Despite Wednesday’s Supreme Court split judgement that upheld the election of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, as winner of the November 20, 2020 governorship poll, which indicated that the caretaker leadership of the party is in error, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has vowed to retain its Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
One of the party stalwarts who is a minister, a lawyer and SAN Festus Keyamo had advised the party to suspend its ward congresses over legal fireworks that may follow but the Buni led caretaker arrangement said there is no going back on APC congresses, despite court verdict
Also Stakeholders of the party, including the Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, Hillard Etta, Festus Keyamo (SAN) and President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior advisers, Babafemi Ojodu and Ita Enang, among others, have reacted to the court’s observation that Buni’s headship of the interim management committee of the party was in violation of Nigeria’s Constitution.
Former Presidential Candidate Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) high chief Peter Ameh said because of Supreme Court judgment on the Status of Mai Buni as National Chairman of APC, one could say that the judgment by extension has technically ruled APC out of Anambra November 6th, 2021 Guber election.
“It is a very simple logic to understand. He can not hold position of the Party’s National Chairman as an elected Governor so even if the APC wins, the election could be nullified on the grounds relating to section 183 of the Constitution of Federal of Nigeria 1999 as amended because you can’t put something on nothing and expect it to stand.
“Everything done under his leadership is now under constitutional question and also subject to litigation and could be reversed in court based on todays judgment of the supreme Court.”
“In fact I believe that the Supreme Court played a fast one on Ondo case for claiming that because he was not joined in the matter.
“Supreme court merely found a technical mechanism in the lacuna and exploited it as escape route to save ONDO STATE FOR APC. That case would have still been determined on merit without joining Buni.
My argument is centered on the point that he signed/approved all document and processes that will lead to placing the APC on the ballot for Anambra November 6th election.
“Section 183 is very clear and unambiguous. Any law that is inconsistent with the provision of the constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended is voided automatically.
“The Provisions of the constitution shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Despite warnings, the APC, yesterday, said its July 31 ward congresses nationwide will hold as planned. The party, at a media briefing held in Abuja, told its members to ignore statements from some of the party leaders calling for the removal of the Buni-led caretaker committee.
Speaking to journalists about the slim victory from the apex court ruling, CECPC Secretary, Akpanudoedehe, faulted notions in some quarters that the court’s observations would affect the ward congresses scheduled to begin tomorrow.
While maintaining that the Supreme Court’s judgment had no bearing on the CECPC’s status and its membership, Akpanudoedehe urged party faithful and aspirants to disregard the speculations and come out en masse to participate in the ward congresses.
Making reference to Keyamo, he explained that in politics, one can win or lose, stressing, “A lot of people have seen that they are in a disadvantaged position in their communities and wards. They want to vent their anger by misinforming the public.
One of those giving party the confidence to go ahead one of APC’s lead counsel, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), gave a legal perspective to the implication of the apex court’s findings on CECPC’s chairman, as he condemned as erroneous the impression that the Buni committee lacks the powers to conduct the party’s congresses.
Akintola, who led the legal team of Governor Akeredolu, maintained that the positions of the CECPC chairman and secretary are sacrosanct, as such “our members should entertain no fears at all. Our candidate in Anambra is also on a firm ground.”
He stated: “The decision of the tribunal upholding the right of any party member, including those holding party offices remain sacrosanct. That position was affirmed by the Court of Appeal. The same position was affirmed by the majority judgment of the Supreme Court. None of the four justices that gave the majority judgment had anything to say concerning the holding of party office concurrently with political offices.
“I was part of the legal team, in fact, number two in the hierarchy of the team of lawyers that defended our party and candidate, the Ondo governor. A minority judgment remains what it is, it has no efficacy. The only value a minority judgment has is for academic and research purposes. You can’t even cite it as an authority.”
Keyamo who was projecting into the future and the wider implications of the Supreme Court decision, Keyamo said there is no doubt that the ruling affects APC, stressing that the party must halt all preparation towards the conduct of the nationwide congresses forthwith.
