The Deputy National Chairman (North), of the All Progressives Congress, Lawal Shuaibu, on Wednesday, warned that the party stood the risk of disintegration should the alleged arbitrariness of its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, was left unchecked.
He said with the way the party chairman was running the party, it was obvious that lessons had yet to be learnt from the reversal of its electoral fortunes in Zamfara State.
The Supreme Court voided APC’s victory in all elections held in Zamfara State after the court held that the processes enshrined in the APC’s constitution, were ignored in the conduct of primaries which produced its candidates for the 2019 Governorship, National and State Assembly elections.
Shuaibu issued a fresh warning in a press statement captioned, “APC and its future, let us exercise caution.”
The party chieftain said many did not take his concerns seriously when he asked Oshiomhole to step down and allow the party refocus and rebuild.
He said the APC which was founded on the principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law “is now subject to arbitrary administration, without dictates of the law. The ruling party which ought to be a model for others in the upholding of the rule of law is now the nest of lawlessness.”
Shuaibu had in a letter on May 28th, 2019 warned Oshiomhole about the dangerous direction the party was heading and advised him to honourably resign to allow the party reposition itself for the task ahead. Shuaibu’s advice earned him a disputed suspension from the party’s National Working Committee.
In his latest letter, the deputy national chairman said, “Interestingly, all the issues I raised in my said letter have come to pass. Till date, the party, founded on the principles of constitutionalism and rule of law, is now subject of arbitrary administration, without regard for the dictates of the law.
“The ruling party which ought to be a model for others in the upholding of the rule of law is now the nest of lawlessness. The entire legal framework governing the party administration in Nigeria today, the Nigerian constitution, the party constitution, the Electoral Act and INEC regulations and guidelines are more honoured by the party in breaches than obedience.
“To buttress my above assertion, the following few examples will drive the point home. By (Article 9.1(ii) and 9.4 (i) of the APC Constitution as amended, pages 6 and 8) every member will be registered at his ward when his or her name is entered in the register by the Ward Executives.
“My understanding of this provision is that power in the party is exercised bottom up! What this means is that every member of the party is answerable to his constituency. Being a party member, therefore, is a constitutional issue embedded in the membership register.
“Also, the constitution of the party stipulates a mandatory meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) every three months (Article 25 B (i) of the APC constitution as amended.). This regular meeting is not only targeted at keeping the members abreast of developments but ensuring collective responsibility of decision taken by the combined effect of the above provision and Article 18 of the APC Constitution as amended).
“NEC is the main decision-making organ after the convention and shall meet every three months. The power to set up standing or ad-hoc committees of the party is vested in the same NEC.”
He queried Oshiomhole’s decision to personally constitute both the screening committees for the governorship and senatorial elections, as well as the final appeals committee, all in violation of the extant constitutional provisions of the party vesting the power in NEC.
According to him, to make an already bad situation worse, he violated the rule of natural justice, by appointing himself as chairman of both committees.
“It is this refusal to convene NEC to perform its role that has led the party to the comatose state it is now. My fear is, it is being repeated now for Ondo and Edo,” he added.
On the inauguration of Waziri Bulama as the party’s National Secretary, Shuiabu said, “The APC Constitution in Article 20 (a) made it unambiguously clear, that all party posts prescribed or implied by this constitution shall be filled by democratically conducted elections at the respective convention (in the case of NWC or NEC) or congress (in the case of executive committees at state, local government or ward levels) et al.
“There is nowhere in that same constitution where it was envisaged that an officer of the party could be appointed by the chairman nor the NWC.
“Not even NEC has the power to appoint any national officer of the party in any capacity. Let me ask this simple question, what is difficult in organising a midterm convention to elect the officers in line with the constitution so that even the officers will have confidence that they are elected like all other officers. The constitution of the party in Article 25 (A) (1) page 89 stipulates that there shall be a convention every two years.
“We had a convention in 2018 and another one is due in 2020. What is the hurry in appointing an acting national secretary when we have the duly elected Deputy National Secretary who has been acting in that capacity since December 2018 in line with Article 14.4 of the constitution on page 58?”
