By ANDREW ESSIEN, Abuja
Ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) non-elective national convention, the party’s 10-member constitution review committee has submitted its report to the national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, containing 85 proposals for amendment.
The report was submitted by the chairman of the committee and APC national legal adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday evening.
He was accompanied by other committee members, including APC national organising secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso and a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Asabe Vilita Bashir.
Banire noted that the committee had six working sessions, after which a three-day retreat to consider the final report and analysis will be held.
He said, “In carrying out the assignment, we called for memorandum from members of the Party across board via publication in the newspapers. In addition to memorandum collected, we also wrote letters to the various party organs for their contribution as well as the government to give us their contribution.
“We received tons of them. Through the assistance of the International Republican Institute (IRI) we were able to sort them out, analyse them eventually we had of contributions that are worthy of consideration.
“Mr. Chairman, we have contained in Annexure A of our report proposals for amendment totalling 85 for review. It is as a result of several factors – our experience in operating the present constitution, the gaps we have noticed and developments that we also need to capture.” Banire said during the presentation’.
He further said major categories amended included powers, responsibilities and functions of party organs; composition of organs; disciplinary procedure; definitions, financial management; membership; organizational structure and tenure.
He continued: “We believe that most of the amendments we are recommending if put in place will strengthen our party and enable it to withstand the stress that are capable of being generated from time to time as a result of tension.
“I must seize the opportunity to commend committee members most of which worked tirelessly. We also thank you Mr. Chairman for the privilege of serving our party in this capacity and we hope and believe that ultimately when these amendments are passed it will give the necessary vigour to our party”.
The APC national chairman, Odigie-Oyegun, said the report will be deliberated by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and subsequently the National Executive Committee (NEC) and finally put before the convention for final approval.
While thanking the committee members for undertaking the exercise, Odigie-Oyegun, said the amendments will, amongst others, address issues of internal democracy and disciplinary procedures in the Party.
His words: “I thank all the wonderful persons in the committee who spent serious time to undertake an exercise that the Party thought was very due. These are of course all part of the preparation for the non-elective national convention which we expect to hold as soon as possible. I want to say yes, I agree with you as you rightly said.
“When we came together as the APC, the committee which I was a member more or less hurriedly put together this constitution, but there is nothing like experience. Since then we have tried to work this constitution and it had become quite clear that aspects of it were either not practical or needed to be rethought.
“Areas like the emphasis on internal democracy, disciplinary procedures which were extremely cumbersome and needed to be looked at so that if justice has to be meted out, it should be done speedily and quickly and not subject the party to the kind of unpleasant situation were because of constraints provided by the constitution you are unable to take action speedily as and when necessary.
“The NWC will go through your recommendations with a fine toothcomb and it will subsequently go to the NEC and be put before the convention for final approval”.
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