By James Sowole in Akure and Yinka Kolawole
Governors of three South-west states of Ondo, Ogun and Osun, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Dapo Abiodun and Gboyega Oyetola, respectively, have called for the continued re-evaluation of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to reflect its democratic tendencies, where members practice and ensure internal democracy.
The governors stated this at the APC Constitution Review (South West Stakeholders Meeting) held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State yesterday, noting that it was time to tinker with the Constitution to make the party more potent and acceptable to the people.
While emphasising the importance of the review, Akeredolu said rules and regulations guiding a party like the APC must be dynamic and not static.
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Richard Olatunde and made available to newsmen in Akure yesterday, Akeredolu noted that the Constitution of the party must be reviewed for obvious reasons.
He pointed out important areas that should be looked into including the constitution of the Board of Trustees (BOT), mode of primary elections, emergence of delegates among other areas.
Akeredolu disclosed that the governors and other stakeholders of the party in the Southwest had resolved to set up a committee to present the position of the Southwest APC to the Constitution Review committee.
He commended the National Caretaker Committee of the Party led by the Chairman and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni for the vision to hold the exercise.
The Ogun State Governor in his speech noted that it was time to tinker with the Constitution to make the party more potent and acceptable to the people.
“It is important that we come together to appraise ourselves as members of this great party, and, even look critically at the structure of our party. This will give us the opportunity to evaluate the journey so far. It is a period of self-examination.
“ In doing this, the Constitution of our party is a vital instrument that we must continuously re-evaluate. If we must prove to others that we are true democrats, we must be seen as practising and ensuring internal democracy even within the party”, he said.
The Governor said there were bound to be disagreements on issues concerning the party, adding however that no matter how tough the disagreement might seem, what mattered was the ability of members to resolve misunderstandings, learn from the mistakes and move forward”.
According to Governor Abiodun, “At this meeting, therefore, we should be able to resolve all our disagreements and chart a course for the progress of our great party in the South-West”.
The Governor of Osun State, Alhaji Gbeyega Oyetola, in his speech, said the meeting is a response to the growing agitation of members for the reform of the party, adding that it was an opportunity to listen and learn from each other for the progress of the party.
The former Governor of Ogun State and Chieftain of the party, Chief Olusegun Osoba, called on the Committee to ensure that internal democracy remained the cardinal principle of the at all levels.
Chairman of the APC Constitution Review Committee, Prof. Tahir Mamman, assured that the Committee would take into consideration all views generated from the zone.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the Chairman of the party in Ogun State, Chief Yemi Sanusi, noted the need to reshape the current constitution which had been in existence since the formation of the party in 2013, and called on the leaders to look at ways of coming up with a constitution that would make the party stronger.