When a person is on the road to perdition, it simply alludes to the fact that the person’s behaviour is likely to lead the person to failure and punishment. When a person is still on his way to perdition, he may be rescued, but once he reaches the height of being a Son of perdition, his destruction becomes inevitable, because he has lost his soul to Satan and not even the Lord Jesus can help him anymore. Jesus said in John 17:12 “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled”.
Theologically, Satan attacks a person when he is weak or relaxed or immediately after a victory. APC is a person in law. This is why it can sue or be sued in its name. APC certainly is not weak now. Indeed, it is its perception of strength and victory over its main political opponents that is making it relaxed and susceptible to satanic attacks. The scriptures warned in 1 Timothy 6:9, “But they that will be rich (successful) fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition”. APC is about to fall into a satanic trap that may drown it if nothing is urgently done. As a student of theology, we were taught in the School of Disciples, Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), that the process of satanic operational techniques entails Satan firstly sending spies, analysing the information the spies brought, laying ambush based on the information received, arranging mock attack first and finally launching the real attack. Satan has already launched a mock attack on APC which made it lose Zamfara and Rivers elections in 2019. It must do everything possible to avert any further fatal satanic attack of which consequence may be difficult to predict.
APC is a political party that has been accorded recognition by INEC, and as such is a creature of the 1999 Constitution. By the combined effects of Sections 223(1)(a) and (2)(a), “the constitution and rules of a political party shall provide for the periodical election on a democratic basis of the principal officers and members of the executive committee or other governing body of the political party; and the election of the officers or members of the executive committee of a political party shall be deemed to be periodical only if it is made at regular intervals not exceeding four years”. This means that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, did not anticipate that a political party will be governed by an undemocratic or an unelected officers. The operative word here is “shall” provide for the periodical election on a democratic basis. Any attempt by a political party, therefore, to surrender its administration to unelected officers by any means is unconstitutional. Further attempt to allow existing elected officers exceed the four-year term limit is also unconstitutional. APC nearly entered into this trap when it initially extended the regime of John Oyegun, Former National Chairman of APC, beyond the 4-year electoral mandate, but quickly realised its mistake and immediately organised a convention that brought Oshiomhole to power.
However, conflict in any human organisation is inevitable. There may be a need from time to time to replace a set of executives even before the expiration of their tenure in the event of death, resignation, incapacity or removal. As a means to replace them, there is nothing illegal for a party to set up a committee to organise the election for the new executives, even if the committee members are made up of serving governors. In this regard, they are serving as an elective committee not a governing committee. This is buttressed by the fact that even when there is an existing legitimately elected members of the National Working Committee of a party, the NWC can legally appoint a committee to oversee the election of the new executive members into the Party. For the purposes of emphasis, when we organised the convention that brought Oshiomhole to power as National Chairman of APC, in which I had the privilege of serving in the Venue and Protocol Committee, the Chairman of the Convention Committee was the serving Governor of Jigawa State, His Excellency, Badaru. This is purely legal and the resultant elected executive members purely legitimate.
On the sacking of the Oshiomhole’s NWC, the NEC of APC constituted a Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to organise a convention that will produce new NWC members within six months, led by the serving Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni. If they had lived up to the term of reference, which made them an elective committee, and left, there wouldn’t have been anything illegal with that, even if their leader is a serving governor, because this does not amount to the governing of the party. For the avoidance of doubt, the NEC of APC, if properly constituted, has the power to elect or remove the National Officers of the party, if need be, in-between National Conventions. See Articles 13.1.ii; 13.3.ii of the APC Constitution. It also has the power to “create, elect and appoint any Committee it may deem necessary, desirable or expedient and assign to them such powers and functions as it may deem fit”. (Article 13.3.vi). This means that the NEC has the power to appoint or elect both an elective committee and an interim governing committee for the party. However, it lacks the power to appoint or elect a serving executive member of the government into the governing organ of the Party as this will offend Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution that “The governor shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever” and Article 17(iv) of APC Constitution that “No officer in any organ of the Party shall hold executive position office in government concurrently”. The National Chairman of the Party is purely an executive office recognised by the 1999 Constitution and the Party’s Constitution. See Sections 223(1)(a)(2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution and Article 14.1.i-ii of the APC Constitution. The National Working Committee of the party is the main governing organ of the Party in charge of the day to day running of the Party. See Article 13.4 of the APC Constitution. Whoever is exercising the functions of the National Working Committee or that of the National Chairman must not be a serving member of the executive of the government because all his actions may be null and void as they will offend extant laws.
The problem with the CECPC is that it is both an elective and governing committee. It is both a Caretaker Committee with executive powers and a Covention Planning Committee. Immediately the CECPC was sworn in, they illegally dissolved all the state, local government and ward executives for no known offence. Even the NWC properly constituted has no power to dissolve a properly elected governing organ of the party without legitimate reasons but it has power to set up Caretaker Committees in place of governing organs if there arises legitimate lacunae in the Party administration of any level. See Article 13.4.xvi-xvii of the APC Constitution. Realising their mistakes, they complicated things further by converting all of them to caretaker committees. They took over the governing of the party, meaning that APC at all levels is governed by unelected members illegally taking executive decisions on behalf of the party. They even went further to be signing INEC nomination forms for members who won their primary elections. They have extended their tenure for two times now. They are now full blown administrators of the party. This is not only unconstitutional and illegal but dangerous.
Justice Mary Odili of the Supreme Court, in the case of Jegede v. Akeredolu, in her lead minority judgment, that was split 4-3, was of the opinion that Article 17(4) of the APC Constitution draws strength from Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution. Therefore when the second respondent (APC) put up a person not qualified to author its nomination by virtue of the provision of Article 17(4) of its Constitution and Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution to do so, that document has no validity, and thereby void”. She noted that the implication was that the nomination and candidacy of Akeredolu and his Deputy was a complete nullity and the party should live by the consequences of its lawlessness. Note that the majority judgment did not disagree on the import of Article 17(4) and Section 183, but struck down the appeal on the non-joinder of Mai Buni, whom they deemed a necessary party, for the determination of the case. Had Buni been joined, the outcome may have been different. Satan will certainly be wiser next time to ensure perdition.
Escaping these booby traps is easy if the Party is committed to the solution. The NEC has the power to summon an emergency Convention within 7 days and elect the members of the NWC. See Article 25.A.ii of APC Constitution. If the logistics of a National Convention is difficult to achieve within 7 days, NEC can meet and elect an interim NWC, pending the next Convention, and ensure that it doesn’t contain any elected member of the executive of government. They need not dissolve the CECPC, but must regard it as an Ad-hoc Committee with powers to organise the National Convention only, and should be renamed a Convention Planning Committee (CPC)
We must point out that Mai Buni has taken the Party to the next level with the entrance into the Party of 3 elected governors and many Legislators and deserve commendation. However, any administrative action he may take on behalf of the Party may come to nought. His action may be likened to a beautiful, articulate judgment written by a brilliant Judge without jurisdiction which comes to nought. Democracy ensures rule of law not individuals. The cardinal question is really not whether his actions may come to nought or not but whether a ruling party should subject its destiny to uncertainties when it has a lot of alternatives. What if APC takes the risk of allowing the CECPC to perform the functions of a governing organ under the leadership of a serving governor only to find out that his actions were null and void after all its primaries, meaning that the Zamfara fate will befall the entire party. Isn’t this going into perdition? I even shudder at the prospects.