President Muhammadu Buhari today withdrew his support to the decision of the National Executive Council of the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) to extend the tenure of National Working Committee (NWC) of the party saying it contravenes the party's constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He disclosed this at the National Executive Committee meeting of the party in Abuja on Tuesday.
"In particular I think it is important to talk about the contentious issues of the tenure of our National and State Executive Officers. As we all know, the motion was moved in the last NEC meeting February 2,7 2018, to the effect that when the tenure of the current executive expires in June this year they should be allowed to continue for one year. This motion was moved by a majority of members present at the last NEC meeting. Even though some of our party members have since spoken very vehemently against it, others have even taken the matter to court.
"On my own part I have taken some time to review and seek advice on the resolution and what I have found is that it contravenes our party constitution and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
While the APC constitution article 17, in bracket 1 and 13 on two bracket 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 election for party executives at regular intervals which must not exceed four years.
"Further more, article 31 of our party constitution provides that any principal officer wishing to re-contest or contest for another election must resign from his current post at least one month before the election. In this circumstance what is expected of us is to conduct fresh election once the tenure of the current executives approaches its end.
The caretaker committee cannot remedy the situation and cannot currently act in place of electing officer. Furthermore, I think if we the constitutional provisions we might be endangering the fortunes of our party.
If the tenure of our party executive can be legally faulted then it means that any nomination and primary election can also be faulted. This is not to talk of the issues that will arise and is already arising within the party when some of our members felt that they are being denied the right to aspire to executive positions, internal democracy is not explained within the party.
I am therefore of the firm believe that it is better to follow strictly the dictates of our party and national constitution rather than put APC and its activities at grave risk.
Fortunately, we have already approved a timetable for the holding of congresses and elections. I think this should be allowed to go forward and all efforts should now be geared towards making them a great success" President Buhari ststed.
Buhari cautioned the NEC members not to allow the party to be divided and vulnerable to the opposition as a result of court actions which may arise aftermath.