“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 can go to court.”
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has faulted the order of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which forbade aggrieved members from seeking redress in court.
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Reacting to the recent marching order issued to aggrieved party members with court cases to withdraw them or face, disciplinary action, Buhari if anyone was displeased with the way and manner anything had been done, and felt deprived of his/her rights, such a person was at liberty to approach the courts for remedy.
“We can’t deliberately deny people of 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 can 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,” Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying.
President Buhari, however, advised members to work with the reconciliation committees empanelled for the six geo-political zones by the APC.
He also faulted the claims that they were presidential committees on reconciliation, stressing that the APC was the only body authorised to constitute such committees.
Following the warning issued to the aggrieved members, the APC had set up national peace and reconciliation committees chaired by six governors.
They are Abdullahi Ganduje (South East committee), Kashim Shettima (South West committee), Rauf Aregbesola (South- South committee), Abiola Ajimobi (North West committee), Ibrahim Geidam (North Central committee), and Tanko Al-Makura (North East committee).
In the aftermath of its contentious primary elections, some aggrieved party members across the country had instituted cases over what they perceived as irregularities and injustice.
Among states where the party had pending cases include Osun, Rivers, Ekiti and Cross Rivers.
The party is also facing crisis in states like Zamfara, Ogun and Imo.
The APC, in a decision ascribed to the National Working Committee (NWC) had last week threatened to punish members across the country who had dragged the party to court over various issues.
The ruling party gave the marching order after its emergency NWC meeting at the party’s headquarters in Abuja last Monday.
“The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has frowned at the actions of some party members who have resorted to litigation as a way of addressing their perceived grievances without exhausting the party’s dispute resolution mechanism.
“This growing trend is viewed by the party as a manifest indiscipline. The actions, it should be noted, is considered as anti-party as it goes against our Party’s constitution.
“For emphasis, according to Article 20, Subsection 10 of our party’s Constitution, offences against the party include the following: “Filing an action in a court of law against the party or any of its officers on any matters relating to the discharge of the duties of the party without first exhausting all avenues
for redress provided for in this Constitution. 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.”