Former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, yesterday backed the National Leader, Bola Tinubu who accused the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun of breaching the rules guiding the party.
In a statement, Atiku contended that since the APC found veritable reasons to review the outcome of the gubernatorial primary election it conducted in Ondo State, and was able to establish valid grounds to cancel the exercise and order a fresh one, the decision to deviate from its own resolution is a negation of due process and democratic best practices.
“It was wrong for the APC to have set aside a resolution it had reached at resolving the crisis in our party in Ondo State. It is a recipe for acrimony and division,” he said.
According to him, the party leadership should always be guided by respect for rules, fairness, equity, neutrality and democratic consensus.
Charging the APC on the promotion of rule of law and due process in the conduct of its affairs, Atiku maintained that they are germane to the unity and stability of the party. “It is imperative for the national leadership of the party to live by the rules of internal democracy and respect for democratic consensus. You cannot break your own rules without creating problems.”
In the statement by his media office yesterday, Atiku urged aggrieved members of the APC in the Ondo election to exercise restraint in seeking redress, while also urging the leadership of the party to retrace its steps and do “the needful to restore confidence among the conflicting parties.”
It was learnt yesterday that other prominent national leaders of the APC have begun serious consultation that might culminate in the replacement of the party’s governorship candidate in the November 26, 2016 election in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.
Briefing journalists at the National Assembly yesterday, Senator Ibrahim, an APC member from Katsina State assured that the crisis would be resolved before the date of the election.
“The crisis can be managed. We have conscience in the party. The leadership will sit down and if the chairman is shown that he was wrong, we shall reverse it. I am not very sure of what the law says, but I think we have up to two days to election to change a candidate. So the party is not just watching, we are working on how to solve the matter and it will be solved.”
Ibrahim said it was wrong for any party leader to act in a manner that tended to promote the fear of discrimination against some party members.
He said: “Complaints were taken to the appeal committee. The appeal committee made decisions and passed to NCW. But the NWC did not finish their own meeting when the chairman took a different position. So, obviously everybody should get worried because at that point, he failed to be the chairman of the party because the chairman of the party should be neutral, should try to bring people together.
“If the chairman had called all the contestants, sit them down and tried to find a solution, hopefully they won’t even accuse him of anything but if he jumped the gun and then decided to go and make a decision alone while the organs of the party have not taken everybody along, I think that person is not worthy of this kind of leadership.
“He is supposed to be neutral. If I were the chairman, I would call all the candidates, I would call Tinubu, I would call Akande and I would call the conscience of South West in our party to sort it out.”