President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to grant waivers to serving executive of the party for them to be able to contest in the party’s forthcoming elective convention.
The president had set the tone for an elective convention after declaring the tenure extension initially granted National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other executive at the national, state and local government levels of the party.
The President’s media aide, Garba Shehu, said in a statement that President Buhari made the appeal on Monday during a closed door meeting of the NEC.
He made the appeal while speaking on the report submitted by the APC National Executive Technical Committee.
Buhari said that “considering the provision of Article 31(1)(iii) of the APC Constitution which requires any serving officer desirous of seeking re-election to resign from office 30 days before election, I am not sure of the practicality of present serving officers’ ability to meet this condition.”
Stating his wish to see that current executives are abke to vie for elective positions in the party if they wanted.
He said “the party may consider granting waivers to party executives at all levels so that they are not disenfranchised from participating in the elections should they wish to do so, provided this does not violate our rules.
“Necessary waiver(s) should also be extended to executives at the Ward level whose tenures may have elapsed, and indeed to anyone knocking at our doors from other political parties. This is in the spirit of the Right to Freedom of Association guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”
“In this circumstance, the party should officially issue a statement on the above Waivers so that our house may be full. We all must not be ignorant of the times, and the journey that is ahead of us.”
The president called for unity within the party, stressng that “considering that politics is a game of numbers, we must not be a house divided against itself and must try to note, appreciate and accommodate our differences as far as the law permits.”
He added: “Just like our party symbol; “the Broom,” which typifies strength in unity, let us strive to remain united in our purpose. Victory is sure by the Grace of God, and together we must continue to sanitize Nigeria’s political environment.”
After the address, President Buhari declared his intention to seek re-election in the 2019 presidential election.