Former national Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, Bisi Akande, has warned against settling disputes involving party members in court.
This is coming few days to the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting aimed at finding solutions to the leadership crisis rocking the party. The position of Mr Akande was contained in a statement sent to POLITICS NIGERIA on Sunday morning.
This paper had reported several controversial events before and after the suspension of the party’s national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
The choice of the person to act in the absence of Oshiomhole has also led to a rancour as some want Victor Giadom, the current national secretary to take over the party’s affairs.
Mr Akande said he noticed the increasing number of court cases being filed pertaining to the disputes arising on the leadership of the party.
“Competition and different views on leadership are inherent in political parties. Thus, the fact that all party members do not agree on all things is not abnormal. Politics after all is, in significant degree, the art of resolving conflicts and disputes in a manner that strengthens institutions as well as relationships between the people who share those common institutions,” his statement read.
Speaking on the democratic nature of the party, he advised that those aggrieved should resolve internal conflict through dialogue, deliberation and ultimately through open and transparent voting procedures.
“Consequently, I am a bit taken aback by the swift resort to the courts by some members who seek external decisions on what are intrinsically internal matters best determined by the deliberative process that is part and parcel of democratically-oriented party politics.”
“I do not know the motivations behind this litigious conduct. It is not in my nature to ascribe negative or harmful motives to anyone. Those seeking access to the courts to decide what are basically political questions perhaps think they are doing the right thing. If this is the case, I must state that they are innocently in error.”
“Their actions are harmful to the party in compound ways. First, the subject matter they bring before the court is not amenable to judicial pronouncement. The manner by which court decisions are rendered – one side wins, the other loses – is not the best way to resolve political disputes.”
He also made it known that the National Working Committee, which he heads, was mandated to investigate and submit recommendations regarding the dispute in Edo state involving National Party Chairman Oshiomole and Governor Obaseki as well as inquire into disputes in other states that might weaken the party.
“All party members are aware of this decision. Thus, it runs contrary to the explicit decision of the party and is severely premature for members to seek judicial intervention in areas that form the very subject matter of the special committee’s mandate. To do this even before the committee has had time to do and finish its work not only insults the committee, it offends the NWC, NEC and the entire party.”
“Consequently, I call on all party members to honor the rightful and correct decisions of the party leadership. Members should allow the committee to do its work and should stop seeking judicial intervention in matters under the purview of the special committee until the committee has done its work and the party leadership has acted upon its recommendations. For members to act otherwise would be to discard the party constitution and ignore the tenets of deliberation and compromise upon which all successful political parties are founded.”