Nasarawa APC Chairmanship aspirant, Ayewa promises to entrench internal democracy If elected
From Abel Daniel, Lafia
All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairmanship aspirant in Nasarawa State Mr David Ayewa, has promised to ensure internal democracy if elected to lead the party in the state.
Ayewa who is the Executive Secretary of Nasarawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, made the commitment in an interview with newsmen on Wednesday in Lafia.
According to him, the only thing that would ensure that the party continues to win elections is when there is internal democracy.
He said if given the opportunity to be the state Chairman in the forthcoming state congress he would make internal democracy his priority.
Ayewa who was a one-time Chairman of Obi Local Government Area in the state, said the party needed someone with vast experience in the act of governance to lead it to future elections and ensure its victory beyond 2023.
Ayewa who is from Nasarawa South Senatorial didtrict, noted that he decided to contest because the Party Chairmanship has been in Nasarawa West for so long and the present governor of the state is from Nasarawa North Senatorial Zone.
He explained that ordinarily the party number one seat should come from Nasarawa South given the fact on ground.
He however pointed out that as a democrat and a team player who believe in collective decision he would work with other stakeholders of the party to choose what is best for the party.
“A lot of people consulted and encouraged me to contest and I have also made up my mind to throw my Hat in the ring.
“So, with those kind of people with me, I am sure of victory by the grace of God,” Ayewa added.
He said since the party in the state had adopted consensus in the wards and Local Government congreses, should the party decide on the same method he would respect the outcome.
“If I want people to stepdown for me in any election, I have to also prepare myself to stepdown for others when I am required to do so,” Ayewa added.
The aspirant therefore appealed to members and leaders of the party in the state to put the interest of the party above their own interest
Presidency 2023: Nasarawa Governor, speaker throw weight behind Osinbajo
From Abel Abogonye, Lafia
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state said that the Vice president professor Yemi Osinbajo is the best candidate that would continue with the legacies of president Muhammadu Buhari.
Governor Sule made this known Tuesday when a delegation of pro All Progressive Congress (APC) under the auspices of Progressive Consolidation Group, (PCG) paid him a visit at the government house Lafia.
In his address, the national chairman of PCG, Dr. Aliyu Rabiu Kurfi said that he and his members from the six geopolitical zones are in the state to consult and solicit support for the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo to succeed his principal come 2023.
“We have gone through the various records of activities and trends of politics. We have agreed with all honesty that the best candidate that will continue with the good works president Buhari has started is professor Yemi Osinbajo.
“Professor Osinbajo is a detribalized gentleman whose thinking is purely Nigeria with a political competency that knows no bound”, Dr. Aliyu stated.
In his remark, Governor Sule commended the group for pioneering the move, noting that the entire progressive Governors are concerned on the sustainability of the party beyond 2023.
“Our party is built around one man. Our major concern now is how to sustain the party beyond the one man’s legacies come 2023.
“Professor Osinbajo has demonstrated true loyalty to president Buhari. He is a friend, man of God, a family man. Not all products are sellable but Osinbajo is good and sellable”, Governor Sule said.
Sule however stated that anybody who mean well for this country will support Osinbajo as successor to president Buhari.
Also in his remarks, the right honorable Speaker Balarabe Ibrahim assured the group that wherever the father and political leader Governor Abdullahi Sule pitches his tenth, they with their followers will follow.
Okorocha says Kanu is too small to decide for Southeast
**Says President Buhari is not talking enough to Nigerians
Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, in the Senate, Rochas Okorocha, has Berated the Federal government for the shabby manner it handled the issue of Nnamdi Kanu.
Okorocha who is also a former Governor of Imo State gave the indication at the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Federal Capital Territory (NUJ-FCT) Secretariat Abuja while marking his 59th birthday
He noted that, the larger than life image created out of Nnamdi Kanu was the failure, on the side of Government to manage the problem.
He maintained that Kanu cannot decide the direction of the region when there are quality leaders who are alive and can make decision for the eastern region as against an over zealous young man who does not know the issues of governance.
