…WE DIDN'T MANDATE EX-CHAIRMAN, UME-EZEOKE TO ENDORSE PLAN -ANPP
As the controversies over the proposed six-year single term for the President and governors continue, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), yesterday dissociated itself from the purported recommendation of the plan to the government by its immediate past National Chairman, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke.
Amid criticism of the plan, President Goodluck Jonathan said that the proposal was not his own original agenda, but was mooted by leaders of some opposition parties on the platform of Inter-Party Committee.
However, the ANPP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Emma Eneukwu, exonorated the leadership of the party from such recommendation and that if indeed, Ume-Ezeoke as Chairman, sat on the committee that made the recommendation to the Uwais Panel, he did not have the backing of the appropriate organs of the party.
ANPP said it had checked its records and nowhere was any organ of the party approved such proposal allegedly canvassed by Chief Ume-Ezeoke.
The party noted that it had set up a committee to look into the issue of Constitution amendment and areas for review including the contentious issue of tenure elongation and would come out on its position after the committee had submitted the report.
The statement reads: 'From records available to our great party, none of our relevant decision-making organs namely: the National Working Committee, the National Caucus and the National Executive Committee (NEC) was consulted either before or after such a purported decision was taken ostensibly on our behalf by some members of the former leadership who constituted the Inter-Party Committee.
'As a political party, we consider an issue such as tenure limit for public officers important.
A decision on a matter of such significance to the nation's democratic process should be taken after extensive deliberation and consultation with the relevant echelons of our decision making process.
'Accordingly, we wish to state clearly that as a political party we are not privy to the recommendations of the Inter-Party Committee on the matter and therefore, do not subscribe to any decision reached in that regard on our behalf.
'As is already public knowledge, our great party's National Chairman, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has recently inaugurated a 12-member Nigerian Constitution Amendment Committee which is charged with the responsibility of examining, among others, the issue of tenure limit for public officers as proposed by Mr. President.
'Our position on the matter as a political party will be informed by the recommendations of this committee which will be made public by our National Chairman in due course.
'We wish to reassure all Nigerians that we remain unshakably committed to our strong resolve of playing the role expected of us as a credible opposition political party that will propagate and sustain viable alternatives for good governance and transparent leadership to thrive. In pursuit of this commitment, we pledge that we shall not let our fellow country men and women down,' the statement added.