The Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday kicked against the “elongation” of the party’s national and state executives tenure.
The state chapter said the decision is against the Nigeria’s and the APC’s constitutions.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) had in February extended the tenure of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
The extension, approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party at its meeting in Abuja, saw the tenure of the NWC, headed by the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun and his executives, elongated.
The tenure of the NWC had initially been scheduled to end in June having been elected in 2014.
In his reaction, Mr. Odigie-Oyegun had attributed the extension to the party’s resolve to maintain peace in the party.
But rising from a Consultative Forum held at the State House Marina, Lagos, on Tuesday, leaders of the party in the state said the extension of the tenure of the party’s executives by one year was against the spirit of the constitution.
Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution as amended provides for periodical election on a democratic basis for principal officers and members of the executive committee of political parties.
According to the constitution, election of the officers or members of the executive committee of a political party will be deemed to be periodical if done at regular intervals not exceeding four years.
Meanwhile, Article 17 of the party’s constitution also provides for a four-year tenure for its national and state executives, which is renewable for another four years.
The leader of the party in Lagos State Central Senatorial District, Tajudeen Olusi, who spoke with journalists after the meeting, said the decision was a breach of the constitution.
“We have taken reports of the state APC chairman in respect of the NEC meeting held in Abuja,” he said.
“We have also had the privilege of receiving great reports from our leader from the reconciliation committee.
“We have considered the issue of extension of tenure and we are of the firm belief that the decision is a breach of the constitution of our party and of the country. We are against the elongation of tenure.
“We shall continue to make our decision known to the party and to the president.”
Section 223 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, as amended, specifically states that the constitution and rules of a political party shall make elections periodical on a democratic basis.
The subsequent section also stated that it will ensure that the members of the executive committee or other governing body of the political party reflect the federal character of Nigeria.
It states further, “…the election of the officers or members of the executive committee of a political party shall be deemed to be periodical only if it is made at regular intervals not exceeding four years; and…”
In extending the tenure, the APC National Executive Committee had relied on Article 13.3 (ii) of its constitution which states that The NEC can discharge the functions of the convention in a period of emergency.
According to the party’s constitution, the NEC is empowered to “Discharge all functions of the National Conventions as constituted in between Conventions.”
The party’s decision to extend the NWC’s tenure came against the backdrop of the disagreement between a national leader of the party and its strong financier in Lagos, Bola Tinubu, and the national chairman, Mr. Odigie-Oyegun.
Mr. Tinubu had in a letter accused the party’s national chairman of sabotaging his efforts at reconciling warring factions within the party, an assignment handed to him by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES upon his return from the nation’s capital last Wednesday, Henry Ajomale, the APC chair in Lagos state, said he was helpless when the elongation decision was taken.
Mr. Ajomale also told PREMIUM TIMES he was not aware of Mr. Tinubu’s position on the party’s national chairman, adding that his opposition to the proposal would not have made any difference.
“Even if you oppose it (tenure elongation) , you have 37 chairmen and one person objecting to it doesn’t make any difference,” he told PREMIUM TIMES.
“And it was done at the NEC meeting anyway, the governors and everybody were there and I was not the one who proposed it.
“Everybody supported it, so it’s not a question of one person. How can one person have a different opinion among the majority?”
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