The party leader further argued that all national working committee officers had offices of their deputies who were empowered to take charge of that office in the absence of the principal, in consonance with Article 14 of the constitution in its entirety.
He wondered why an unconstitutional act was being given the force of law. Shuaibu also noted that by virtue of the illegal means adopted in the appointment of the party’s national secretary any nomination signed by “the acting National Secretary is a nullity and liable to be challenged by the opposition. Are we deaf and blind? Or is the chairman finally out to bury the party?”
Shuaibu also said, “What are the leaders of the party doing in the midst of this anarchy? Are they all equally fed up with the seeming collapsing party in the hands of a politically injured person that seems to be nursing political revenge? The leaders need to take a stand so that the followers know whether the party is now either a jungle or that entity of our collective dream at the inception.
“Majority of the members of the party are already perplexed, disillusioned and some even weighing their options. A stitch in time, I believe, saves nine!
“Article 2 of the APC Constitution, provides that subject to the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and any other laws for the time being in force in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the provisions of this constitution SHALL be SUPREME PROVIDED that where any rule, regulation or any other enactment shall, to the extent of its inconsistency, be null and void and of no effect whatsoever. This document leaves no room for any form of aberration or brigandage.
He appealed to party leaders to urgently intervene to save the party from collapse noting that he had no personal ambition outside of saving the party which he and others laboured to build.
With regards to Ondo and Edo primary elections, the former lawmaker said, “There is already absence of transparency. The regulations issued that will guide the processes are already in violation of Article 20 (v) on page 76 of the APC constitution as amended where only the National Executive Committee is the only organ that SHALL approve such guidelines and regulations which includes the mode of nominating our candidates. I am crying for the APC inside me! Zamfara, here we come again.”
Attempts to get a response from the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, were unsuccessful.
His telephone line did not go through and a response to a text message sent to him on the subject was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report.
APC Has Failed Nigerians, Says Buhari’s Former Minister
Solomon Dalung, the immediate past minister of sports, says the All Progressives (APC) has failed Nigerians.
Speaking in an interview with the Hausa section of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Dalung said the government has not fulfilled its promises to Nigerians.
He said despite being a member of the APC, it is his responsibility to speak out if things are not right.
Lamenting the high rate of insecurity in the north, the former minister said the situation is such that people fast and pray for days before embarking on a journey.
According to him, farmers had to pay the gunmen before going to the farm; nobody had ever experienced this kind of situation.
“In the north, if you are a Muslim and you want to travel, you must pray, fast for days before embarking on the journey. If you are Christian and you want to travel, you must fast and pray for days before you travel,” she said.
“Even if the journey is successful, you will still go to the hospital because of high blood pressure arising from fear during the journey. We have never experienced this kind of situation. Imagine in the north, before you go to your farm, you will have to pay gunmen to allow you to farm. If you want to harvest your farm produced, you will still have to pay gunmen before they allow you to harvest.
“So how can there be farming in the North? We have never experienced this kind of situation. It is our APC government, but this government has not addressed the needs of Nigerians. It is our government, but if we are not doing the correct thing, it is our responsibility to speak out because we spoke against some people in the past and we need to speak to ourselves too.”
He said the failure of the APC government is so glaring that “everybody knows”.
Dalung said he was not afraid to speak out, insisting that even if he is the president he will still speak with if things are not going well.
“You know me and everybody in Nigeria knows me. Whether I am still a minister, even if I am the president, whatever I see that is not right, I must speak out, not because of myself, but in the interest of the generality of the people,” he said.
“If for example, Solomon Dalung collapses and dies today, without speaking out against what is happening today, don’t you think God will question me for abusing Jonathan and for not speaking out on our failure? That is what I am afraid of, not anybody.
“Our party, the APC is like a dying party because, as I am talking to you right now, they have dissolved the party completely, it has no members, even the President is not a member.
