Lawal Shuaibu, Deputy National Chairman (North) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said Adams Oshiomhole, the party’s National Chairman, has not learnt from the party’s misfortune in Zamfara.
The Supreme Court voided APC’s victory in all elections held in Zamfara State after the court held that the processes stated in the party’s constitution were ignored in the conduct of primaries which produced its candidates for the 2019 Governorship, National and State Assembly elections.
Shuaibu, speaking via a press statement captioned, “APC and its future, let us exercise caution,” said Oshipmhole’s actions could ruin the party.
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 been suspended from the party’s National Working Committee after he said, in a letter on May 28, 2019, that Oshiomhole should resign.
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“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 wrote in his latest statement.
Shuaibu also queried Oshiomhole’s decision to constitute both screening committees for the governorship and senatorial elections, as well as the final appeals, a role reserved for the NEC according to the constitution.
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.
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“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 tal.
“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 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 have been acting in that capacity since December 2018 in line with Article 14.4 of the constitution on page 58?”
He urged leaders of the party to do something as members are weighing their options and may leave soon.