After his controversial dissolution of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari is reportedly making moves to break the ranks of the sacked NWC members who have rejected his actions, Page 36 learnt.
The Hilliard Eta-led 18 members of the NWC, who belong to the Faction of the suspended National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in a statement on Thursday, said the National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting where the decisions were taken to dissolve the NWC, among others, violated the APC constitution.
“Article 25 (B) of the constitution of the APC, is explicit that only the National Chairman or the National Working Committee (NWC), is given the prerogative of summoning meetings of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, either for statutory quarterly meetings, or for emergency meetings.
“The same provision of the constitution makes it compulsory for a notice of a minimum of 14 days in respect statutory quarterly meetings, and 7 days in respect of an emergency meeting”, part of the statement read.
The statement was signed by Eta and the party’s Acting National Secretary, Waziri Bulama.
They noted that they are “studying the unfolding drama”, and would be “consulting with Stakeholders and a team of Lawyers, on the next line of action”.
The APC NEC meeting which was held at the Presidential Villa, appointed a 13-member Caretaker Committee to run the party’s Leadership affairs henceforth.
The Committee is headed by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State. Buni was the National Secretary of the APC, until his election as Governor in 2019.
The Caretaker Committee is to conduct the party’s National Convention, to elect new Leaders for the APC, within 6 months.
The NEC also ratified the APC Governorship primary election in Edo State, which produced Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as the party’s Governorship Candidate, for the September election.
Apart from President Buhari, the NEC meeting was attended by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, State Governors, and some members of the NWC.
If the NWC members head to court over the issue, they could have the dissolution upturned, embarrass President Buhari, and plunge the ruling party into further crisis.
However, it appears that the President understands this, and would not wait for such to happen, as it was gathered that he has reached out to Governors of the States where the aggrieved NWC members hail from, requesting the Governors to put pressure on the intransigent party Officials, not to seek redress in court, or take further action on the issue.
Most NWC members are usually nominated by State Chapters of the party, before they are elected into the NWC, during the party’s Convention. So, in most cases, the NWC members owe some degree of loyalty to their State Governors (in the States where APC is the ruling party).
More so, they rely on their Governors for patronage.
Two of the sacked NWC members, one from the North, the other from the South, said that they have received a call from their State Governors, who told them to withdraw from “the group”.
The Governors are claiming that the President is on their neck, allegedly. He wants them to talk to the Officials of the sacked NWC, not to embarrass the party, and to remind them of the resolution that the APC members should not be taking the party to court, and that they would be other opportunities for them to serve the party in the future.
“It is too early to say they should not have put my name (on the Thursday statement expressing the position of the sacked NWC members), but I am not too keen, because I have been called by my State Governor, who told me the President asked him to get in touch with me”, a member of the sacked NWC said.