Your piece in this column of March 22, 2018 was a saviour. Let me start by congratulating the teeming APC supporters nationwide for the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) held on March 27, to return the party to its lawful duty of conducting congresses against the tyranny sponsored by some elements within the party.
To go for congresses is not only the most popular decision to allow the members to exercise their franchise, but also to adhere to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, the Electoral Act and the APC Constitution.
I also congratulate Mr. President for coming out to lead that decision on that fateful day. The proponents of the no-elections/congresses are well known to all of us within the APC. Those are the proponents of the tenure elongation who unfortunately are not yet done with the matter; they have gone further to come up with various theories against the populist view of submitting to the will of the electorate.
There is no gainsaying the fact that those proponents of tenure elongation/ and doctrine of the no-election/congresses belong within. The following state governors are in the forefront of that category: Kaduna State Governor, Kogi State Governor, Kano State Governor and Bauchi State Governor, with the national chairman as the largest beneficiary.
Having fought and won the battle of tenure elongation against those proponents, they have come up with another back window, back stabbing tactics and antics against the APC and its supporters. They have come up with the Doctrine of Affirmation.
Ordinarily the term affirmation looks very harmless, but the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and the APC Constitution are intended to protect the rights of common party faithful. It is intended to satisfy the rights of the card carrying members to vote, and for their vote to count. It is intended to provide for internal democracy and protect same by allowing all the card carrying followers to exercise their franchise in choosing their leaders at various party congresses.
The provision was not intended to protect the selfish needs of a few individuals as exemplified by the Governors and few other elements who want to castigate the essence of democracy.
Our position is clear. For the weakest part of the membership to be protected their leaders both party/Legislative, and executive must be responsible, act responsibly and be seen to be so.
The different amendments proposed in the Electoral Act 2010 by the National Assembly recently are intended to dilute the idea of super delegates, and also make it possible for people in positions of authority like, the governors, to be tamed and neutralised.
The APC Leadership which Muhammadu Buhari is undoubtedly in control of must rise to the challenge to insist that in those states where conflict has clearly arisen, the APC does the needful; that is, that justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.
In doing this, the process of appointment of the state congress committee of these four states – Bauchi, Kogi, Kaduna and Kano – must be completely transparent.
The president must keep under his hat that leaving such process to go through the ordinary traditional route will produce screwed result which will not augur well for the party, and the millions of supporters of APC from those key APC states.
When the party faithful, the talakawas in those states, see that Mr. President stands to ensure that justice is done, they will be assured of the legacy of fair play and justice which they identify with Buhari-Sai Maigaskiya.
The national chairman had before now taken sides with the four states already mentioned. The National chairman cannot do justice in those four states in constituting the state congress committees. There is more than ample reliable reasons to expect a skewed process from those four states as far as the national chairman is concerned.
It is the expectation of APC supporters in the states that it will take only the intervention of God and Mr. President for the followership to receive a fair deal.
This decision of carrying out congresses all over the country is the best decision that has ever happened to the APC since its birth and inception in 2014.
The decision for the congresses to hold accordingly is the best yet.
While the PDP is jostling to scoop the remnants of followers arising from the perceived injustice expected after the tenure elongation scheme which failed woefully, the next stage to safeguard the party is to conduct transparent congresses.
If the APC wishes to succeed as a young four year old party against its older siblings, it must implement the decision to allow due process in the conduct of the congresses.
The point must be made clear that President Muhammadu Buhari abhors injustice, particularly when it is meted out on the talakawas, especially from people who pose as influential or important, who jostle and plan the greatest crime against the people – the crime of stealing their votes.
If publishing lists of people who have stolen public funds is a virtue, then allowing high profile influential people to steal votes is a worse crime. It is robbery against innocent masses. It gives fake mandate to influential people against their people. It is raping the virginity of our democracy. History, as you usually say, is on the side of the oppressed.
For INEC, this is the single most important democratic event yet to be determined – that is, the over 300,000 different party positions for the ruling party to be contested for.
If democracy is what the constitution prescribes, if democracy is what the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, has prescribed, if democracy is what the APC has prescribed, then INEC must allow transparent congresses as the only bitter pill to swallow.
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