Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum has accused the federal government of clandestine move to support the Boko Haram insurgents in their renewed bid to unleash mayhem in the North-east zone.
The leaders in a one-page statement entitled ‘Boko Haram: FG Killing Us Softly’, alerted Nigerians and the international community of the relentless efforts of the federal government to provide support for the dreaded Boko Haram sect in their continued killings of the people of Nigeria.
The Forum in the statement jointly signed by the quintet of Yinka Odumakin (South West);
Gen CRU Ihekire (South East); Senator Bassey Henshaw (South South) and Dr. Isuwa Dogo (Middle Belt) yesterday declared that the Buhari regime had decided to recycle 606 Boko Haram activists under the repulsive OPERATiON SAFE CORRIDOR “as if in protest against President Trump placing some bounty on the head of Shekau, Boko Haram Leader.”
According to the leaders, reintegrating terrorists who were still causing funerals daily was creating unsafe corridor and a backhand service for evil.
They stressed that “the fresh batch of 606 Boko Haram fighters is to be reunited with their families after undergoing so-called rehabilitation under federal government’s Operation Safe Corridor.”
The leaders expressed concern that while the parents of Leah Sharibu was quoted recently to have said the President called the family only after seven months after her abduction, the Buhari administration is now openly cuddling the evil group.
“The insensitivity of the administration in its dealings with Boko Haram has only confirmed what we have gathered from those who shared detention facilities with the Boko Haram terrorists that they are treated like Very Important Personalities (VIPs) with cable television sets in their cells and allegedly getting married in their supposed detention.
“The whole world must now ask this government to tell us the pact it has with Boko Haram to be lionising terrorists this way.
To continue with this is to be telling Nigerians to see the finger of the government in every blood the group sheds”, the Forum said.
Banire: Oshiomhole Guilty of Same Breach of Party’s Constitution
A former Legal Adviser to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire has said that the National Chairman of the party is guilty of the same breach of the party’s constitution and non-adherence to the rule of law that he is acusing other party members of.
Banire stated this at the London studio of Arise TV in an interview on The Morning Show, yesterday, saying he would not be able to comment on the court cases because it would be subjudice, but stated that the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was a victim of his creation and should resign honourably, “even if it is to save the party.”
Oshiomhole had said after the Federal High Court in Abuja suspended him as chairman of the APC that it would not hold neither can the Edo State APC suspend him, since he was elected by 7000 delegates to the National Convention.
He subsequently went to the Federal High Court in Kano where the suspension was lifted and all parties were told to maintain the status quo.
Regardless, Banire said, “It is interesting that the chairman can purport to be stating the position of the law and wanting its applicability. As far as I’m concerned, like I said, the issue touches on the substansive matter before the court and as a lawyer, I regard it as subjudice and may not be able to say much about it, but I know as a matter of fact that the same allegation he is making now is the same himself has been perpetrating in office as the chairman.
“I’ll give you an example, I read in the social media recently that some appointments were made of national officers. Of course that is inconsistent, it can never be correct. If you look at Article 20 of the party constitution, for example, it talks about the fact that all national officers of the party must be democratically elected by the convention after normination under Article 31, but what is being done now is an infraction of the constitutional provision.
“Again, some few months ago, this same chairman presiding over the National Working Committee purported to have suspended two governors as members of the party and, I think the Deputy National Chairman and one other person. These are complete constitutional aberration. So, if you have chosen to continuiously violate the constitution, it does not lie morally in your mouth to start complaining about somebody else violating the constitution.”
He said if the interpretation of the Edo people is that “you registered with us, so we can de-register or suspend you, well the court will determine the propriety or otherwise of that argument. But the reality is that being a national officer of the party is quite distinct from being a member of the party. They are two diferent things. But if you look at Article 31 of APC constitution, it says, of course for you to be a national officer, or to even be an officer of the party at all, you must first and formost be a member of the party. So, the question is if, for example, you are suspended as a member, can you continue in the light of that to be the national chairman? That is an issue for the determination of the court. The argument of the chairman is neigther here nor there, depending on the school of thought. Basically, the genesis of the crisis is the lack of adherence to rule of law and the constitution of the party, which has become a habit and it is now haunting the party badly. If an emergency rescue or surgery is not done, that might be the end of the party itself.”
According to Banire, “In as much as I’d like to refrain from the matter before the two court now, all I can is that as far as I know, the earlier order given by the FCT High Court, rightly or wrongly, out not to be discharged by the other court (Federal High Court, Kano).
But because I haven’t read the judgement of the Federal High Court in Kano, I may not be able to comment, because the reporting at time could be faulty, but I know the only way the order could have been vacated would be by way of an appeal. But the truth of the matter is that, I may be constrained to comment on it because it may be subjudice, in terms of the substance the entire thing boils down to the issue of the rule of law, particularly within the party, the compliance with the party constitution, which the court over time have been warning political parties to continuously adhere to.”
Banire insisted he may not be able to comment so much on what the situation of the constitution of the party is viz a vis the suspension at the Ward level and the court’s suspension.
He said, “Pending the final determination by the court, I think the reality, in my own view beyond even the various suspensions, is that there is a major challenge within the hierarchy and the leadership of the party presently.”
On the challenges of internal democracy within the APC, Banire said provisions like Article 13 of the APC constitution which empowers the National Convention to elect or remove national officers and Article 2 establishes its supremacy and there is also provision for disciplinary proceedures stipulated in Article 21b, how disciplinary committee should be constituted and how that could move up to the National Convention where decisions are binding all parties involved in dispute.
This process is hardly followed because APC members rush to court without exploring the insternal structure of the party.
Reacting, he said, “The truth of the matter is that, there is such provisions in the constitution but the court have said that part of their constitution, that particular provision is unconstitutional. So, it is as good as a dead provision in the APC constitution.
“The implication is that an aggrieved member of the party can approach the court without exhausting any domestic remedy.”
He said the issue of internal democracy had been a major challenge in the APC for a long time. Undoubtedly, it has caused the party a lot in recent time, in very embarrassing manner. The same lack of internal democracy is hurting the party very badly.
“Apart from Zamfara, we saw what happened in Rivers State, even in Bayelsa, you cannot rule it out, particularly in the matter of screening. What has happened under this administration is that there have been major violations of the party’s constitution in several regards, particularly right from internal democracy to even composition of bodies, procedures and processes.”
He gave an example with the primaries done in 2019 when “the party chose to adopt, in one breath indirect primaries for some states and in another direct primaries for other states, which is against the tenets of the party’s constution,” saying no uniform methodology or level playing field.
He called on Oshiomhole to step down and for an emergency national executive council meeting of the party to be held to forge a way out of the challenges bedeviling it.