APC Crisis: Party’s NWC Faults Buhari, Insists On Expelling Aggrieved Members
The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s stand on the festering crisis in the party.
Buhari had on Monday, submitted that the aggrieved APC members had the right to seek legal redress over the results of the primaries.
The President faulted the position of the NWC of the party, which asked aggrieved members to withdraw their court cases or be ready to face sanctions.
However, the party’s National Vice Chairman of the APC, South-South, Hilliard Eta insisted that aggrieved members of the party, who fail to withdraw their court cases instituted against the national leadership of the party over the outcome of the party’s primaries, may be expelled.
Eta said many of the aggrieved members currently in court over the results of the party’s primaries did not exhaust the party’s dispute resolution mechanisms before rushing to court.
He said the party would not change its position on the issue, insisting that it would sanction errant members, which might include expulsion for failing to explore Article 20, subsection 10 of the APC’s constitution.
He said, “We need to juxtapose the President’s utterance with the position of the party. The constitution of the party states that you must exhaust all internal party conflict resolution mechanisms before you seek redress in court.
“The party’s constitution does not stop any member from seeking legal redress if they think that their rights have been infringed upon. What it says is that it is only after you have exhausted all the internal conflict resolution mechanisms that you can go to court. But if you have not exhausted them and you proceed to court, the party reserves the right to expel such person because you have brought the party to odium.”
When reminded that the party’s position contradicted the President’s pronouncement on the issue, Eta said, “The President is a loyal party man and if that provision of the constitution is brought to his notice, I am very sure that he is going to abide by the constitution of the party because the President is the man who will always stand on the side of the rule of law and that is the rule of the law of the APC.
“I can tell you categorically that most of these aggrieved members did not exhaust the internal conflict resolution mechanisms before approaching the court. Take the Cross Rive State’s case for instance, at no time did the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor (Usani) Usani, exhaust the internal party mechanisms before going to court.
“Also, the aggrieved party members in Delta State did not explore the party’s conflict resolution mechanisms before approaching the court. The same thing with those in Imo State; they did not come to us at the NWC.”
Eta added, “In most of the states, aggrieved members abandoned the internal party mechanisms and proceeded straight to the court.
“For us, there must be discipline in the party. Regardless of the rank of an army officer, if he is not disciplined and tutored, that officer is a disaster waiting to happen. So, regardless of the largeness of the party and regardless of the membership that we can boast of at any time,
''I can tell you that we would enforce discipline in the party.”
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