The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) says its plan is to remain in power for 10 consecutive terms, an equivalent of 40 years.
The party’s Interim National Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja during the inauguration of the 61-member Strategy and Contact Committee ahead of the 2023 general elections. The party announced the committee’s composition on Monday.
Flanked by governors, senators and other prominent members of the party, Mr Buni said the committee “was one of the APC’s moves to successfully organise its congresses and convention to usher in its next crop of leaders.”
An elected government in Nigeria has a four-year term limit, before new polls are held, according to the 1999 Constitution (as amended). President Muhammadu Buhari, who won the presidency under the APC in 2015 is currently in his second term. He cannot seek re-election as stipulated by law.
“Our vision is to provide a wheel that will drive the party to go beyond 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and even 10th 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,” he said at the event held at the NEC hall of the APC headquarters in Abuja.
We should recall when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the country’s current main opposition party, once said that it would be in power for at least 60 years. The party, however, lost power to the APC in 2015 after 16 years in power.
Mr Buni also reiterated his commitment to resolving the fragments of crisis in the party and ensure an inclusive administration at all levels.
In his address, the chairman of the committee, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, called for more commitment of members in the affairs of the party.
Mr Abubakar said APC recorded not less than 36 million members during its just concluded membership registration and revalidation exercise.
“I note with commendation that many Nigerians have continued to join the party daily and the ongoing registration exercises have further demonstrated the popularity of the party in the country,” he said.
“We are mindful of the time table publicised by the party and our committee shall work assiduously to support the party in delivering on the time table.
“Initially, we printed forms for only 10, 000 members but we got up to 10 million members and now, we have gone to 36 million and that is not even enough. And now, we are printing more because when people see what President Muhammadu Buhari has done with one fraction of the resources than the previous administration gets, they tend to build more confidence and attraction to the party.
In his response to the question on whether Mr Buni-led committee would successfully execute power transition by June 2020 as proposed, Mr Abubakar answered in affirmative.
Among those that attended the event were a former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, who recently decamped to the APC and the 2018 Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate in Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, who also joined the ruling party recently.
Also in attendance was the immediate past governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Mr Ambode’s inclusion in the committee is his first political appointment since his failed re-election bid in 2019.