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APC Set To Scrap BoT

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Indications emerged yesterday of frantic moves and high-power scheming within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to whittle down the influence of its Board of Trustees (BoT) ahead of the party’s forthcoming national convention.

According to findings, the latest plan being hatched is to totally scrap the BoT and replace it with a leaner and more amenable body that would function in that capacity without the enormous powers of the board as presently constituted and prescribed by the October 2014 constitution of the party.

THE PLATFORM NEWS gathered from dependable sources within the party that the BoT which serves as the eye and conscience of the party is to be replaced with a body under a suggested name of ‘Elders Forum.’

One of the sources, a senior party official who preferred not to be named in print, hinted that the principal reason why the party leadership as presently constituted is averse to a powerful BoT as provided by the constitution is to avoid what played out in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where its BoT almost hijacked the party machinery from the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Working Committee (NWC).

The source further said that the convention will now provide the avenue for the amendment of the relevant constitutional provisions that empower the BoT with a view to stave off any untoward clash of interest and powers among the NEC, the NWC and the BoT.

According to Article 13.2 of the current APC Constitution, which has to do with powers and tenure, part of what is expected of the BoT is “to be the embodiment of the conscience, the soul and the sanctity of the Party and shall be the mirror of the highest standard of morality in the party and shall intervene in all disputes and crisis in the Party to ensure its stability at all times.

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“Act as arbitrators and mediators in disputes and ensure the enforcement of discipline in accordance with the Constitution of the Party; convene the National Convention of the party with the concurrence of two thirds (2/3) of its membership, where there is any situation that prevents the National Executive Committee from functioning; and regulate its own proceedings and shall draw up a Code of Conduct for its members and public/party office holders to observe”, among others.

In a telephone interview with THE PLATFORM NEWS, the national vice chairman (South) of the party, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, while giving insight into the issue said that all political parties are dynamic and therefore, their workings must not necessarily be viewed via the same prism.

Eta who is also a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) said: “It should be clearly known that political parties are dynamic and are not operating with the same modus operandi. In the thinking of the NEC, it was necessary to prune down its (BoT) size and have a leaner, more vibrant group which is open to all who genuinely strive to become members and not necessarily former political office holders as prescribed by the constitution currently in use.”

“Furthermore, the last ruling political party had BoT as its nomenclature and that doesn’t mean we should adopt the same nomenclature,” he added.

The APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had while inaugurating the constitution review committee said, “Some of you will recall that at the last meeting of the NEC of the party, decisions were taken that necessitated a review of aspects of the constitution of the party, particularly with respect to a rejigged, so to speak, new thoughts like the kind, size and structure of the BoT that this party should have. And so that is the principal trigger for the constitutional review.

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“I will expect that at the end of the exercise we will have a leaner, trimmer and more focused (party leadership), in terms of objectives of the party’s BoT or by whatever name you may recommend that it should be called.”

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