President Muhammadu Buhari has moved against the tenure extension of the national working committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led by John Oyegun.
The decision to extend the tenure of the NWC and executives across the 36 states was taken during the national executive committee (NEC) meeting in February.
Some party members and stakeholders had expressed dissatisfaction with it.
On Tuesday, Buhari also spoke against the tenure extension which he described as unconstitutional. Below are four reasons the president highlighted for seeking a reversal of the extension.
Buhari said having sought advice and reviewed the resolution of the NWC, he discovered that the decision violates both the constitution of the party and that of Nigeria.
He explained that both constitutions prescribe a four-year term for elected officers, renewable by another election.
“On my own part, I have taken some time to review and seek advise on the resolution. And what I found is that it contravenes both our party constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Buhari said.
“While the APC constitution, in article 17(1) and 13.2(B), limits the tenure of elected officers to four years, renewable once by another election, the 1999 constitution of Nigeria (as amended), in section 223, also prescribes periodic elections for party executives at regular intervals, which must not exceed four years.”
ENDANGERING OF PARTY FORTUNES
Another reason given by the president is that if the tenure extension is allowed to hold, it may endanger the fortunes of the party.
According to him, “If the tenure of our party executives can be legally faulted, then it means that any nominations and primary elections that they may conduct, can also be faulted.”
“Furthermore, I think if we deviate from the constitutional provisions, we might be endangering the fortunes of our party. If the tenure of our party executives can be legally faulted, then it means that any nominations and primary elections that they may conduct, can also be faulted.”
DIVISION WITHIN THE PARTY
It is no longer news that there is an internal crisis rocking the boat of the APC.
In a bid to end the crisis, the president appointed Bola Tinubu, a leader of the party, to reconcile its aggrieved members.
Buhari said other than the unconstitutionality of the extension, it would also give rise to further division within the party.
“This is not to talk of divisions that would arise, and is already arising within the party, when some of our members feel that they are being denied the right to aspire to executive positions, or that internal democracy is not at play within the party,” he said.
“I am therefore of the firm view that it is better to follow strictly the dictates of our party and national constitutions, rather than put APC and its activities at grave risk.”
ELECTION TIMETABLE APPROVED
Buhari said the party already had an approved and ready timetable for its congresses and elections, hence focus should be placed on making them a success.
“Fortunately, we have already approved a timetable for the holding of congresses and elections. I think these should be allowed to go forward and all efforts should now be geared towards making them a great success,” he said.