The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has technically suspended the National Reconciliation Committee of the party headed by Chief Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun State, and first interim national chairman of the party.
A credible source in the party said the job of the Akande-led committee would now be carried out in all states of the federation by the 61-member Contact/ Strategy Committee of the party inaugurated by the National Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
The 61-member committee, which include 12 governors as well as former Speakers of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole and Hon. Yakubu Dogara, is headed by Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State.
Daily Independent had, few days ago, reported that the moves by the APC to reconcile its members ahead of the 2023 general elections appear to have hit the rocks following unresolved issues and latest upheavals in some state chapters of the party.
President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the APC in February 2020 named Chief Bisi Akande as leader of the National Reconciliation Committee of the party.
The initial chairman, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was dropped after some party members, especially in Edo APC, accused him of bias in the political crisis that rocked the state before the governorship election.
Other members of the Akande-led committee included Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Idris Wase, Sen. Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, Sen. Kashim Shettima, Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, Alh. Nasiru Aliko Koki, Sen. Khairat Gwadabe-Abdulrazaq, and Sen. Binta Garba.
Credible party sources said the committee had not achieved much since its formation and party members were worried that the party may go into the 2023 elections more polarised than it was presently.
While some party members blamed the outbreak of the COVID-19 as a major impediment to the committee’s work, others blamed the indifference of Akande to the assignment owing to the latest developments in the party, especially alleged attempts by some power brokers to humiliate his ally, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and the party’s national leader.
According to a credible source in the party who was asked to compare the pace of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Reconciliation and Strategy Committee led by former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and that of the ruling party, many APC members are not really feeling the impact of the reconciliatory efforts of the Akande-led committee and are calling for change.
Aside some unresolved crisis in states like Kwara, Imo, Osun, Ogun, Edo, Ondo, Zamfara, and Rivers, which are being managed silently, they also cited latest developments which led to open confrontation between Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak of Kwara state and the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and the altercation between Governor Hope Uzodimma and Senator Rochas Okorocha.
“As you are aware, the Akande-led committee was inaugurated in February 2020.
“That was when COVID-19 outbreak started in Nigeria and this greatly affected the work of the committee as they couldn’t do much.
“Some have said the committee could have deployed the use of technology such as zoom, but we all know that in resolving crisis, that method of virtual meeting won’t be as effective as having a one-on-one meeting where the warring parties will sit together and even embrace after the issues are resolved,” the source said.