…Party now into comedy, not opposition, says APC chieftain
By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has lambasted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for attempting to dabble into its internal affairs, saying it would never copy the opposition party’s style of trampling on its own Constitution.
“While we are not required to explain to the PDP our lawful internal processes, we find their interest curious and amusing. It is understandable that the PDP is not used to following its rules as enshrined in their constitution. The APC has not copied such ignominious and unlawful practices”, APC said in a statement on Sunday evening.
The ruling party in the statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena said there was nothing wrong in appointing a state governor to chair its Caretaker and Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee.
“We would normally ignore the equally ignorant statement of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the 8th resumed meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which constituted a Caretaker/Extra-ordinary National Convention Planning Committee in place of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party.
“But it is necessary to state the facts in line with provisions the APC Constitution because it seems the PDP understands the APC Constitution more than its erudite framers”, APC stated.
According to the statement, the APC Constitution in Article 17 (iv) states that, “No officer in any Organ of the Party shall hold executive position office in Government concurrently”, while Article 11 (A) of the Constitution listed all the party organs.
Part of the statement reads; “Therefore we make bold to state that our Party Constitution’s Article 17 (iv) which the PDP and their hirelings have laboured to stretch its language to the level of the absurd, made specific mention of any officer of the Party’s Organ and Article 11 (A) mentioned above has clearly defined the Organs of the Party.
“Therefore, the Caretaker Committee and Extra-Ordinary Convention Committee which is headed by Governor Mai Mala Buni as Chairman, is not an Organ of the Party hence, their appointment is not in contravention of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress.
“The APC Caretaker/Extra-ordinary National Convention Planning Committee is not different from several other committees that have been previously constituted of deserving party members and empowered to undertake assignments on behalf of the party. These committees include: screening, appeal, factfinding, reconciliation, primary election, and many other committees that are routinely constituted.
“For the records, Article 13.3 (vi.) empowers the National Executive Committee (NEC) as the principal executive body of the party with powers to “create, elect and appoint any committee it may deem necessary, desirable or expedient and assign to them such powers and functions as it may seem fit and proper.”
“On the holding of the APC NEC virtual meeting at the Presidential Villa, there is no law that says the President cannot hold political meetings in the Presidential Villa.
“Also, on the propriety of the oath of office administered on the caretaker committee, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has rightly stated that being a lawyer, Notary Public and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, there is no law that prohibits him from administering Oath”.
PDP now into comedy
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the APC in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill has advised the PDP to concentrate on its internal affairs and allow the APC to deal with its own issues.
He said rather than a resort to comedy, the PDP should find something tangible to criticize as an opposition party.
Princewill said; “The PDP spokesperson in calling for Governor Buni to resign because of the assignment given to him, saying it is in conflict with the constitution of the APC, is clear evidence that he as a spokesperson needs testing for coronavirus.
“Could an individual be so jobless as to bother himself with the settled affairs of a ruling party, when the unsettling affairs of his own are so out of order? Assuming the help he requires is not medical, let me help educate him on why this his call deserves no serious attention.
“First the interim committee set up by the NEC on the basis of the advice of Mr President, is based on sound legal footing, as contained in the same constitution to which he refers. In Article 13, section 3 subsection vi, it reads thus: That the National Executive Committee can “create, elect and appoint any Committee it may deem necessary, desirable or expedient and assign to them such powers and functions as it may deem fit and proper”.
“In subsection iii of the same section we are reminded that: “Decisions of the National Executive Committee shall be binding on all organs and all members of the Party, except the National Convention.”
“Any action deemed fit and proper and binding on all organs and all members are terms that he can reflect on. The section he is alluding to describes tenure of office for officeholders because APC has no intention of encouraging people who wish to stay in multiple offices simultaneously, like other parties may do. Our NEC pronouncements do not put us at risk of that.
“Secondly the National convention is about to be summoned, within a set and defined timeframe. They are the only superior organ, not bound by the NEC, who can put forward a different position.
“My suspicion is even if the spokesperson has Coronavirus, by then he will be fully recovered to witness what they will say.
“Till then, he should find something else to criticize. Something that is more believable. Good governance needs a strong credible opposition and we cannot keep relying on APC to do a better job of criticizing itself than the PDP currently is.
“The NEC also appointed Buni as the Chairman of the Convention planning committee. A common role given to Governors past and present. Perhaps they should have all resigned as Governors too? This is not opposition. It’s comedy”.