APC To Amend Constitution
· Party Changes Slogan From Change, To Progress
· Expand Platforms For Participation Of Critical Groups Such As Women, Youth, And Persons With Disabilities
· Changes Title Of Board of Trustees (BoT) To National Advisory Council (NAC)
· Clarify Powers Of NEC And NWC
· The Plot Against Tinubu
About two weeks to the proposed national convention of the The All-Progressives Congress (APC), the party has announced plans to amend some sections of its constitution.
This development was announced in a statement by the interim National Secretary of the party, John Akpanuodehede, in Abuja on Friday.
The governing party said it arrived at the decision after considering the relevance of its constitution to the current realities within its fold.
The APC constitution took effect in 2014, a year after the successful merger of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and a faction of the All-Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA.).
Some sections of the document were amended in October 2014 during the tenure of John Odigie-Oyegun as national chairman.
Since its emergence as the ruling party in 2015, the party has witnessed a series of internal crises, some of which have been directly linked to obvious gaps in its constitution.
Consequently, the progressives and patriots, determined to render service at all levels of governance; and to build a nation which will guarantee equal opportunity for all, mutual and peaceful coexistence, respect and understanding, eliminating all forms of discrimination and social injustice among Nigerians, rendering selfless service that will rekindle a deep sense of patriotism and nationalism; hereby make, enact and give the following Constitution to ourselves for effective governance of our Party and promotion of its ideals, aims, and objectives.
“In accordance with Article 30 (iii) of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) Constitution, the Governor Mai Mala Buni-chaired Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) has served a notice of proposed amendments to the Party’s Constitution on members of the National Convention.
“Article 30 (iii) stipulates that the notice is served at least fourteen (14) days before the date of the National Convention at which the proposed amendments are to be considered.
“APC Constitution 2014 has been in effect for almost eight years and together with judgments from Courts of competent jurisdiction, administrative experiences have revealed flaws in the Constitution.
It became imperative to conduct a review of the Party’s Constitution,” Mr Akpanudodehe said.
The party statement also said it established a Constitution Review Committee under the chairmanship of Tahir Mamman (SAN), “to thoroughly review the Constitution in accordance with Article 30 which provides for Constitutional amendments.”
It said the committee adopted an all-inclusive approach which led to the draft proposals.
The amendments being proposed by the Governor Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee are in the areas of the organs of the party, fair distribution of income among its structures nationwide and creation of zonal congresses.
Altogether, there are 21 items spread across 33 Articles of the Constitution that will be amended, according to the document containing the proposed areas of amendment. Also, there are at least 25 new provisions being introduced in the Constitution, especially in terms of functions and functionality of party organs, while some sections were also expanded to accommodate other realities.
Among the striking provisions in the proposed amendments is the request for a switch of the party’s slogan from “Change” to “Progress.”
Recall that the APC to amend constitution and rode to power in 2015 through its promises of “Change” across all sectors, a campaign promise some Nigerians believe have not been kept, given the prevailing insecurity and other economic inconsistencies
The party is also proposing a change in the title of its Board of Trustees (BoT) in Article 11 of its existing constitution to the National Advisory Council (NAC).
The functions of the organ remain the same although the party has not appointed members of the Board since it was floated in 2013.
The APC is also proposing the creation of Zonal Congresses.
This will be in addition to the State, LGA and Ward levels of congresses its members are familiar with.
With this, the zonal leaders will be elected at the zonal congress.
The proposed Zonal Congress shall be for each of the six geo-political zones of the country, comprising its chairman, past zonal chairmen, serving and past governors, senators among others.
Also in the proposed amendment, the party expanded the composition of the zonal executive committee, state, LGA and ward to mandatorily include persons with disabilities.
There is a provision for a new wing for women, youth and persons with disabilities in the party, among others being introduced in Article 12 of the Constitution.
Some political analysts believe some of the proposed amendments to the constitution is aimed at reducing the influence of former Lagos State Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Going by the Proposed amendments to the APC Constitution released by the Mai Mala Buni-led committee yesterday, they seek to eliminate the serving and former members of Senate and House of Reps from the future APC national convention.
Political observers strongly believe that this is targeted at reducing the potential delegate vote of Tinubu during the party’s presidential primary elections due before the end of 2022.
It is believed that Tinubu has many supporters in the National Assembly which spread across the six geopolitical zones as well as former lawmakers.
It was said that some anti-Tinubu APC Governors raised the idea since none of them is sure of the extent of the APC Leader’s strength in swinging the APC presidential primary in his favour given Tinubu’s history of exercising heavy strategy and political strength in past elections, more importantly how Tinubu and others mobilized delegates in favour of President Buhari during the 2014 APC convention at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos where Buhari came first, Kwankwaso second and Atiku came third despite all the financial resources Atiku and others deployed in the middle of voting during the 2014 Convention