Says, dissolution of NWC not an indication of Presidential bias

By Omeiza Ajayi

Director General of the Progressive Governors’ Forum PGF, Salihu Moh. Lukman has advised the Gov. Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress APC to activate relevant constitutional provisions to expel any member of the dissolved National Working Committee NWC who challenges their dissolution in court.

Lukman also exonerated President Muhammadu Buhari of allegations of bias regarding Thursday’s dissolution of the National Working Committee NWC of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC by its National Executive Committee NEC.

Expel recalcitrant members

He said the new committee should not tolerate the excesses of party leaders who may want to deviate from Thursday’s resolutions of the NEC.

“With the NEC successfully held, have the crisis been resolved? No, but at least it can be said the ugly period is over. To the extent that we have a Convention Working Committee that will manage the party for a period of six months and organise a National Convention to elect a new leadership, it can be said that the crisis will be resolved.

“Given that a section of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) are threatening legal actions against the decision of the NEC, what does this mean? It simply means that a section of the dissolved NWC are working against the party. Perhaps the Convention Working Committee should consider invoking provisions of Article 21: Discipline of Party Members of the APC constitution by taking advantage of the now discovered micropowers of ward leaders. Based on that those members of the dissolved NWC who attempt to institute legal actions against the decisions of NEC should be appropriately sanctioned.

“It is the responsibility of the Convention Working Committee to ensure that all the rascally conducts of party leaders that characterised the APC leadership conflict are brought under control. We should on no account tolerate conduct of any leader of the party, which makes them more associated with activities of bandits who don’t respect any rule or any leader,” Lukman stated.

Buhari not biased

There had been allegations that the anti-Oshiomhole forces in the party wanted a dissolution of the NWC and that the president’s acquiescence to such demands is an indication of his bias against a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is seen as one of the strong pillars of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, erstwhile National Chairman of the APC.

However, Lukman in a personal statement issued Friday in Abuja lamented that partly because of the approach of reducing everything around the NEC to so-called 2023 projections and what its decisions represent, vital lessons that have emerged are hardly the focus.

“For instance, how President Muhammadu Buhari was able to exercise his responsibility as the moral authority of the party, get reduced to whether his actions and recommendations demonstrate support for some of the leading actors in the APC leadership crisis. If moral authority is about adhering to truth, why should any moral leader take sides? If anything, President Buhari would have lost his moral authority if he had taken sides.

“Largely because President Buhari was able to discharge the responsibility of being the moral authority in APC, although members of APC NEC went into the meeting sharply divided, they came out united and resolute to work for the unity of the party. They went with problems and came out with solutions.

“Instead of asking the question, how was the President able to achieve that, some analysts, unfortunately, are more interested in interpreting the President’s actions within the boundaries of the problems. This could mean ensuring that APC remains with the problem. All members of the party must resist that. We should be able to respond by acknowledging properly the commendable leadership of the President in this challenging moment. Without attempting to compel or force anyone, he was able to broker peace in the party. Instead of displaying authoritarian methods, he followed conventional democratic processes of presenting recommendations and allowing members of NEC to decide. Rather than being a dictator as he is always accused of, he displayed excellent democratic credentials”, Lukman added.

He said the situation in the party before the NEC was some sorts of war of all against all. “Everybody – members, leaders, sympathisers, supporters, etc. took part in the conflict. No player or actor in the conflict had enough power to block others and no one had enough power to impose preferred positions. Decisions are blocked as our party’s constitution was practically set aside resulting in organs not meeting”, he said.

According to him, the fact is that the President was able to discharge his responsibility as the moral authority of the party “because he freed himself from all the leaders who were the problems. It is only because of that he was able to see the true picture and accordingly make recommendations that can solve the problem”.

“These were recommendations that didn’t defeat anyone but favour everyone, which confirms the President’s status as ‘belonging to everybody and belonging to no one’. This is one attribute that can be said to be unique to this President. Somehow, this is one attribute that all APC leaders must seek to imbibe especially those positioning themselves as potential 2023 successors. If the APC leadership crisis is anything to go by, it highlights the danger of the shortage of leaders with this unique attribute. Therefore, part of the challenge before every APC leader is to develop this attribute.

“Looking at the proposals the President presented to the emergency NEC, which eventually became the solution, it may provide a guide in terms of how they can develop these attributes. These proposals include discontinue pending litigation(s) involving the Party and its members, ratify Edo State primary election, dissolve National Working Committee, and appoint caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Working Committee. These are not proposals that support any of the party’s in the APC leadership crisis. But they are also proposals that accommodated everyone. By far, what may have settled the matter was the composition of the Convention Working Committee, which reflected all sections but more importantly party leaders that are not directly involved in the dispute. How was the President able to achieve this? This should be the question APC leaders should be asking if they are to succeed in developing the unique attributes of the President.

“Beyond the recommendations, the ability of the President to keep these recommendations to himself until the meeting is a critical success factor. Were the President to have leaked it to any of the parties in the leadership conflict, the outcome would have been different, which may include lobbies to dominate the Convention Working Committee with loyalists and benefactors to the crisis. This could even lead to another dispute that may block the emergency NEC from holding. The element of surprise experienced by members of the APC NEC when they received these proposals from President Buhari would have been a source of relief and therefore made approvals very easy”, he added.



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