AS the leadership crisis rocking the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in the country deepens, a group of the party in Gombe State which tags itself as “Dalachi Advocacy Group” has faulted the one-year tenure extension of the party’s national and state executives, saying it is against the constitution of the party.
The leader of the group, Abubakar Aliyu who was one of the gubernatorial aspirants of the party in the 2015 elections disclosed this while speaking with Journalists in Gombe on Sunday.
He stated that the decision of the group to go against the extension was taken after a meeting with all the members of the party in the 11 local government areas of the state on the issues and other matters.
Abubakar Aliyu further said that after the meeting with all the party members, including local government party executives in the state, they came to the conclusion that the extension of the tenure of the National Chairman of the party and his executives by one year is also against Nigeria’s constitution.
He said, “Section 223 of the 1999 constitution as amended provides for a periodical election on a democratic basis for principal officers and members of the executive committee of political parties”.
He added that “According to the constitution, the election of the officers or members of the executive committee of a political party will be deemed to be periodical if done at regular intervals not exceeding four years”.
“Article 17 of the party’s constitution also provides for four-year tenure for its national and state executives, which is renewable for another four years,” Aliyu said.
“We have considered the issue of extension of tenure and we are of the firm belief that the decision is a breach of the constitution of our party and of the country. We are against the elongation of tenure. We shall continue to make our decision known to the party and to the president”, he pointed out.
Abubakar Aliyu stressed also that, “In extending the tenure, the APC National Executive Committee had relied on Article 13.3 (ii) of its constitution which states that “The NEC can discharge the functions of the convention in a period of emergency”.
He elaborated that Article 13.3 (ii) of APC Constitution specifically states that the NEC of the party is empowered to “Discharge all functions of the National Conventions as constituted in between Conventions.”
He opined that “But the provision in Article 13.3 (ii) is not limitless and open-ended. It is a responsibility restricted by the same constitution, which provides exclusively under Article 30 (i) that: “This Constitution and Schedules hereto can be amended only by the National Convention of the Party,”
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Abubakar Aliyu then alleged that some party stalwarts have converted the party to personal property boasting they can hire and fire any exco member that refuses to tow their line and some of the officials were wrongly replaced without following laid down constitutional channels, members who tow their lines will continue as they impress that there will be no congress.
“We urge the BoT, NEC and NWC of our party to listen to this voice of courage and wisdom, conduct a genuine delegate congress in Gombe state and other states in the country or we stand to lose the governorship seat again like in 2015 and we call on all APC leaders who do not have the party at heart to stop messing with the political fortune of APC,” the leader of the group said.