For a long time now, the Houses of Assembly in two states of the federation have been in the news for wrong reasons. We are talking, of course, about the crisis in the Edo and Bauchi states’ Houses of Assembly. Many of the lawmakers of the two states are angry that they were schemed out of their respective Houses by minority members in connivance with their governors, vowing not to rest till justice is done.
Well, amidst the wrangling and various legal battles, a ray of hope has emerged from the Presidency. In a move that must have caught no a few people on the wrong track, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja said he would work with the relevant constitutional bodies to resolve the crises rocking the Houses of Assembly in Bauchi and Edo states.
The president said this when he received members of the Bauchi House of Assembly and other stakeholders at the Presidential Villa. “I am aware of the problem in Edo and Bauchi states and I try to appreciate my position as the President, the political situation vis a vis the constitution of our country, the role of the commissioners of police and the party. I always like to be on the side of the constitution,” he said.
The president said he would liaise with the Minister of Justice when sworn-in and the Inspector General of Police to ensure that the rights of the constituencies and individuals were not abused in any form.
He also urged the lawmakers not to give up their rights and the rights of those who elected them.
The president also called on the lawmakers not to compromise on their individual integrity so as not to divide the House of Assembly and the party.
The party members, led by the national chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, had briefed the president on events leading to the crisis in the state House of Assembly.
This is a step in the right direction. Given that the long-drawn crisis in Edo and Bauchi appear to be threatening to boil over and possibly lead to unexpected outcome, the president’s forthcoming intervention is a very welcome development. By this move, the president has shown that he can be proactive and decisive when ever he feels obliged to act accordingly. It is now left for the warring factions to embrace this golden opportunity for peaceful resolution of the absorbing battles.
On party supremacy…
There is a time for everything under the sun, so the saying goes. A time to rest and a time to work. A time to be aloof and a time to work. A time to sit on the fence and a time to be fully involved. A time to leave your party men and women have a ball to their heart’s content and a time to be more conscious of happenings and party interests.
For President Muhamadu Buhari, this is one such time. A time to pay more attention to the affairs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), that is. And this is not only authoritative but is straight from the mouth of none other than the president. On Wednesday, the president assured members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he would be more conscious of the interests of the party in taking key decisions.
Receiving members of the NWC of the APC at the State House in Abuja, the president pledged to uphold party supremacy. He commended and the national chairman of the party Mr Adams Oshiomhole and other members for their sacrifices and overall success in the last general elections in the country.
“It is obvious that the success of the party was more paramount in your hearts. You could have deployed the times and energy you deployed for the party for your own personal use,” he said. ‘‘I respect the sacrifices you are making; you can only derive satisfaction if you are working for your country and all our people because, materially, nobody can pay you for the sacrifices.”
The president appealed to NWC members to abide by the constitution of the party, stressing that “it is not enough to just criticise certain decisions of the party without first understanding what the constitution says.”
The president assured the NWC that competent members with the requisite experience would be invited to contribute their quota to nation-building as heads and chairmen of boards of governmental parastatals and agencies.
The president’s words to the party chieftains must have been sweet music to their ears. With the general elections over and with his newly appointed cabinet about to be inaugurated so as to pilot the affairs of the country to the next level, the president will no doubt have some time to poke into APC’s affairs after all, he is the party’s overall leader. And given the fact that he appreciates the sacrifices been made by the party’s chieftains, it goes without saying that things would get better in the next coming years.
Earlier on, the national chairman of the party Mr Adams Oshiomhole congratulated the president on the electoral victory. He said the NWC was meeting with him exclusively for the first time after the elections.
Oshiomhole said while it was regrettable that the party lost some states, the greatest victory of the APC was in Kwara and Gombe states.
‘‘In Kwara, we uprooted the ruling dynasty and inaugurated absolutely loyal and totally committed APC men at the helm of affairs,’’ he said. Commending the unique leadership style of the president, Oshiomhole thanked president for his unflinching support that ensured the success of the party in holding the principal offices of the 9th National Assembly.