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Published On: Mon, Apr 9th, 2018

Re-election: APC may grant waivers to Oyegun, others – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the All Progressives Congress (APC) may consider granting waivers to its National Chairman, John Oyegun, and other party executives at all levels when the party holds its convention.

President Muhammadu Buhari with Mr John Oyegun at the APC NEC meeting in Abuja on April 9, 2018.

The President said this on Monday at a closed-door meeting of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, President Buhari presented a speech on the report submitted by the party’s National Executive Technical Committee which looked into the issue of extension of tenure for Oyegun and others.

He stressed the need for party members to remain united and undivided to ensure the party fulfils its election promises to Nigerians ahead of the general elections in 2019.

“With the present state of the party and based on the report submitted by the Technical Committee, it is important to focus on how to move the party forward by avoiding actions detrimental to the interest of the party.

“Considering that politics is a game of numbers, we must not be a house divided against itself and must try to note, appreciate and accommodate our differences as far as the law permits. Upon my review of the report, my position is to ensure that the party tows the path of unity, legality and cohesion and not that of division,” the President said.

He further called on APC faithful to strengthen the party’s internal democracy by organising congresses and convention where election of NEC members would be held.

Waivers Guaranteed?

President Buhari believes such steps would automatically end the cases filed by members seeking orders of the court compelling the party to hold its congresses, adding that the current executives should be free to vie for elective positions in the party if they so wish as permitted by the party’s constitution.

Considering the provision of Article 31(1)(iii) of the APC Constitution which requires any serving officer desirous of seeking re-election to resign from office 30 days before an election, he was doubtful of the practicality of present serving officers’ ability to meet the condition.

Accordingly, the President noted that the APC might grant waivers to party executives to ensure they are not disenfranchised from participating in the elections, provided it does not violate the party’s rules.

“Necessary waiver(s) should also be extended to executives at the ward level whose tenures may have elapsed, and indeed to anyone knocking at our doors from other political parties.

“This is in the spirit of the Right to Freedom of Association guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” he explained.

President Buhari further challenged the party to officially issue a statement on the waivers and warned members not to be ignorant of the journey ahead of them.

He also urged them to strive to remain united in their purpose, stressing the need for collaborative efforts to sanitise Nigeria’s political environment.

The President asked members to continue to conduct themselves without rancour and thanked members of the Technical Committee for a job well done within the limited time frame.

Consequently, President Buhari declared his intention to seek re-election, saying the decision was in response to the clamour by Nigerians to recontest in 2019.

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