Buni controversy: Angry APC members propose parallel Congresses today

..as party’s Caretaker Committee reads riot act

Parallel Congresses of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) loom across the states of the federation today (Saturday).

Sources informed this medium that this followed concerns over the refusal of Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, to disqualify himself from presiding over the party as acting National Chairman.

Following a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in the governorship tussle between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) and APC’s Ondo State governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), pressure has assumed reign that Buni should step down as acting party chairman.

The apex court had ruled that Buni could not hold the position of governor and party chairman at the same time, as it violated Nigeria’s Constitution, and that all actions taken under his leadership were null and void.

But Jegede, who would have been declared the governor of Ondo State, lost out because four of the seven justices of the Supreme Court noted that he did not join Buni in the suit, as that failure became fatal to his appeal.

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Leveraging on the judgment, a chieftain of the party and Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo, thus warned the APC against allowing Buni to president over party affairs any longer.

Keyamo, a Senior Advocate, noted that failing to heed his advice would also be fatal to the party’s interests and could give opposition PDP the opportunity to unseat the APC.

First News, however, gathered that some elements loyal to the former National Chairman of the party, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, held a secret meeting in Abuja on Friday and resolved to hold parallel congresses, “to save the party from humiliation”.

But in a swift response, the Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the APC also on Friday vowed to deal with members who conduct parallel congresses on Saturday.

This warning was issued by the party’s National Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe.

According to him, the party would unleash its wrath on “any member or group who organises any purported parallel congress, parallel party organ and or parallel party office.”

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He reminded all party members and stakeholders of the National Executive Council resolution of 8th December, 2020.

Akpanudoedohe said the resolution still “subsists and extends to the conduct of party members during the congresses.”

He said, “For purposes of clarity, may I re-state the relevant point in the resolution to wit:

“All pending litigations instituted by members against the party should be withdrawn forthwith, and going forward, no member should institute matters against the party, without exhausting the internal mechanism for conflict resolution, as enshrined in the party’s constitution”.

He added that, “Consequent upon the above, party members should please note that: (i) All activities that may be carried out by persons to put the party and its officers in bad light, before, during and after the congresses should be jettisoned.

“(ii) All activities or processes leading up to the congresses and thereafter which do not have the approval of the CECPC are exercises in futility. This is to say that: any purported; parallel congress, parallel party organ and or parallel party office, is to say the least a nullity.

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“These divisive activities will not be tolerated.

“(iii) For the avoidance of doubt, the party shall deploy the full weight of the law as stipulated in section 21(D) of our party’s Constitution on any one who perpetrates such unlawful Act(s) and also on their sponsors.

“All persons who are affected by Article 31 of our Constitution should apply for waivers as stipulated under sub. Section 3 of the said Article 31, this is also clearly spelt out in the “Special provisions” of our guidelines.”

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