He noted that the region is concerned that the most sensitive issue in the Southeast today was that of amnesty for Boko Haram members who killed and maimed Nigerians in their houses and farms, yet the government has focused its energy on arrest and prosecution of Nnamdi Kanu
Okorocha advocated for a round table discussion between the federal Government and agitators like Kanu and his likes where they should warned agaisnt destabilising the country.
“What I will suggest, Nnamdi Kanu matter has become a tribal issue,we have lost the sensitivity of the matter, and we have now made it a tribal issue.
“Ab-initio, I had advised that Government shouldn’t have gone the way they went before shooting the image of the boy too high.
“We have met the issue on ground, when it started but when we started talking about Nnamdi Kanu, Nnamdi Kanu became a bigger than life image.
“What I would suggest is that federal Government and the Southeast should meet and find a way to sort out this problem, it is a evil wind that will not blew any one any good
“Nnamdi Kanu should not be made a very high issue. I wish as a senator said, that we just bring him around a table and let us know his anger.
“There is Jim Nwobodo, Ezeife, Nwanyanwu, leaders of thought in the Southeast and others, a young man wants to tell us the way to go. If we can get this kind of talk you find out that it is not worth the trouble we are giving to it.
“Whatever that can resolve to get him out of that cell, with some kind of warning and undertaking, let the leaders say look, let bygone be bygone, let us start a new Nigeria, it will help.
“Not only him, the other agitators across the country, bring them back and talk them, what is sensitive now in the Southeast is the issue that they are giving amnesty to Boko Haram, and the Nnamdi Kanu is in detention.
“It is no longer about Nnamdi Kanu now, it is taking a new dimension, I see this as overzealous young man who did not even experience the civil war and is talking more about the civil war, than we that have experienced it.”
He also carpered the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for contemplating to zone the Presidency away from the south
His words: “There is no justifiable reason for APC to zone presidency away from the south, not even Southwest because there has been this culture of rotation, unwritten but what you called a mutual understanding.
“Power went first to the south there you had President Olusegun Obasanjo; then it came back to the North, we had Late President, Umaru Yar’Adua and back to the South, President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Then it came back to the North, the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari. I think it is just fair, in what is called understanding, it is not a right but for equity and justice, that this understanding is not broken, it should go back to the South.
He dismissed the statement credited to the Governor of Imo state, Senator, Hope Uzodima that the Southeast does not need the Presidency.
Okoracha said :”Which Governor? I don’t think you heard him right because in the normal sense he can’t say that. He can’t said that. Something is wrong, I think something is wrong. I don’t think he said that. That Ibo will not need the presidency?
“The argument Ibos should make because I personally don’t believe that power should be shared like bread. Tear and give me. Let him that has something upstairs Govern because tribe will not put food on the table of the common man.
“The Yoruba man has governed Nigeria. The Hausa man has governed Nigeria, the South South has governed Nigeria. Let’s try an Ibo man to see how it would be. That kind of statement will sound more ideally. If you put this, it would be softer than when you said it is Ibo, is Ibo, is our turn, is our turn. Turn to do what?
Okorocha admitted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not supportive of President Buhari’s administration as it should have done.
“If you want to say that our party the APC has not given sufficient support to the administration, I will also say you are right.
“If you say, there is is big communication gap, between the government and the people, I will say you are right.
“Infact the last time I saw President Muhammadu Buhari, I said Sir, speak to Nigerians freely, this written speeches sometimes do not work, people want you to communicate with them; they want to know, so they can feel you, that is why am saying, once there is communication gap, you can misunderstand issues.
Okorocha maintained that the people of the Southeastern Nigeria only need a level playing field to demonstrate their ability in the Nigerian state.
He argued that the party has made promises at the campaign and was still working to achieve that but added that poor communication of the president created room for misunderstanding of his administration
“If APC had done well, you cannot generalize, we talked about power, agriculture, security, now, what you call work in progress you cannot take.
On whether he will run for presidency come 2023, he said,
“I don’t have ambition to be president, I have vision to be President of Nigeria, that is why it is driving me crazy because I see the possibility of a new Nigeria.
When you say ambition, I do not have the political connectivity to be President. The vision is what drives me.That is why I differ from most of these aspirations.
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