The Deputy National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Lawal Shuaibu has blasted the National Chairman of the Party, Adams Oshiomole.
According to Shuaibu, the current lawlessness being experienced in the Party lies on how Oshiomole emerged as the Party’s Chairman.
Shuaibu expressed his displeasure in a statement titled: ‘APC and its Future, let us Exercise Caution’.
Shuaibu expressed worry that Oshiomhole might be the ”end of APC,” adding that the party is yet to learn its lesson despite a supreme court verdict which voided its victory in Zamfara elections.
The vice-chairman said that members of the party disregarding his call for Oshiomhole to resign was an act that led the principles and the rule of law upon which the party was founded “to be 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. 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.
“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 further accused Oshiomole of imposing himself on the Party and appointing himself as Chairman. He questioned the legality of Oshiomole chairing screening committees and deciding who runs for governorship and senatorial elections under the platform of the party.
According to Shuaibu, Waziri Bulama who was appointed as the party’s acting National Secretary on Monday, May 18, was not democratically elected.
“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.
“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,” he said.
“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 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?
“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.”
Mr Shuaibu further stressed that transparency of the forthcoming Edo and Ondo governorship elections had already been marred by the violation of Article 20 (v) on page 76 of the APC constitution.