Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has said that members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who were aggrieved over the primaries for the 2019 elections are free to seek redress in court.
The president said this one week after the national working committee (NWC) of the ruling party threatened to punish members who filed legal action against the party.
APC’s NWC had asked aggrieved party chieftains to resolve their disagreement with the party internally.
In a statement, the committee had said:
“We strongly advise such members to withdraw all court cases, while approaching the appropriate party organs with a view to resolving any outstanding disputes.
“In addition to this, aggrieved members are urged to take full advantage of the reconciliation committees the Party has put in place.
“APC members should understand that as a progressive party that operates on the principle of change, it is not a matter of choice to keep to the rules”.
However in a statement by Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s spokesman, quoted the president as saying the courts remained the last option for the amicable resolution of disputes.
The president insisted that the party must allow the aggrieved members to fully explore their democratic and legal rights. He said that:
“We can’t deliberately deny people of their rights. We agreed that party primaries should be conducted either through direct, indirect or consensus methods, and if anyone feels unjustly treated in the process, such a person can go to court.
“The court should always be the last resort for the dissatisfied. For the party to outlaw the court process is not acceptable to me”.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the position of the NWC.
Governors and some members of the national assembly fell out with the NWC led by Adams Oshiomhole after the primaries.