“The caretaker committees are the members of the party, the party has no members because membership of everybody has been dissolved, so right now we are not members of APC until they bring membership cards for us to join the party, like army recruitment. So right now even the President is not a member of the APC until he appears before this committee.”
Okorocha Mulls New Party, Says APC Was Hurried Arrangement To Take Power
Rochas Okorocha, senator representing Imo west, has described the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a “hurried arrangement”.
Speaking with reporters in Abuja on Monday, Okorocha said the ruling party could have been better but that some people hijacked it and became “lords”.
The former governor of Imo state said progressive-thinking citizens must come together to make Nigeria work.
“The movement for a new Nigeria has begun and we must come together, I mean progressive Nigerians, to make the country work,” he said.
“APC was a hurried arrangement formed to take power when the then government was drifting. APC would have been better until people who were not members of the party, people who came for a congratulatory message, hijacked the party and became lords.”
According to him, political parties in the country do not have ideologies and are only a vehicle to power.
“The issue is not about APC or PDP. It is beyond political parties. We are talking about the character of the politicians. Political parties in Nigeria don’t have any ideology – it is just a vehicle to come to power,” the lawmaker said.
“So, what we have is not the ideal thing. We have so many people who are not interested in working for the nation.”
The senator said President Muhammadu Buhari could have performed better if he had surrounded himself with good people.
“For instance, if President Muhammadu Buhari had surrounded himself with good people, the story would not be the same today,” Okorocha said.
“We have bad people in APC, just as we have them in PDP and that was why I made the call in Rivers state that the good ones should come together to lead the people.”
The senator added that all zones must be allowed to produce a president.
2023: Fayemi’s Presidential Ambition Tears Ekiti APC Apart
The widely speculated ambition of the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi to run for president in 2023 is causing more than ripples within the ranks and files of the All Progressive Congress in the state.
The APC had endorsed Governor Fayemi for the presidential race, saying the time has come for the president to come from Ekiti, adding that it would no longer play second fiddle in the southwest’s politics.
The party’s state Chairman, Barr. Paul Omotosho through the spokesman, Hon. Ade Ajayi said that the governor has paid his dues in the ruling APC and Nigeria’s political firmament at large, thus deserve to be entrusted with the responsibility of leading Nigeria in 2023.
Omotosho said its members will drag the governor into the race, if he refuses to contest, saying Fayemi is eminently qualified to occupy the exalted position considering his intimidating political profile.
But strong indications have emerged that there was a sharp disagreement within the state chapter over Fayemi’s endorsement as some leaders under the aegis of Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum flayed the party’s leadership.
The Forum, in a statement on Monday signed by its Secretary, Prince Bamgboye Adegoroye, which denied endorsing the alleged Fayemi’s presidential ambition, noted that the purported endorsement does not reflect the general will of APC members.
It said the purported endorsement, which was credited to a statement by the APC state Chairman, Hon. Paul Omotoso, was a personal view of the Publicity Secretary Ade Ajayi who represented Omotoso at an event in Ekiti at the weekend.
The Forum added Ajayi only expressed a personal view on the matter and that his views neither represented the position of Omotoso nor that of Ekiti APC.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum has been drawn to a statement credited to Mr. Paul Omotoso on the idea that APC Ekiti State chapter has backed Dr. John Kayode Fayemi for the 2023 Presidency.
“We want to state unequivocally that Hon. Ade Ajayi who represented Mr. Omotoso barely expressed a personal view at a social event, where the convener was absent or at best, the views of a small clique in the party.
“The leaders of APC in Ekiti State are unaware of the idea. Again, we note that Hon. Ade Ajayi’s boss does not even believe that the position should be zoned to South West as expressed on the national platform recently.”
It stressed that all the 17 states in the southern part of the country deserved a shot at the Presidency if it is agreed upon by the national leadership of the party.
“Ekiti State Stakeholders Forum along with other eminent Yoruba leaders will canvass for the opportunity to produce the next President in 2023 from our zone.
“Adoption of an authentic, qualified, well known, humane and experienced Yoruba man is our goal, and we will play our part in accomplishing that task,” the Forum added.
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