The Caretaker Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor of Yobe State, Mallam Mai Mala Buni, yesterday, assured chieftains of the party of a level playing field ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The Guardian reports Buni, who spoke during this year’s yearly conference of APC Press Corps held in Abuja, with the theme, ‘Contestation, a Veritable Process in Deepening Democratic Norms, Values and Culture: The APC Story,’ explained that the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise was aimed at achieving the goal.

Represented by the Secretary of the Committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, Buni assured that supporters of the party would surely have a say in its activities at the end of the exercise, adding: “When the people are involved in a transparent selection process, they will be more interested in the process and this cures voters’ apathy and unnecessary dissension in the polity.

“Where an aspirant loses in a free and fair contest, he is more inclined to accept the outcome of the contest. However, where the process is flawed, the entire process becomes undermined and this leads to endless litigations between members of the same party and this affects the development of democracy.

“No man was born a slave, so resistance to oppressive tendencies is inherent in every human being. When pushed to the wall, he/she will fight back and oftentimes, the party will be distracted and this leads to avoidable loss of elections.

“These skewed selection processes could occur due to the politics of godfatherism, where a certain strong man is allowed his way in return for patronage to the party or leaders of the party.

“Non-adherence to rules. Political parties such as ours are formally structured and organised organisations with rules that govern these processes, but any circumvention of such rules leads to chaos and issues must arise.”

Senate President Ahmed Lawan expressed optimism that the challenges bedevilling the APC would be surmounted.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, he noted: “The APC story understands the workings of democracy through its aggregation of variegated interests and how it has managed the interests.

“Though there are challenges, these challenges are not always insurmountable. They are like the storm in the teacup; they will always blow away, given our continued resolve to remain the vehicle for the emancipation of Nigeria. We have come a long way and will not be distracted.

“What we require is to be painstaking and the need to be positive about our efforts, the sacrifices of leaders and patience of the followers.

“While the leaders have a constitutional role, the followers also have to be vigilant. A conscientious interplay of the two will eventually result into a rewarding outcome, considering that patriotism and nationalism would emerge therefrom.”
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