President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday declared his backing for aggrieved members of the All Progressives Congress who opted to sue the party for being dissatisfied with its decisions.
The President said the courts remained the last option for the amicable resolution of disputes, hence he insisted that the party must allow the aggrieved members to fully explore their democratic and legal rights.
It is yet another sign of the deepening disagreements within the fold of the ruling party.
The APC has been battling post-primary election crises, amid fears that the development may rub on its chances at the 2019 polls.
The National Chairman, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, in particular, has been pitted against some state governors, who are reported to be bent on removing him before the polls.
The party has also suffered a gale of defections across the states and the National Assembly, where there is now a real threat of losing the majority position in the House of Representatives.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, expressed Buhari’s backing for the decision of aggrieved members to approach the courts.
The statement quoted Buhari as saying, “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.”
Buhari, who also cited the threat issued by the National Working Committee of the APC last week, said he did not agree with the position of the party’s leadership.
The NWC had warned, “The party intends to activate constitutional provisions to penalise such members as their action is capable of undermining the party and hurt the party’s interest.
“We hereby 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.”