Coup: APC’s Bad Omen •Party In Disarray •Army Confirms Arrests

By on May 22, 2017


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Emerging report shew that the Nigerian Army has begun an internal search for soldiers and officers suspected to have engaged in political meetings, a national newspaper quoted a top military source.

Details stated that some arrests have been made, but that the information was being kept as top secret so as not to add to public tension.

But the fact that a coup d’état was in the making is a bad sign for the ruling All Progressives Party (APC).                 

Since the beginning of this democratic dispensation in 1999, and after three administrations, all under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), this is the first time the country would be close to an actual military mutiny.

No thanks to the manner and attitude of the APC government.

When President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015, the party practically went to sleep, taking it over 90 days to form a government.

And, when it eventually formed the government, it took two wrong steps in quick succession; it put the economy in reverse gear, now called recession and went into a rage as if in paranoia fit, hounding perceived foes -real and imagined- confiscating their assets and parading them in law courts; under the guise of anti-graft war.

Pundits, now, hope that this talk of arrests of suspects by the army would not thrust the country into another round of false accusations and prosecution. 

Unfortunately, the country is, presently, at crossroads. Its two main political parties, APC and PDP are in total shambles.

The two could hardly put their houses in order. 

Recent report concerning the ruling APC is disheartening.

It is believed in many quarters that the  party’s action may put the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in a dilemma over how to handle the party’s failure to hold a midterm convention within the timeframe prescribed by its constitution. 

Already, there is a constitutional crisis looming in APC as it struggles to agree on a date for its National Executive Committee meeting preparatory to the now overdue midterm convention. 

A plan by APC to hold a NEC meeting this week has hit the rocks at the last minute. 

But, the party’s governors will be meeting with the party’s National Working Committee in Abuja on Wednesday as part of remedial measures to try to mobilise resources and support for the national convention.

APC held its last national convention on December 10, 2014, when incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari emerged as the party’s presidential candidate ahead of the 2015 general election. Going by the APC constitution, the party ought to have held another convention before now.

Article 25 (A) (i) of the APC constitution states, “That the National Convention of the Party shall be held once in two years at a date, venue and time to be recommended by the National Working Committee and approved by the National Executive Committee, subject to the giving of the statutory notices to the Independent National Electoral Commission and at least 14 days’ notice given to members eligible to attend.”

Emerging facts shew that following pressure from some members, the party’s NWC had decided to hold a NEC meeting before the Muslim Ramadan fast to iron out issues relating to the midterm convention and other important national matters. 

But, the party had to drop the idea after a failed bid to convince the acting president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to pick a date for the NEC meeting on behalf of Buhari, who is on medical vacation abroad.

It was gathered that Osinbajo and National Chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had met thrice last week but could not agree on a date for the NEC meeting. 

A party member volunteered that Osinbajo’s reason for refusing to go along with Odigie-Oyegun on the convention matter was that Buhari had earlier told the party he was not disposed to holding the NEC meeting at least for now. It stressed that the acting president did not want to overturn the president’s decision on the matter.

Odigie-Oyegun and the NWC had sought an audience with Buhari in March shortly after his return from a 51-day medical leave in the United Kingdom but could not succeed before he travelled out again for medical treatment.

The source said, “It is not likely that the NEC meeting will hold this week. The truth is that there are conflicting signals from the Presidential Villa. The last time the NEC meeting was proposed, the party’s leadership was told that the president was not disposed to the meeting. That decision was not reviewed before the President Buhari travelled again for medical treatment.”

The situation, it was gathered, had left the APC leadership in a dilemma. 

The source stated, “When the party chairman met with acting President Yemi Osinbajo recently, I think because they have managed to blackmail him with the fact that he has to be careful and not be seen to be taking decisions ahead of Mr. President, he has been cowed and he kept saying that the decision of the president before he travelled was that he was not ready for the NEC meeting. He didn’t want to be the one that will say, ‘go ahead with the party meeting.’”

The source believed the leadership of APC was conscious of the implication of not getting the presidency’s nod before proceeding with the NEC meeting and convention activities, and did not want the events to be boycotted. It said the APC national leadership had, therefore, resolved to do more discussion and consultation on the matter after which it might be forced to hold the NEC meeting and subsequently the midterm convention with or without the presidency’s input.

But the dilemma now is that even if the party succeeds in getting the president’s nod to go ahead with the NEC meeting and convention, it does not seem to have the needed funds to organise the two events. It would still have to wait for its governors to raise money.

Suspended Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Timi Frank, has described the seemingly indefinite postponement of the mini-national convention as a shameful act. 

In a statement, Frank said failure to hold the national convention was a breach of the party’s constitution on the part of the NWC.

Frank said the reason APC experienced difficulties in raising funds for its activities was the lack of trust in the present leadership of the party. He called on prominent members to speak up before the situation worsened.

“I’m calling on prominent members of the party who are still keeping quiet to speak up, else, this mismanagement might lead the party to unexpected end,” Frank stated.

A top member of the party opined that the party’s has not been breached by the failure to hold the NEC meeting and national convention. 

He said there was even a provision in the constitution that said in-between conventions NEC could act on behalf of the convention.

According to him, “The constitution said that there shall be a convention within two years, the same way it said that NEC must meet every quarter but NEC must not meet every quarter if there is no need for the meeting. It is a midterm convention, it is just a semblance of a national convention but it is not an elective convention.

“So what is compulsory is the elective convention where officers will relinquish office after four years, whereas a midterm convention is devoted to effecting constitutional amendments or approving any new initiative.

“How can there be violation when the same constitution said that in the absence of the convention NEC can act on behalf of convention? That is a safeguard for the party in case the convention is not held.”

Source cattnews

Posted 22/05/2017 12:09:59 AM




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