulrazak-Gwadabe; Binta Garba and John Enoh (secretary).
Apart from Edo State, some of the states where the APC is currently battling with internal crisis include Bayelsa, Ondo, Ogun and Enugu.