By Shuaibu Zubair Tatu, Birnin Kebbi
Kebbi State Governor and Chairman, Progressive Governors Forum ( PGF), Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said President Muhammadu Buhari, has not violated the provisions of the 1999 constitution, as amended, by attending the recent National Executive Committee ( NEC), meeting of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), virtually, at the Presidential Villa.
Bagudu, who made the clarification at a media parley in Birnin Kebbi yesterday, said: “Under the Constitution as enshrined in democracy, one can never become a President unless you become a member of a political party that sponsors him or her.
According to the Governor, “President Muhammadu Buhari, has not violated the provisions of the 1999 constitution, as amended, by attending the recent National Executive Committee ( NEC), meeting of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), virtually, at the Presidential Villa.
“The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation,Alhaji Abubakar Malami, SAN, has not breached the provisions of the country’s constitution by attending the meeting, as well as administering the oath of office on the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party.”
Similarly, Bagudu maintained that, the President has never flouted the people constitution of the ruling party, the APC, by attending the meeting
“So, this alleged partisanship which is untrue, is imposed on us by the Nigerian constitution as one can only become elected into the elective positions by being sponsored by a political party.
“If the Constitution has allowed it, President Muhammadu Buhari would have contested and won as an Independent Candidate in 2015,” he said.
The Governor also stated that the President has been virtually attending other routine meetings like the Federal Executive Council and National Economic Council meetings at the Villa, along with the other dignitaries like the Vice President and Governors ,among others .
“Globally also, other party caucuses and other meetings usually hold outside official offices like party Secretariats, and it is not abnormal to do so,” Bagudu, added.
Bagudu also explained that,the President also has an obligation to the party and he has to attend it’s meetings and “pay it’s dues.”
The Governor added that, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General has not violated the Constitution by swearing in the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the APC
He said, “the membership of the party by the President and the Minister is dictated by constitutional requirement,” adding that,nothing stops him from doing so.
Bagudu emphasized that the action of both Mr. President and the Minister of Justice was in line with the constitutional requirement.
” He can do so even if it is a request from an opposition political party that recognizes his position as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria( SAN).
Bagudu further stated that, the ruling party, the APC, will remain the party to beat, even beyond 2023, lnSha Allahu.
The leader of APC Governors” Forum further said that the party would uphold its philosophy of not regarding elections as a do-or-die affair.
Reacting to some rantings by the opoositon that,APC will cease to exist beyond 2023,Bagudu extolled the undying commitment and diligence of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian Project.
He maintained that, the President has improved the economy, while never allowed the 2016 recession to take it’s negative toll on the states by heavily supporting them, to pay salaries .
“On the whole, President Muhammadu Buhari is trying his possible best, to make Nigeria better than he met it in 2015 and so far, so good,” the PGF, averred.
He also debunked rumours that six APC governors were planning to decamp from the party , making it clear that all elected public Officers under the APC believed in its ideology.