A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Kawu Baraje has threatened to leave the party if issues, which made him and some leaders to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are not quickly resolved.
Baraje said the ruling party has lived below expectation since it took over the reins of government on May 29, 2015.
He announced the formation of New PDP, in 2013, which led to five serving governors of the then ruling party to eventually align in the formation of the APC.
“If I have to be grateful to any political party, I think, it is the PDP and if I can leave that party, then you will know that the party had gone seriously against my principles of life,” he told newsmen in Ilorin yesterday. “If I can leave the PDP because of impunity, lack of respect for the rule of law, then, do I want to continue in another party that way? But it has not got to that level. That is why we are sounding a note of warning that gradually some of these problems are creeping into the APC.” He said most of the problems confronting the APC were self-created. “Most of the distractions were created by APC itself. For instance, Senate President Bukola Saraki, who is heading an important arm of government, is not getting the necessary support from the party,” he said.
On the current situation of things in the country, he said: “I belong to the group that is not satisfied with the performance of the party… we are not happy with the performance of our party. I am not a prophet of doom, neither am I a political prostitute. Are you happy going to queue up for up to two to three hours? Are you happy that electricity is not functioning well and people sleep in darkness?”
“What we are saying is that majority of Nigerians are not happy and we need to make them happy.”
…We’ll ensure strict compliance with rule of law – Banire
From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The position of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the ongoing trial of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) and the recent Panama Paper is that the rule of law must prevail.
National Legal Adviser of the party, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), disclosed this yesterday in Ibadan in an interview with newsmen after he presented two bills – Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill and Whistleblower Bill, to the Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr. Michael Adeyemo.
The bills, sponsored by the United Action for Change (UAC), seeks domestication of the FOI Act in Oyo State because challenges have been identified in the operation of the act as it exists at the federal level. The bills proposed for the state have taken care of the defects identified in the federal law.
Banire, who is the convener of UAC and former commissioner for environment in Lagos State, stated that the party would not influence the decision of CCT on Saraki or any other court in favour of anybody, adding that people should also know that Saraki is presumed innocent until proved otherwise by a competent court.
He said: “The strict position of APC is that the rule of law must prevail at all times, regardless of whose ox is gored. People expected APC, for instance, to influence the decision of the court on the governorship elections in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and other States. But we said those days were gone. Whatever the courts deem fit to decide, let them decide.
“We are not going to influence anything because we should be a government of change. If you want to effect changes, all those little things matter a lot.”
Banire, however, described as a question of morality, the call by some Nigerians that Saraki should step down the way immediate past Prime Minister of Iceland, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, did last week amid mounting protests and calls for his resignation after leaked documents from a Panamanian law firm revealed his links to an offshore company.
“The issue of stepping down is a question of morality; it is not known to the law. By the constitution, the man is presumed innocent until finally convicted by a competent court. Pending that time, you can’t do anything about him. In terms of morality, of course, you can say he should step aside. It depends on the school of thought and which side of the divide you are.”
Speaking on the bills, Banire disclosed that a federal legislation does not have a nationwide application because it is in the residual list of the constitution, not an item under the exclusive legislative list or concurrent list.
Adeyemo, who received the two bills on behalf of the lawmakers at their caucus meeting, promised that the house would give the bills the right of passage, adding that the state needs the laws to expose corruption and protect whistleblowers. But he noted that if the house pass the bills into law, signing of the bills into law and implementation would be the prerogatives of the executive arm of government.