NASS At ‘War’ With Buni Over ‘Ploy To Get Rid Of Legislators’ At APC Convention - Matrixliveng
NASS At ‘War’ With Buni Over ‘Ploy To Get Rid Of Legislators’ At APC Convention

NASS At ‘War’ With Buni Over ‘Ploy To Get Rid Of Legislators’ At APC Convention

By Celestine Ajayi

National Assembly members elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, are at war with the National Caretaker Committee, led by Mai Mala Buni, over the proposed amendment seeking their exclusion as statutory delegates from the party’s National Convention.

Buni-led committee had issued a notice for constitution amendment to be undertaken during the convention to be held on February 26.

One of the proposed amendments would exclude members of the National Assembly on the platform of the party from being statutory delegates unless appointed by senior members (principal members) of the National Assembly.

The development is being seen as an attempt to muzzle a key caucus and whittle down their influence not only during conventions but in their respective states.

So many states are embroiled in crises due to the struggle for control of party machineries and constitution of convention delegates.

Notably, Kano, Cross River, Delta, Imo, Jigawa, Taraba, Zamfara, Kaduna and Gombe states are some of the states where state governors are having running battles over control of the party.

The APC NASS members have therefore declared the proposed amendment as undemocratic and illogical saying the party can not be different from other parties in the country.One of the members, Mr Olajide Jimoh, representing Lagos Mainland, wrote a letter addressed to Buni on behalf of his colleagues, where he disagreed with the proposed plan to amend 12(i), which has to do with the Convention.

In the letter, he said, “Any attempt to exclude members of National Assembly, individually or collectively, by error of commission or omission will violate the principles of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 Constitution as amended.

“Federal lawmakers or members of National Assembly belong to federal level or national level. As such, they belong to National Convention and must be partakers at all levels.”

He pointed out that members of NASS, both serving and former, have been part of National Conventions, ab initio, and that removing them will make it become too apparent that “you don’t need them”.

He reminded Buni that APC “is not the only registered political Party in Nigeria” as other political parties “have members of the National Assembly as part of their National Convention.”

Jimoh said, “The new proposal only admits former and sitting governors and their deputies, including Secretary to the Federal Government, who was never elected. This is against the norm that allows both former and current National Assembly members. This is not good at all. 

“People must be allowed to participate in convention. The current proposal is not in tandem with democratic ethos; it has semblance of military era. Military will come and suspend the constitution. This arrangement appears to be mooting the idea of suspending the parliament as a whole. This should not have been proposed.

“Why will there be any proposal to exclude both past and current National Assembly members from participating in the convention? And this is the only grouse I have with this proposal.”

He added that, “I completely disagree with the party that they cannot use that on us because it is a ploy to get rid of the legislators. We are representing the national, hence we are called the National Assembly and therefore, we cannot be excluded from the convention.”

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