By Charles Kumolu
INDICATIONS have emerged, revealing that the plan to grant waiver to the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, and other National Working Committee, NWC, members, is in conflict with some sections of the party’s constitution.
The proposal, which is at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari, was found by Sunday Vanguard to be unsettling party members, who argued that NWC members are not constitutionally entitled to any waiver whatsoever.
It was explained that Article 31 (2) of the party’s constitution, specified that the intention of the framers of the constitution in creating waiver is to remove the obstacle that may be placed on the way of new members.
In the light of this, some party sources told Sunday Vanguard that it would be wrong to grant waiver to NWC members, adding that only new members are entitled to such.
One of the sources said there is no need for a waiver, adding that the party has more than 60 days between now and June 13, 2018 to hold an elective national convention.
The source said: “There is no need for a waiver because there is enough time to ensure compliance between now and the June 13 terminal date if the NWC is desirous of complying with the provision. If they want to obey the party’s constitution, we have more than 60 days between now and June 13 date to hold the convention.
“ However, assuming there is a need for a waiver, going by the constitution, the waiver does not apply to NWC members. From the words of the party’s constitution in Article 31 (2) on waiver, the intention of the framers of the constitution in creating waiver is to remove the obstacle that may be placed on the way of new members by Article 31 (1).
“ In my view, the provision is targeted at new members the party may find worthy to contest for elective offices. In the best interest of the party, those are the operative words.
“To demonstrate that this argument is correct, one of the conditions for waiver as contained in the same Article 31 (3) is that the person seeking waiver should apply to the NWC through their appropriate Ward, Local Government/Area Council, State, Federal Capital Territory and Zonal Committee.
“How can NWC members apply to themselves for waiver when in fact the Article 31 (1) (iii), requiring them to resign before contesting is aimed at providing a level-playing field for all contestants?
“If the NWC would contest and get a waiver, it means they are the contestants and election umpire at the same time. They would pick the dates for the convention and those that would conduct the elections. It is akin to being the plaintiff and judge in one’s case. In doing that, they would be superimposing themselves on the party.”