Buhari Cautions Oshiomhole, Okays Suit By APC Members
- Utomi, Okechukwu, others hail position
- ‘Chairman no longer enjoys presidency’s protection’
President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against trampling on the rights of aggrieved party members seeking legal redress.
“We can’t deliberately deny people their rights. We agreed that party primaries should be conducted either through direct, indirect or consensus methods, and if anyone feels unjustly treated in the process, such a person could go to court. The court should always be the last resort for the dissatisfied. For the party to outlaw the court process is not acceptable to me,” Buhari said.
The president made the disclosure yesterday in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Femi Adesina. He was reacting to the recent position of the APC, which forbade members from taking the party to court.
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The National Working Committee (NWC) in a statement last week had said: “The party intends to activate constitutional provisions to penalise such members as their action is capable of undermining the party and hurt the party’s interest.
“We hereby strongly advise such members to withdraw all court cases, while approaching the appropriate party organs with a view to resolving any outstanding disputes. In addition to this, aggrieved members are urged to take full advantage of the reconciliation committees the party has put in place. APC members should understand that as a progressive party that operates on the principle of change, it is not a matter of choice to keep to the rules.”
Buhari also advised members to work with the party’s reconciliation committees set up for the six geo-political zones rather than any purported presidential organ. He insisted that the party is the only body authorised to constitute such committees.
The Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) Mr. Osita Okechukwu meanwhile has thrown his weight behind Buhari’s position. Okechukwu, who is pained at the controversial manner he lost out in his quest to pick a senatorial ticket in Enugu State, said the stance proves the president’s transparency on issues.