Kebbi State Governor and chairman, Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu said that President Muhammadu Buhari has not violated the provisions of the 1999 constitution, as amended, by attending the recent National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) virtually, at the Presidential Villa.
Similarly, Bagudu maintained that, the president never flouted the constitution of the ruling party, the APC by attending the meeting.
Also, the minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Alhaji Abubakar Malami, SAN noted that President Buhari did not breach the provisions of the country’s constitution by attending the meeting as well as administering the oath of office on the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party.
Bagudu responded to criticisms by some members of the opposition that Presidency conducted APC NEC meeting in the villa and also that the minister of Justice and Attorney General, administered oath of office to the newly constituted APC caretaker Committee in the villa instead of the party office.
Bagudu made the clarification at a Media Parley in Birnin Kebbi, on Monday. The Kebbi governor said: “Under the Constitution as enshrined in democracy, one can never become a President unless you become a member of a political party that sponsors him or her”.
“So, this alleged partisanship which is untrue, is imposed on us by the Nigerian constitution, as one can only become elected into the elective positions by being sponsored by a political party”.
“If the Constitution has allowed it, President Muhammadu Buhari would have contested and won as an Independent Candidate in 2015.”
The Kebbi governor also said that the President has been virtually attending other routine meetings like the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and National Economic Council (NEC) meetings at the Villa along with the other dignitaries like the Vice President and Governors, among others.
“Globally also, other party caucuses and other meetings usually hold outside official offices like party Secretariats and it is not abnormal to do so,” Bagudu, added.
Bagudu also explained that, the President also has an obligation to the party and he has to attend its meetings and “pay its dues.”
The Kebbi governor also said that, the minister of Justice and Attorney General has not violated the Constitution by swearing in the chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the APC
He said, “The membership of the party by the president and the minister is dictated by constitutional requirement,” adding that nothing stops him from doing so”.
Bagudu emphasized that the action of both Mr. President and the minister of Justice was in line with the constitutional requirement.
“He can do so even if it is a request from an opposition political party that recognizes his position as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Bagudu further stated that the ruling party, the APC will remain the party to beat, even beyond 2023, lnSha Allahu.
The leader of APC Governors Forum further said that the party would uphold its philosophy of not regarding elections as a do-or-die affair.
Reacting to some ranting’s by the opposition that APC will cease to exist beyond 2023, Bagudu extolled the undying commitment and diligence of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian Project.
He maintained that the President has improved the economy while he never allowed the 2016 recession to take its negative toll on the states by heavily supporting them to pay salaries.
“However, President Muhammadu Buhari is trying his possible best to make Nigeria better than he met it in 2015” the PGF averred.
He also debunked rumours that six APC governors were planning to decamp from the party, making it clear that all elected public officers under the APC believed in its ideology.
He also described allegations made by former chairman, Adams Oshimole that the APC governors were indisposed as untrue while also promising that the Progressives Governor’s Forum (PGF) would work for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidates in the forthcoming Edo and Ondo states governorship elections.
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