Why we killed tenure elongation for Oyegun, others – Ganduje
Ahead of another emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which is expected to put an end to the ongoing controversy about tenure elongation for party leaders at all levels, Kano state Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said they were against the idea because it will affect the fortunes of the party and portray it as an undemocratic party.
The Governor said he was not part of the tenure elongation idea and said those of them who were not in support of the idea had managed to convince the governors in favour to jettison the idea and embrace an elective convention where new leaders will emerge.
Speaking at an interactive session with a selected group of journalists in Abuja, Ganduje also declared his intention to seek reelection as Kano State governor in 2019, adding that the State has concluded plans to drag President Muhammadu Buhari to court if he fails to seek reelection for a second term.
The governor said the contentious tenure elongation for the party executive will be reversed at the party NEC meeting scheduled for Monday, April 9, 2018 and a committee put in place to conduct congresses to elect leaders at all levels.
He said that the few APC governors who were campaigning for the tenure elongation which he described as “illegal” have been convinced to see reasons why such should not be.
Ganduje also revealed that Monday NEC meeting is expected to decide on date and time table for Congresses and convention of the party which will brings in new set of leaders at all levels.
“Yes, there was controversy on this even though yesterday we were able to put it at rest. But let me tell you the issues involved, those who are advocating for tenure elongation, they are advocating on the premise that when we hold congresses and convention according to their own perception, there will be a lot of problems and that problem will linger into election period. Well that is a perception, it could be that way and it could be that some people wanted to retain power. Therefore that reason biased.
“However, I don’t belong to that school of thought. The constitution of our party has made a provision for four years and at the end of it we have to hold congresses and convention. The constitution of Nigeria has also provided for that, so we have no reason whatsoever.
“If you are saying that there would be some problems, problems are part of ingredients of politics, there is no way you can practice democracy in a developing country without having some problems. There must be problems; there must be divergent views and disagreements. There will never be a time that things will be 100% normal. So even if there is problem, that is part of democracy and we will be able to move forward.
“So for those who thought they would be able to continue, we said no and so I think Mr. President finally hit the nail on the head, by saying that he is not in favour of any tenure elongation.
“Tenure elongation is undemocratic, it may lead us to litigation which will not be good for the party and we are happy that we have convinced the few governors that were for the elongation and on Monday we hope to have our NEC meeting where the previous decision will be reversed and by then timetable will be out for congresses at the ward level, congress at local government level, congress at the state level and finally convention at the national level.
“I think that is the situation and I am happy to say that the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum issued a statement, the chairman of the APC governors Forum also issued a statement and the national chairman of the party Chief John Oyegun made a statement as well to say that all is well.”
Speaking on his decision to seek second term in office, Ganduje said: “In Kano, people are saying four plus four, that is they are urging me to contest again but I too feel that in order to continue with the good development that we have started, development require some time and the constitution has given four years and another four years in order to consolidate what one has started.
“I am convinced that I too will seek for second term and people are also urging me to do so. Eventually it will be left to the people to decide whether I am will qualified or not.”
On why President Buhari must re-contest in 2019, the governor said: “APC governors want Mr. President to continue. I am happy that it is not the president that said he wants to continue, it is the people that are saying continue but Mr. President has not made up his mind yet.
“When he came to Kano, I told him that any time he decides not to contest we will take him to court, Kano state government will take him to court any time he decides not to contest. So we are waiting for him.
“In this country we saw presidents who spent billions of Naira for third term, so what is the ruse about a constitutional second term. Some people who spent billions of Naira in order to go for third term, I think it should not be news or something like that.”