National Secretariat of Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) today disclaimed the purported removal of former Health Minister, Dr. Tim Menakaya, from the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), insisting that Alhaji Sani Shinkafi who made the declaration has no legal status to do so.
In particular, the Alhaji Sadeeq Masalla-led faction of the party, tendered unreserved apology to Dr. Menakaya, emphasizing that only the National Convention of the party can remove him.
Shinkafi had last week written Menakaya and two other members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), informing them that their membership of the various bodies have ceased.
But, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, the Acting National Secretary of the party in a statement today in Abuja explained that nothing can be farther from the truth.
He maintained that not only was the suspension slammed on Shinkafi by the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) still subsisting, the constitution of the party did not give anybody the right to remove any such top member from his or her position as claimed by Shinkafi.
Okewnna stated that “having been inundated with calls from Party members and the general public following a letter said to be signed by one Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, the suspended National Secretary of our party to the effect that the tenure of membership in the Board of Trustee of the only surviving member of that privileged and respected organ of the party, Dr Tim Menakaya (Ideh) has expired and that our secretariat have written him to that effect”, he was compelled to make the clarification.
“The Secretariat of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, do hereby disown such a letter and further send our sincere apology to Dr Tim Menakaya for such a disgraceful conduct of the suspended National Secretary of our Party, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi.
“It could be recalled that Alhaji Sani Shinkafi has since 16th July 2012 ceased to be The National Secretary of the Party having been suspended alongside the then National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh by a duly convened National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Party over a 13-point allegation bothering on maladministration, corruption, lack of transparency and accountability etc.
“The NEC further set up a Disciplinary Committee in line with the provisions of the Constitution to investigate the allegation against the duo. The Committee has since completed their assignment and their report shall be presented for ratification at the next National Convention of the party.
“It is therefore preposterous for such suspended National Officer to claim to be acting for the party and in that line attempt to insult the only living symbol of that organ of the party, which is indeed the ‘conscience of the Party’ and on whose trust it is to “ensure high morale of members and highest standard of morality in the Party activities”.
“It is to our knowledge that Dr Menakaya’s effort in ensuring highest moral standard in the administration of the party, brought him and other elders and leaders of the Party such unnecessary antagonism and ridicule from Alhaji Sani Shinkafi and Chief Victor Umeh”.
He explained that even though Article 10(10) of the party’s constitution stipulated the membership and composition of APGA-BoT, it did not give Shinkafi or Chief Umeh the right to unilaterally remove such a top party official from office.
Arguing his points further, he stressed that “for eight years, Chief Victor Umeh and Alhaji Sani Shinkafi presided over the party, they failed/neglected to allow the NEC to appoint a 24-man Board of Trustees in line with the provisions of the Constitution of our Great Party.
“That singular act can showed how they operated and/or respected the Party’s constitution. Prior to the NEC meeting that suspended them, all efforts to make Chief Victor Umeh and Alhaji Shinkafi to convene a National Executive Committee meeting for the purposes of appointing Board of Trustee members as well as for constituting other organs in the Party were rebuffed.
“Their refusal stemmed from the fear that as ‘maximum rulers’ the appointment of full membership of these organs would promote internal democracy and cohesion in the party, and could curtail their excessive and unlimited powers”.
Insisting that no officer of the party has the right to suspend or remove any official without due process, the acting National Secretary insisted that it is only the National Convention of the party that can remove any trustee of the party.
“Article 10(10o) does not limit the tenure-ship of a Board of Trustee member to eight years only as Alhaji Shinkafi tries to deceive the public. All the Constitution in this Article state is that the tenure of a BOT member is 4years subject to renewal afterwards. The constitution did not state the number of times such renewal shall be.
“Based on the above and in line with the provisions of this constitution, Dr Tim Menakaya, remains the only member of the Board of Trustee of our Party until such a time the Board is reconstituted by the National Convention.
“And by the provisions of our constitution, he is still eligible and eminently qualified for reappointment and if NEC do recommend him for reappointment, he shall be so reappointed without any constitutional inhibition or breaches”.