Former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu, has said that the stance of President Muhammadu Buhari on the elongation of the tenures of the All Progressives Congress (APC) national and state executives has saved the party from legal turmoil and crisis.
Tinubu, in a statement, said the president’s opposition to the elongation has affirmed that the APC remains faithful to the principles of internal democracy and the rule of law.
Speaking yesterday at the party’s NEC meeting in Abuja, President Buhari stated that talk of extension or elongation of the tenures of national and state party executives was improper, adding that such moves would contravene both party’s constitution.
Commending the President, Tinubu said his action will go a long way in advancing the process of internal reconciliation that is now underway in the APC.
He said: “President Buhari’s action saves the party from serious legal turmoil. If the elongations were deemed illegal, then all subsequent party actions, including the nomination of all of our candidates for elective offices, might also be of questionable legality. Such a predicament would constitute an unnecessary and mortal blow to the party and its role in promoting progressive governance to Nigeria.
“Moreover, President Buhari has affirmed for all to see that our party is one based on the rule of law coupled with a firm adherence to internal democracy.”
While describing the February 27 motion to elongate the tenures of the party leaders as ill-conceived, the APC leader said President Buhari showed principle and courage by steering the party back to its original and correct path.
“The President has spoken. Today is a good day for those who cherish democracy and legality. His action will also serve to strengthen the party by allowing party members, including present incumbents, to seek to contribute to the party by vying for executive offices as they see fit.
“His action will go far in advancing the process of internal reconciliation that is now underway.”
Urging the party to set in motion the process of organising the congresses according to the existing timetables, Tinubu said: “After all, a party bearing the name All Progressives Congress should be the last party to resist holding congresses in which all its people have a fair say and fair chance to aspire to any position in the party for which they are qualified to hold.
“Again, this is a good day for the APC and democratic political practice in Nigeria. We shun the politics of old to move toward a new and better way of governing ourselves and this nation,” he said.
Also, the Imo State Governor and Chairman of Progressive Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha, has applauded the President for declaring the tenure elongation illegal.
Okorocha, whose earlier call for the replacement of the party officials was overruled, declared that Buhari has “simply scored another beautiful goal for the nation’s democracy and also added fibre to the letters of the nation’s Constitution and that of the party.”
According to the governor, “What the President said about the need to protect and respect the provisions of the nation’s Constitution and that of the party cannot be seen as a victory or defeat for any member of the party, but could only be seen as another bold step towards deepening democratic ethos or practices in our dear nation.”
The governor commended the President for showing leadership in the party when it mattered most.
He also commended the Oyegun-led executives of the party for leading the party from nothing to something great.
Okorocha noted that the political history of the nation will be fair to them when it will be written.
The governor stated that the APC must continue to show good examples to other political parties by demonstrating due regard to the provisions of the nation’s Constitution and that of the party.