President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had been too often embroiled in “bitter and totally unnecessary squabbles” which had cost the party seats in the legislative and gubernatorial elections.
He said this while inaugurating the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led Executive/Legislative/Party Consultative Committee at the Executive Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Members of the Tripartite Consultative Committee of the Executive, Legislature and Leadership of the APC are: Senate President, Ahmed Ibrahim Lawal; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase; Governor of Yobe State/Chairman, APC Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni; Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Yahaya Abdullahi and House Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa.
Others include, Attorney General/Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Gida Mustapha; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim A. Gambari and Secretary, APC Caretaker Committee, Sen. Akpan Udoedehe.
Daily Trust recalls that APC lost five states – Oyo, Adamawa, Bauchi, Rivers and Zamfara – to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections due to intra-party crises.
President Buhari, while speaking at the inauguration of the committee, said enhanced consultation within the governing APC would strengthen its internal democracy and improve its chances of winning elections.
The president, who said the defeat the party suffered in the governorship and legislative polls in 2019 shouldn’t have happened, explained that the consultative committee was constituted to make sure such occurrences never happened again.
He said amicable resolution of conflicts in the party through regular consultations will create more understanding.
The president, who implored members of the committee to further align objectives of the party and be alive to electoral promises, reminded party members of the need to always move the country forward.
“I am a firm believer in the doctrine of the separation of powers, which is fundamental to our constitutional democracy. But our practice should be harmonious checks and balances devoid of bitterness and petty rivalry,” he added.
President Buhari, who said he had great faith in the consultative committee to help improve governance and achievements of the party, assured them of his support.
While briefing State House reporters after the inauguration, Senate President Lawan said the committee was set up to improve the quality of governance and service delivery to Nigerians.
Also speaking, Speaker Gbajabiamila said the essence of the consultative forum was to ensure that all critical stakeholders spoke with one voice on matters that would benefit the citizens and the country without sacrificing constitutional responsibilities, principles of checks and balances and separation of powers.
He said every responsible government would do what the president had done by putting a halt to discordant tunes ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The APC caretaker chairman, while addressing journalists, said the consultative committee was necessary to boost synergy among the two arms of government in order to help the party deliver its electoral promises.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the arrangement was another solid foundation in President Buhari’s administration in advancing the cause of democracy and good governance in the country.