Ahead of the national convention of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) slated for April this year, the party has begun moves to check internal opposition and to reconstitute its Board of Trustees (BoT).
The party has also clarified that the upcoming convention is a non-elective one.The APC is at variance with those who derailed the party’s plan to have its preferred candidates elected as principal officers of the National Assembly.
This was revealed when the national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, inaugurated the 10-member constitution review committee to be headed by the party’s national legal adviser, Dr Muiz Banire.
Oyegun said: “This is the very first because of its importance of the activities in the lead-up to the non-elective national convention which, we hope, will take place within the next couple of months.
“Events in the last few months have made me read, very carefully, the provisions that we have, and to my mind, they are so weighted in favour of the ‘problem people’ within the party that it becomes extremely difficult to institute disciplinary procedures.
“I want you to take a very close look at that to make it possible for those who don’t wish the party well but dwell within the party to be speedily neutralised while the details of the cases are being looked into.
“Some of you will recall that at the last meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, decisions were taken that necessitated a review of aspects of the constitution of the party, particularly with respect to a ‘rejigged’, so to speak, Board of Trustees, with new thoughts like the kind, size and structure of the BoT that this party should have. And so that is the principal trigger for the constitutional review.
“I will expect that at the end of the exercise, we will have a leaner, trimmer and more focused (BoT), in terms of objectives of the party’s BoT or by whatever name you may recommend that it should be called.
“We will also look at our membership requirement, especially given our experiences in the last few months, the provisions for discipline within the party.”
The party chairman also told the committee to bring up ideas aimed at institutionalising internal democracy in the APC.
“We may also urge you to take advantage of the opportunity to look at other aspects of the constitution we have operated now for almost three years, at the very least, with a view to really cementing the processes and provision for permanently institutionalising internal democracy as a focus for this party because experience has shown that when we operate in a way that it is the people, electorate, whether within the party or in the nation generally, that determine who does what or goes where, we are more likely to have peace and general acceptance within the party or polity,” he noted. The APC chairman further disclosed that the last NEC meeting of the party had approved, among other things, the review of the constitution to prune the size of the party’s BoT in order to make it more manageable and effective.
Membership of the constitution review consists of a wide spectrum of the APC stakeholders, both those in government and outside of it, including Muiz Banire as chairman, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom; minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Musa Bello; Governor Mohammed Abubakar; Hon. Asabe Bashir and Senators Osita Izunaso; Domingo Obende and Olusola Adeyeye. Inuwa Abdul-Kadir is to serve as secretary