By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA—Ahead of the National Caucus and National Executive Committee, NEC, meetings of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, scheduled for today and tomorrow, youths of the party have written the two bodies highlighting the challenges that could mar its electoral successes in the 2019 general elections.
In the letter sighted by Vanguard, they specifically asked both the National Caucus and the NEC to encourage President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately declare his ambition for 2019 in order to lay to rest the scheming and mudslinging that have continued to threaten the fabric of the party and the administration.
While urging President Buhari to take more than a passing interest in the affairs of the party, the youths lamented a situation whereby the party lacked the requisite financial base to meet its daily obligations.
The APC Youth Solidarity Network in a ‘Position Paper’ it sent to the NEC and Caucus is also seeking the immediate sack of all appointees of the past Peoples Democratic Party PDP-led administration and their consequent replacement with members of the APC.
It reads: “Many federal government boards, agencies and parastatals appointees who were put in office by the immediate-past administration are still in office, they are not loyal to the APC which they feel had no hand in their emergence. There is need to quickly review these appointments and replace them with qualified APC members. Vacant positions should thereafter be quickly filled with APC members who feel frustrated because they seem not to have benefitted from the victory of their party.”
It is also very necessary that these appointments have the heavy input of the APC national leadership to ensure that the right persons who worked for the Party are appointed”, the youths stated in the memo signed by Danesi Momoh Prince.
This is coming on the heels of a meeting of the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and chairmen of all the state chapters Sunday in Abuja to fine-tune strategies and evolve a common front for the all-important NEC and Caucus meetings.
The closed-door meeting which was slated for 2pm on Sunday at the party’s national secretariat, had virtually all the state chairmen in attendance.
On the state of the party ahead of the 2019 elections, the APC youths lamented that there has been a sustained and targeted attack by some party stakeholders on the National Working Committee NWC as exemplified by Chief Odigie-Oyegun. “These attacks have exposed the party to ridicule and further attacks by the opposition”, the said.
According to them; “Part of the tension we currently face within the party is as a result of the fact that many of those who worked for the 2015 election successes of our party across levels have been generally relegated to the background in the scheme of things and have not been carried along by the government. The situation has weakened the party’s national leadership and resulted in widespread apathy within our party. As a result many have taken their frustration to the extreme and in some cases sabotage the party activities”.
They observed that the party is too alienated from government, saying the development has had a very negative impact on the party system and organization.
“A situation whereby the party’s hierarchy is in the dark about many happenings in government is not ideal. For example, the president needs to consider taking along the party’s national leadership on local and international tours and such other meetings on some occasions. This will show evidence of a close working relationship and synergy between the party’s leadership and government. It will also enable the party’s leadership have a very clear understanding of government policies and defend them when the need arises. It does not appear to us that there is a regular forum of interaction between the party leadership, the executive and legislative arm of government to discuss and agree on common ground with respect to government policy formulation and execution.
“Consequently, Mr. President, as the leader of the party, needs to assume a more frontal position with regards to party issues. The president needs to take more than a passing interest in the activities of the party and ensure that the party is supreme. There have been alleged schemes to remove the Party’s National Chairman from office because of his perceived loyalty to Mr. President. The alleged plot is aimed at achieving sinister political ends in the lead up to the 2019 general elections. If the plan succeeds it will allow the sponsors install their stooges and hijack the party in the lead up to the election. This is a red flag that the president must take seriously and thwart”, the youths submitted.
On lack of funds to run the party, the youths lamented that the state of affairs of the party, particularly its poor finances has been a regular item in the media.
They said while there exists a funding stream that should normally come from collection of membership dues and contribution, the reality is that such is grossly insufficient.
“It is embarrassing that a ruling party does not have funds to meet its basic needs. The National Caucus and NEC needs to urgently workout a sustainable funding model to enable the party to function properly.
“Four years is not enough time for our government to fully achieve its programmes and make the gains of the ongoing anti-corruption war irreversible. Consequently, it is imperative and in the interest of the party and country that president Buhari is encouraged to declare his interest for a second term at this time. This will engender unity in the party and forestall the clandestine moves by some who are scheming for power because of the uncertainty as to the president’s position”.