Buhari’s Big Step That May Douse Tension In APC
Nigeria News takes a look at President Buhari’s description of tenure elongation of APC officials as illegal and how this can affect the fortune of the party.
President Muhammadu Buhari took a big decision that will serve as precedence for the country’s democracy on Tuesday when he described as illegal the tenure elongation for the All Progressives Congress state and national officers.
This is a good step in the right direction to fortify the Internal Democracy within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Without internal democracy, there will not just be heat in the polity, there’ll be NO democracy, but just periodic elections. And that is not democracy at all, as democracy goes beyond periodic elections.
For those attacking Buhari on his change of mind, you need to recall that he insisted a few weeks back that he’ll kick against the imposition of candidates at the APC primaries.
Lack of internal democracy is largely responsible for the many intra-party crises in Nigeria. Politicians who lose out in a free and fair contest will hardly opt out or work against their own political party. Such will not also sit in and become a virus destroying the party from within.
If this is the ONLY legacy Buhari leaves before leaving office, he would have become the Father of Democracy in Nigeria. The filling of party offices is key towards the primaries, where candidates are elected for subsequent general elections. Once that process is flawed, the general election itself would have become a fraud. Why? The 1999 constitution prescribes that you cannot run for election in Nigeria unless you belong to a political party.
It is the party officials who organise primaries. Once these are pocketed by vested interests, there is hardly any opportunity for fair play. Buhari should walk his talk and ensure the growth of this young democracy.
Lastly, why is it difficult to computerise APC membership register to eliminate fraud during primaries? Biometric registration of members should be easy. With that, it is a double padlock in favour of internal democracy.
The National Executive Committee of the party sometime extended the tenure of the present state and national officials, including the National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun by one year contrary to the constitution of the APC and that of the country.
Only Lagos APC kicked against this absurdity, which of course was reversed by president Buhari’s singular voice.
It is a double joy for the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who for some time had been calling for the removal of Oyegun.
With the reversal of the illegal tenure elongation, Oyegun will either be voted out at the party’s national congress that must come before the 2019 presidential election or elected if the party wants him to have another four-year-term.
What matters most to Tinubu is that Oyegun must quit the seat to allow internal democracy to thrive. Tinubu’s presidential task as the head of the reconciliation committee continues and as the former Lagos state governor puts it, Oyegun has been frustrating the committee’s effort to broker peace in the party.
Oyegun has his sympathisers and admirers in the party anyway who will be looking for a fresh idea to cage Tinubu. For that to happen, it will be after Buhari has attended Tinubu’s Colloquium in Lagos.
The former Lagos state governor is 66 today. He commended the boldness of Mr President for describing the tenure elongation as illegal, saying it would strengthen democracy and brighten the chance of APC in 2019 election.