James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has stressed the need for the continuous re-evaluation of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to reflect its democratic tendencies, where members practice and ensure internal democracy.
Governor Abiodun, who stated this at the APC Constitution Review (South West Stakeholders Meeting) held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, noted that it was time to tinker with the Constitution to make the party more potent and acceptable to the people.
He said, “It is important that we come together to appraise ourselves as members of this great party, and, even look critically at the structure of our party. This will give us the opportunity to evaluate the journey so far. It is a period of self-examination”.
“In doing this, the Constitution of our party is a vital instrument that we must continuously re-evaluate. If we must prove to others that we are true democrats, we must be seen as practising and ensuring internal democracy even within the party”, he said.
The governor opined that there are bound to be disagreements on issues concerning the party, adding however that no matter how tough the disagreement might seem, what matter is the ability of members to resolve misunderstandings, learn from the mistakes, and move forward”.
He said, “At this meeting, therefore, we should be able to resolve all our disagreements and chart a course for the progress of our great party in the South-West”.
On his part, the Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gbeyega Oyetola, said the meeting was a response to the growing agitation of members for the reform of the party, adding that it was an opportunity to listen and learn from each other for the progress of the party.
The Ondo State Governor, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on his part, said the southwest zone would constitute a Committee that would present its position to the Review Committee, while urging the Committee to look into the Constitution of the Board of Trustees of the party, mode of conducting primary elections and how to become a delegate.
The former Governor of Ogun State and Chieftain of the Party, Chief Olusegun Osoba, called on the Committee to ensure that internal democracy remains the cardinal principle of the party at all levels.
Chairman of the APC Constitution Review Committee, Prof. Tahir Mamman, assured that the Committee would take into consideration all views generated from the zone.
While emphasizing that a constitution is a grand document that governs the contract between the population and the party, Mammam explained that the leadership of the APC has resolved to review the party’s constitution in such a way that will make it a model, even for other political parties which are still struggling to survive, stressing that this necessitated the need to include the inputs of party men and women at the grassroots.
He noted that a lot of issues have emerged, while some practices have equally been imported into the party since the year 2013 when the party’s constitution was written, hence the need to update it and make it reflect the wishes of every APC member.
“Since the year 2013, when the present Constitution came into being, lots of issues, some gaps have emerged, and also some practices have come on board since the inauguration of the Caretaker Committee which the constitution will want to incorporate into the document”.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Chairman of the party in Ogun State, Chief Yemi Sanusi, noted the need to reshape rhe current Constitution which has been in existence since the formation of the party in 2013, and called on the leaders to look at ways of coming up with a constitution that would make the party much stronger.