By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- MEMBER, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Yusuf A. Yusuf, Taraba Central has vowed that the party will win the forthcoming elections in Edo and Ondo States respectively.
Speaking with Journalists yesterday in Abuja, he said that the Caretaker Committee has been working towards making reconciliation with all their members, with a view to retaining Edo and Ondo states in the upcoming elections.
Senator Yusuf said, “The Caretaker Committee has been working towards making reconciliation with all our members and also working assiduously to see that we retain Edo and Ondo states in the upcoming elections.
“We have extended our hands of fellowship to every member of APC and work as a family for the progress and stability of the party. I’m not aware that any dissenting voice has gone to court.
“We have all agreed, as directed by the President that we should have all our cases withdrawn from the court and then move for full-blown reconciliation.”
On response the Committee is getting from major stakeholders, he said: “Our team had met with Tinubu and you have all heard what he said. As far as he’s concerned, there is no division in the party. It is a democracy, there must be someone or two, who will say we don’t feel happy the way we are treated or the way the party is being managed.
“Feelers (response) are quite encouraging. We are encouraged by the leaders of the party, making us coming together as a family and then we focus on the stability of the party.”
On the happening in Ondo state, where the deputy speaker has been impeached, Senator Yusuf said: You know, in politics, 24 hours is a very long time. Anything can happen. You know, we are in the process of reconciliation. The governor of Niger State is working on the reconciliation in Ondo state.
“It is an issue that is on the table of the stakeholders in Ondo, and I’m sure things are going to be sorted out amicably. Why he was impeached, it’s not something I can say at this point. It’s democracy at work. We wait and see how it will go. But we know that such an issue should not affect the chances of the party in the upcoming election in Ondo state.”
When asked about the Challenges facing the committee, he said, “When you are dealing with a challenging issue in the house, you will not say you have overcome them. We are in the process of overcoming those challenges. We are in the process of talking to everybody that we know is very important.
“Secondly, we are not saying that the road ahead is not going to be as easy as we thought. It is a road that we will work so hard to overcome. All the caucuses are working together to make sure that the party retains or bring back the glory it has lost over time.
“We lost about seven states. And we will work to get them back and even add more in the spirit of togetherness.
“APC is a ruling party. Whatever happens to the party will affect other political parties. Every party has its challenge but the magnitude differs. The bigger the party, the bigger the challenge. But we believe in the coming month we will sort out the challenges.
“It is not easy. What has happened has happened. So many of them are personality clashes. And we say let settle them for the growth of the party.
In the six-month time frame, Senator Yusuf said, “It is early to say whether the six-month timeline will be enough. But we are working so hard to do the best that we can within the time given to us.”
When asked if the state government doing enough to address the Jikun-Tiv crisis, he said, “I don’t think the state governor is doing enough. I have had discussions with the governor of Taraba State, Darius Dickson. What I said should be done is to call the stakeholders and discuss the matter seriously. That has not been done.
“Recently, I approached the Senate President and asked him to intervene. I asked him to please meet with President Muhammadu Buhari to call the governors of Benue and Taraba State and the Senators whose Senatorial Districts share a boundary, Senator Bwacha, and Senator Suswam and one or two stakeholders and settle the issue.
“The Senate President has taken note of that and he promised to act. Every hand is on deck. Nobody is happy with what is happening because people are suffering.”