A national leader of the governing All Progressives Congress ( APC), Bola Tinubu, has praised President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech on Tuesday in which he called on the party to rescind its decision to extend the tenure of its officials.
The APC National Executive Committee (NEC) had on February 27 extended the tenure of all party executives across national and states by one year.
That decision, which was supported by Mr. Buhari, was opposed by Mr. Tinubu.
Mr. Buhari on Tuesday, however, shocked members of NEC when he asked the meeting to revisit the issue.
The president said since the decision was adopted in the last NEC meeting, he has taking time to review and seek advice on the resolution.
He said he found that the resolution contravenes both APC constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“While the APC Constitution, in Article 17(1) and 13.2(B), limits the tenure of elected officers to four years, renewable once by another election, the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), in section 223, also prescribes periodic elections for party executives at regular intervals, which must not exceed four years.
“Furthermore, Article 31 of our Party Constitution provides that any principal officer wishing to re-contest or contest for another post, must resign from his current post at least one month before the election,” he said.
Mr Buhari said APC is, therefore, expected to conduct fresh elections, once the tenure of the current executives approaches its end.
He said a caretaker committee “cannot remedy this situation, and cannot validly act in place of elected officers.”
In his reaction via a statement he personally signed Tuesday evening, Mr. Tinubu said Mr. Buhari had spoken in a clear, straightforward manner.
The former Lagos State governor said Mr. Buhari had confirmed that APC is a party that is based on the rule of law coupled with a firm adherence to internal democracy.
“While it would have been easy to allow the ill-conceived motion of 27 February to stand, President Buhari showed principle and courage by steering the party back to its original and correct path.
President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC NEC Meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the APC NEC Meeting
“The president has spoken. Today is a good day for those who cherish democracy and legality,” he said.
Mr. Tinubu said the action of the president will also serve to strengthen the party by allowing party members, including present incumbents, to seek to contribute to the party by vying for executive offices as they see fit.
He said Mr. Buhari’s decision will also help in advancing the process of internal reconciliation that is now underway in the APC.
He said it is now time for the party to move forward and begin to plan and organise the needed congresses according to the existing timetables.
“After all, a party bearing the name All Progressives Congress should be the last party to resist holding congresses in which all its people have a fair say and fair chance to aspire to any position in the party for which they are qualified to hold.
“Again, this is a good day for the APC and democratic political practice in Nigeria. We shun the politics of old to move toward a new and better way of governing ourselves and this nation,” Mr Tinubu said.