National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muiz Banire, has called for the prosecution of those he said were violating the party’s constitution.
Banire, who earlier in the week raised the alarm over threat to his life, said he decided to speak out in reaction to calls by family and friends agitated over his safety, his family’s, and property.
“I wish to assure everyone that there is no cause for alarm and that God is still on the throne. Undoubtedly, I know that the truth is bitter but it must still be spoken at all times”, he said
“Let me state that the point of divergence is narrow and straight forward. It is simply divided into two and they are:
“1. As the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC) charged with compliance with the Constitution of the party in the 36 states and the Federal Capital, I have only advised the Lagos State chapter of APC to comply with the mandatory provisions of the Constitution on the emergence of party candidates which require the holding of primaries, once there is dissent by at least a single aspirant, which advice was treated with disdain;
“2. Having treated same as such, I assured the chapter that as a legal practitioner, a Senior Advocate and a bencher, I would not under any circumstance go to court to lie about compliance in the event of any aggrieved aspirant approaching the court. This summarily is my offence!
“It will be recalled that this is not the first time I have demanded this minimum compliance. In 2014, there was total compliance because the national body was primarily charged with the conduct of the primary elections. So many beneficiaries of that open and transparent process are all over different grades of offices, including the Governor of Lagos State.
“In my congratulatory advert of December 5, 2014 addressed to the leadership of the APC after a similar disagreement and sequel to which voice of reason prevailed and our party conducted primary elections for the 2015 general elections, I had the following to say then and it is still apt today.
“I use this opportunity to encourage our party members not to relent in our struggle to ensure that Lagos State and Nigeria attain the next level of irreversible greatness where the interests of all shall be adequately protected. I also appeal to all aspirants to put the heat of the contests behind them as we have bigger challenges to overcome in the general elections. Let us work together as a people to bring the desired change to our dear State and country.
“Hence, I make bold to say that in so far as I remain the National Legal Adviser of this great party, I remain resolute on the subject and no amount of protests, demonstrations, harassment or victimization will make me dump this lofty principle of adherence to the rule of law. In the past few months, APC has lost not less than four cases in the Supreme Court in which our candidates victories were nullified due to lack of valid primary election.
“As a democrat and a loyal party member, I state that unlike our brethren who engaged in anti-party activities at the Ondo State gubernatorial election in 2016, I am not interested in the emergence of any particular candidate but the success of the Party in any election. Consequently, I am not in the league of those who violate the constitution of our great party. These violators are those who ordinarily ought to be going through disciplinary process but are still indulged for now.
“Having said this, I also wish to state that I invite the rented demonstrators to the Abuja headquarters of the Party, and possibly, Aso Villa, for further demonstrations. At least, they have unrestricted access to Peoples resources at present. I also wish to appreciate the protesters for helping to escalate the matter to the national level, the concept that has now developed its own life.
“I am not afraid of removal if my acts merits same but I know that it is the violators of our constitution that deserve to be punished. Let me remind them again that I am not a professional politician but a professional in politics. I serve the Party gratuitously in the interest of good governance.
“In summary, it is a call to duty for me to ensure compliance
with internal democracy, that is, NO IMPOSITION OF CANDIDATES. In doing this, I bear no grudge against any person or entity. It is part of our democratic experiment. My request to my teeming admirers is to continue their prayers for me and our members so that we can continue to be guided aright. May God make my detractors understand the message even if they don’t like the messenger which is not compulsory”.