The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday said it envisioned ruling the country for the next 32 years.
The Chairman of Caretaker Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni, who unfolded the vision, disclosed the party had started working to achieve the plan.
Also yesterday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) clarified that it had not decided on the Bala Mohammed Report, which recommended that its 2023 presidential ticket should be thrown open, instead of zoning it to a particular geo-political region.
The opposition party asked Buni to resign over what it described as a reckless statement against the Supreme Court, following its judgement on the Imo North senatorial dispute.
Buni, who inaugurated Governor Badru Abubakar-65-man Strategy and Contact Committee in Abuja, said APC was prepared to go beyond eight terms in the Presidency.
Jigawa State Governor Abubakar assured the caretaker committee will organise a National Convention in June.
He disclosed that 30 million members had been registered during the on-going membership registration and validation billed to end on March 31.
Buni said: “The constitution of the Strategy and Contact committee, therefore, is to consolidate the achievements we are making in building a strong party with a solid structure that would 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.
“This committee is, therefore, very key to our process of transition towards successful congresses and national convention and, to establish a very solid, reputable and reliable future for the party”.
The chairman said the setting up of the committee was part of the collective drive of the leadership to recover, rebuild and reposition the party.
He said the caretaker committee had fostered reconciliations and settled irreconcilable differences among critical stakeholders of the party.
Buni added: “If you don’t manage your crisis, your crisis will manage you. I am happy to say that the committee is running an all-inclusive administration, giving all stakeholders and indeed, our members the opportunity to contribute to the onerous task of rebuilding the party.
“The membership registration would provide us with the numerical strength of the party and to serve as a guide towards planning.
“Similarly, the review of the party’s constitution would take care of ambiguous positions and loopholes that have caused confusion and controversies over the years. This will make our party dynamic and to be in tune with changing times.”
The committee’s terms of reference are to establish constructive engagements between critical stakeholders at various levels of the party, to revive confidence and trust among party leaders.
But, the PDP clarified yesterday that it had not adopted the recommendation of the Bala Mohammed Panel.
Its Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “The PDP notes that the recommendations will be subjected to its democratic process by relevant organs of the party and consultation across all national interests.
“The PDP assures that its decision on zoning will be the product of wide consultation, discussions and consensus building, taking into consideration the aggregate aspiration and hope of the generality of the Nigerian people.
“Our party has, however, noted the disposition and line of discussion from various political interests across the six geo-political zones of our country in this regard, and at the appropriate time, the collective understanding of Nigerians will prevail.
Ologbondiyan took exception to the report that Buni had insinuated that the apex court justices held a meeting with some PDP leaders, with a view to awarding the opposition party victory, although it is not a party to the case.
Chiding Buni for what he described as falsehood, Ologbondiyan said: “Our party, therefore, demands that Alhaji Mai Buni should immediately resign as governor and APC chairperson, having been indicted by the Supreme Court, after which he should face the court to answer for his baseless and “irresponsible” allegation.
“Furthermore, the PDP charges the APC to leave our party alone and face its self-inflicted woes in the courts”.
However, Buni denied the allegation, saying that it is unfounded.
He said in a statement by his Director General, Press and Media Affairs, Mamman Mohammed, in Abuja that the allegation should be investigated.
Buni 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 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 with 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.”