President Muhammadu Buhari in a bid to seek soft landing for the embattled chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, has directed the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to grant waivers to members of the out going National Working Committee (NWC) who wish to seek reelection.
The president gave the directive on Monday, April 9, in Abuja at the commencement of the emergency NEC meeting of the party.
He said current executives should be free to run for elective position in the party if they so wish and permitted by the party constitution.
Buhari also thanked members of the technical committee for a job well done within a limited time frame.
He said their handwork shows the essence of commitment and the ideals of the APC with a view to consolidating the party to continue to provide good governance in the overall interest of Nigerians.
Read the full statement from Buhari at the at APC NEC meeting below:
"I want to specifically thank members of the technical committee for a job well done within a limited time frame. It shows the essence of commitment and the ideals of our party with a view to consolidating the party to continue to provide good governance in the overall interest of Nigerians.
"The general interest of the party and based in the report submitted by the technical committee, it is important to focus on how to move the party forward by avoiding actions detrimental to the interest of the party.
"Considering that politics is a game of numbers, we must not be a house divided against itself and must try to appreciate and accommodate our differences as far as the law permits.
"Having seen the report, my position is to ensure that the party tows the part of unity, legality, cohesion and not that of division. Therefore, I am stressing that we strengthen our internal democracy by organizing party congresses and convention where election of national executive committee members will be held. This will automatically end the cases filed by members seeking orders of court compiling the party to hold its congresses.
"I also believe that the current executives should be free to run for elective position in the party if they so wish and permitted by our party constitution.
"However, considering the provision of Articlr 30 Section 1 and Subsection 3 of our party constitution which requires any serving officer desirous seeking re-election to resign from office 30 days before the election, I’m not sure of the practicality of the present servings officers ability to meet this condition.
"Accordingly, the party may consider granting waivers to party executives at all levels so that they are not disenfranchised in participating in the elections provided this does not violate our rights or our rules.
"Necessary waivers should also be extended to executives at the ward level whose tenures May have elapsed and indeed to anyone knocking on our doors from other parties.
"This gives credence to the right to freedom of association guaranteed by the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended. In this circumstance, the party should issue a statement on the above waivers so that our house maybe full. We all must not be ignorant of the tomes and the journey that is ahead of us.
"Just like our party symbols the broom, we stand by strength in unity. Let us try to be united in party, victory is sure by the grace of God. And together, we must continue to to sanitize Nigeria’s Political environment.
"I welcome you to this meeting with the hope that in our deliberations, we will conduct ourselves without rancour, and promote the highest interest of our party and the nation.
NAIJ.com had earlier reported that President Buhari had at another NEC meeting on March 27, opposed the tenure extension decision, saying it was illegal and unconstitutional.
The president explained that the decision was causing acrimony within the party, with some members not comfortable with the matter, dragging the party to court.
Meanwhile, the technical committee on All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC) tenure elongation submitted its report on Friday, April 6.
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Giving the document to the party´s national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, in Abuja, the committee’s chairman, Gov. Simon Dalung of Plateau, urged the party leadership to painstakingly study the recommendations.
NAN reports that Dalung said that if the recommendations were accepted and implemented, the leadership logjam in the party would “become a thing of the past’’.
Dalung said that in carrying out the assignment, the committee was guided by the party´s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the country.
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