Since last month when the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, threw cautions to the wind, with the unconstitutional replacement of Late Prince Abubakar Audu with Alhaji Yahaya Bello, his utterances has continued to generate questions on his sanity. His chat with some APC leaders from Kogi East on Thursday, December 17, 2015, remains the loudest signal is a heavily challenged mind on the part of the APC’s helmsman.
Mr Oyegun said at the meeting which took place at the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja, that the party is still making moves to reconcile those aggrieved with the choice of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the party governorship candidate in Kogi State.
Oyegun, said the party settled for Bello with the PDP in mind, adding that the APC was aware that whatever decision it came up, somebody will be offended.
According to him, “INEC asked us to replace the late Prince Abubakar Audu, The party opted for something can we defend better if they go to court. That was the basis of our decision. But of course it created understandable anguish.
“We took the decision knowing fully well that someone was bound to get offended. And we were very conscious of the very peculiar circumstance of a group that was on the doorstep of victory. So in the circumstance, we did what we interpreted legally as the best way out of the logjam we were in, always having our eyes on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and what they may likely bring up in court”
“So what we are trying to do is to say we know you are badly bruised, we hope tempers are cooling down. We hope we can now talk about the next steps that will restore some semblance of normalcy all over Kogi State.
“In politics, everybody works for his own inheritance. It is not passed on from father to child. Of course the father can help the child and no question about that. The child can benefit from the father’s influence, personality and the rest. But he has to earn it. Politics is not an inheritance.”
My natural first reaction on reading the report was approach the Google Search Engine for his biography so as to know his level of education. The reason is not far fetched, the baby of my house, who is in secondary school will naturally reason deeper than Oyegun did.
Oyegun with his assertion did not only betrayed his personal capacity as a shallow thinker, but on equal velocity, he did succeed in telling the word that his party, the APC lacks sound counsel.
This is because the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is unambiguous on issue relating to the matter at hand.
Section 179 and 181 of the 1979 constitution (as amended) were eloquent enough to alley the alleged fears of Mr Oyegun if truly he was concerned with legality.
Section 179 clearly provided for a situation where we have two or more contestants in an election. Subsection two says a candidate will be adjudged to have won if (1) he wins majority of votes (2) He scores a quarter votes in two-third of the Local Government Areas, condition Audu/Faleke met on the 21st of November.
Section 181 also cleared the air on what should be done if a contestant dies before he is sworn in. That section says the deputy will take over.
With the above provisions clearly spelt out in the Nigerian constitution, one can not but wonder which other legal security Oyegun was seeking, that led him and his party into this grave error.
One disturbing fact is Oyegun insistence that it will not speak well of the party to reverse a decision it took in error.
The constitution has foreseen this kind of error and it has addressed it in section one (1) The section which declares the supremacy of the constitution, maintains in sub.section 2 that if any other law or resolution is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution, the constitution shall prevail, and any such law or resolution shall to the extent of its inconsistency be void.
In this light I which to counsel Mr Oyegun to follow the part of honour and of legality by retracing his steps. Let him restore the stolen mandate of James Abiodun Faleke
– Stanley Ajileye writes from LokojaShare this on WhatsApp