By ANDREW ESSIEN,
The leadership of the governing All Progressives Party (APC) has for the past two days been locked in intense meetings ostensibly to fine-tune its preparedness to finally meet President Muhammdu Buhari on a proposed date to hold the much awaited national convention.
LEADERSHIP checks also revealed that part of the amendments by the 10-member Constitution Review Committee (CRC) which submitted 85 proposed amendments to the national leadership are designed to grant more powers to the National Working Committee (NWC).
This, it was learnt, accentuates the intensity of the long-winded meetings, especially as the current leadership has come under constant fire from various interest groups within the party.
After the regular monthly meeting between governors elected on the party’s platform and the NWC recently, it was concluded that the absence of President Buhari in the country was partly responsible for the wedge on the plans to hold the mid-term national convention.
Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, had confirmed this while addressing journalists after the meeting, saying that President Buhari was part of the process to fix the convention date before his sudden departure to the United Kingdom.
On the amendment of the party’s constitution, the Muiz Banire-led CRC report as exclusively sighted by LEADERSHIP showed that the NWC as currently constituted now has the power to discipline any member of the party no matter his status.
The party is also proposing to replace its moribund “Board of Trustees (BoT with an “Advisory Council”.
The implication of this is that when ratified, the council would merely play an advisory role as its decision does not carry a force of law and the party’s national chairman is not bound to accept its advice.
“The party is (a) corporate entity; hence, corporate entities do not require Board of Trustees. The Advisory Council does not give directives”, the report recommended.
Also, if the amendments sail through, “the National Working Committee shall liaise with governments formed by the party at the local government, state and federal levels with a view to ensuring that members of the party are considered for appointments into public offices at the various levels, and shall report same to National Executive Committee periodically”.
The recommendations further strengthen the NWC to now “organize Primary Election for the nomination of its Presidential Candidates, Governorship Candidates and Candidates for election into the National and State Assemblies and local governments/area councils”.
According to the CRC, there has been an abuse of the process at the state level, hence the need to transfer such powers, especially with regards to local government primaries, to the NWC.
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