Okoi Obono-Obla, Special Assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on (Prosecution), Federal Ministry of Justice, has encouraged members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) support Bisi Akande as the Chairman of the Party’s National Reconciliation Committee.
Obono-Obla made this known in an opinion piece published on Thursday and said members should avail themselves the opportunity provided by the Committee to go there and table their grievances.
He also said hardworking and dedicated party men and women must be rewarded with an appointment, and they shouldn’t be sidelined under any guise.
“I have repeatedly expressed the opinion that the tendency of APC members to always rush to file lawsuits in the Court whenever they disagree with one other or aggrieved over a decision taken by the Party hierarchy is wrong. These spates of litigations are disruptive of good Party administration. It smacks of indiscipline and portrays the Party as disorderly and in disarray.
“Disagreement arising from diverse tendencies or varied opinions is bound to happen in any organization. It is a natural course of event expected in any political party or community. However, when such disagree occur the political party should be the first port of call for any aggrieved member to settle such disagreement amicably.
“It should not be the Court of Law. Ordinary Courts should not assume jurisdiction to settle political disputes. This is because the Court of Law is not the ideal place for the settlement of political disputes. This is because political disputes are political disputes, not legal disputes.
“When the political dispute is legally settled they are festering sore. Court decisions or judgments are one-sided; it is the winner takes all. But political settlements are ideal to settle political disputes.
“This is why when we were writing the APC Constitution during the Merger Talk in 2013, we inserted Article 21 (D) (iv) of the APC Constitution, 2013 (as amended) barring any Member of the Party from filing an action in court without first exploring and exhausting the avenues for redress provided in the Constitution
“Accordingly, Article 21 (D) (iv) of the Constitution stipulates that any member who rushes to court without availing himself or herself of this conflict resolution mechanisms provided in the Constitution shall be automatically expelled from the Party.
“A Political Party is a voluntary association. So when you join a Political Party and subscribe to its membership, you have surrendered or subsume your rights to the Party and it is, therefore, required that you will subject yourself to the dictates of such a party including accepting majority decisions handed down by the Party (no matter how unpalatable).
“This is precisely what Chief Bisi Akande, Chairman of APC National Reconciliation Committee is talking about in his Statement which is reproduced below. Members are encouraged to submit a memorandum on how disputes at the Ward, Local Government Area, State and National should be settled. I have accordingly submitted a memorandum on the crisis that has torn apart the Cross River State Chapter of the Party, since 2015.”