By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Some members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) under the auspice of ‘The 2018 APC Convention Contestants’ Forum’ has called for the quick and credible replacement of vacant National offices in the party’s leadership.
The party members in a letter to the National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomle and its National Leader Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said that members of the Party who should fill such vacant positions must fulfill laid down procedures as enshrined in the party constitution to occupy such offices.
The letter signed by Forum Secretary Hon. Frank Ossai said such persons must have indicated interest in serving the party, “obtained the nomination form, undergone the screening processes of the convention, paid the specified fees and canvassed for votes, and particularly must have been adjudged to be qualified and fit to occupy elective positions during the 2018 elective Convention. “
Ossai noted that it will be against the principles of equity and the spirit of true patriotism on which the party stands, to sideline and marginalize a candidate and member of the party who lawfully participated in an electoral process, painstakingly passed through all its rigors, and eventually came second after the declared winner, at the time when the seat he vied for becomes vacant.
“A great instance is that of the former National Secretary of the Party, His Excellency Mai Mala Buni, who left his former position to contest for the governorship seat of Yobe State and thus, his seat at the National Secretariat became vacant.
“The party’s decision to retain his deputy as acting National Secretary is commendable and widely acceptable. However, the position should be given to persons that contested for the office of the National Secretary at the 2018 APC National Convention.
“The case of Barr. Inuwa Abdulkadir, the sacked National Vice Chairman (North West) who was expelled by the Party for anti-party activities and his continuous unrepentant disposition to caution, it is our expectation and appeal that such a vacant position be meritoriously allocated to whoever is next in line or in pole position to take over. “ Ossai said in the letter.
The letter further reads that the Party has set earlier precedents in addition to a plethora of cases affecting wherein an office becomes vacant, and there’s a party decision to fill such an office with individuals who are either Deputies or persons who have earlier indicated interest and contested for such position.
“The Electoral Act, 2010 as amended in 2015, points to the fact in stating the importance to participate in all the stages of an election, It therefore goes to say that a person cannot validly fill a position if he has not fully participated in the election giving effect to that office such as obtaining the form, paying the necessary fees, undergoing the requisite screening of the party and, most importantly, undergoing the convention of the Party,” Ossai said.
The Forum also frowned at attempts by members of the party from the states which earlier held the positions that are now vacant to lobby the leadership of the Party that they present another candidate from their state to fill the vacancy, stressing that believe that the principle of justice and fairness demands that any candidate that does not participate in any of the election processes should not be made to reap where he or she did not sow.