The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has dumped its carrot approach in resolving the crises that arose from its primary elections across the country. In a terse warning, which it issued yesterday, the APC directed all the aggrieved members, especially aspirants who lost in the primaries, to use the party’s internal dispute resolution mechanism to seek redress without further delay.
For any of such members, who might test the will of the party on the matter, the APC declared that severe penalties await them.
According to the APC, full compliance to the directive was not optional, stressing that aggrieved members who took the party or any of its officers to court without exhausting the available channels of redress, had already breached the spirit and the intendment of the APC constitution.
These decisions were taken by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to bring sanity into the party and to avert further damage to its interest and image ahead of the 2019 general elections.
APC said that the only feasible option left for such members is to immediately withdraw all the cases filed against the party and its officers from the courts.
In a statement issued in Abuja, by the APC national publicity secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party warned that any recalcitrant members will face disciplinary measures.
Some of the prominent APC members who have taken the party to court after the primaries are the minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usain Uguru, Mr. Uche Nwosu, the son-in-law of Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Senator Magnus Abbey, and some National Assembly and governorship aspirants.
Issa-Onilu said that the NWC deplored the actions of the members for resorting to litigations to seek redress over the outcome of the primary elections and related matters without exhausting the party’s dispute resolution mechanism.
The worrisome trend, according to the statement, is viewed by the party as a manifest indiscipline, adding that the actions, are considered as anti-party as they go against the APC’s constitution.
He said: “We therefore advise such members to take this warning very seriously as failure to comply with the party’s dispute resolution procedures would be met with the stipulated disciplinary actions.
“For emphasis, according to Article 20, Subsection 10 of our party’s constitution, offences against the party include the following: ‘Filing an action in a court of law against the party or any of its officers on any matters relating to the discharge of the duties of the party without first exhausting all avenues for redress provided for in this constitution.
“The party intends to activate constitutional provisions to penalise such members as their actions are capable of undermining the party and hurt its interest.
“We hereby strongly advise such members to withdraw all court cases, while approaching the appropriate party organs with a view to resolving any outstanding disputes. In addition to this, aggrieved members are urged to take full advantage of the reconciliation committees the party has just put in place.
“APC members should understand that as a progressive party that operates on the principle of change, it is not a matter of choice to keep to the rules,” the statement declared.