Constitution Amendment: APC Governors To Lose Power, Influence
Governors elected under the platform of the All Progressives Congress may lose their influence in the party if the new amendments to the party’s constitution is finally ratified.
The party is proposing 83 amendments to its constitution.
The amended constitution has been approved by the National Working Committee (NWC).
If the National Executive Council (NEC) should carry the revised constitution wholesale at its forthcoming October 31 meeting, the party will witness sweeping changes to the way it has been run since inception.
Notice of meeting signed by the party’s National Secretary, Honourable Mai Mala Buni, has been sent out to all NEC members.
Objections can still be raised against some of the new provisions and deletion at the Abuja NEC meeting, but once the revised version of the constitution gets to the national convention of the party, it becomes binding on every member.
As passed by the NWC led by Chief John Oyegun, the revised constitution’s major casualty is governors elected on the platform of the party, who are stripped of the long-time leverage and power they enjoy in determining candidates of the party for local government elections.
Instead of the State Working Committee (SWC), the NWC is now to organise primary elections for the selection of candidates into Local Governments and Area Councils.
The amended provision in 13.4 (xvi) reads: “Organise Primary Election for the nomination of its Presidential Candidates, Governorship Candidates and Candidates for election into the National and State Assemblies and local governments/ area councils.”
The new procedure was further enhanced in a new insertion into the functions of state working committee in 13.8 (viii) which reads, “Organise Primary Elections for the nomination of Local Government Area Chairmanship Candidates Vice Chairmanship Candidates and Councilors for election into the Local Government Council/ Area Council, in accordance with guidelines approved by and under the supervision of the National Working Committee (NWC).”
State chapters in the original provision only require guidelines from the National Executive Council (NEC).
The rationale for alterations column reads, “To cure the abuse experienced under the state chapter in the local government nomination process.”
The amendments generally strengthened the NWC of the party, practically bringing all oversight functions in the party under it, with the positions of the National Chairman and Legal Adviser also receiving deeper constitutional empowerment.
The National Chairman is also proposed to be the new accounting officer of the party and chair of all the statutory meetings except that of the newly-introduced Advisory Council.
The Council is to replace the Board of Trustees (BoT).
The contention is that the party is a corporate entity hence corporate entities do not require Board of Trustees.
Unlike when it was in the opposition, the ruling party is now seeking to regulate defection for ticket purpose. New members who have not spent up to a year in the party have now been banned from using the platform for their ambitions.
While a waiver to be determined by the national leadership was not ruled out, the party says it seeks to control population coming into the party mainly for election purposes.
State chapters have also been stripped of conclusive disciplinary powers as well as the party’s NEC, with the NWC now being positioned as a major player in the process.
Among numerous other amendments, zonal secretary, zonal youth leader, zonal organizing secretary and woman leader were removed as NEC members, representations from the House of Representatives on geopolitical basis is reduced to one from three.
NWC is proposed to have deputy woman leader, while on the national caucus, two members from each zone will come in as zonal vice chairmen.
Payment of dues is now compulsory for members and failure to pay now attracts 50 per cent of the accrued sum as penalty. Defaulting members are also to lose rights and privileges of APC membership.