By Ezeocha Nzeh
As the leadership crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC continues to fester, the party on Wednesday announcd the suspebsion f its lcal government congresses earlier billedvto hold on Saturday, 14, August, 2021.
National secretary of the APC Caretaker and Extra Ordinary Convention Planning Committee, senator John Akpanudedege, who made the disclsure during the inauguration of Ward Congress Appeal Committee at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, said the local gvernment area and state congresses are put on hold, pending the submission of report from the constituted Wards Congresses Appeals Committee.
The Wards Congresses Appeals Committee, initially billed to sit between August 2 to 7, according to the party’s timetable and schedule of activities, however commenced proceedings five days behind schedule.
Akpanudedege, who represented he committee chairman, Governor Mai Mal Buni of Yobe state at the occasion, appealed to all aggrieved stakeholders to approach the Appeal Committee, stressing that there is no disagreement among members that would not be settled peacefully.
“Let me make this announcement that the outcome of the committee’s report will determine when we are going to fix the date for Local Government and State Congresses.”
The Caretaker Committee reminded party members that as a family affair, differences should be handled with the understanding that no dispute is worth the destruction of the house they jointly erected.
“In the past few days, the media space has been filled with commentaries on the Supreme Court judgment in Jegede v. Akeredolu, with persons who should know better, coming out with very malicious and self-serving opinions, just to play on the gullibility of the public, while forgetting that our party is made up of very intelligent, sound and intellectually proficient persons who have seen beneath their grandstanding.
“The majority judgment of the Supreme Court has strengthened the position of the CECPC and our Chairman. The minority judgment serves only for academic purposes, nothing more.
“The Attorney General of the federation is the chief law officer of the federation has stated that we are on firm ground and advised that we proceed with the processes of the Congresses.
“The Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) through their extensive legal apparatchik have x-rayed the generality of the issue in their meeting recently and have reaffirmed their support to the CECPC and urged it to proceed with the Congresses as scheduled,” the party noted.
The Caretaker Committee further maintained that though the Wards Congresses were relatively peaceful and successful, there is the need to constitute Appeal Committee to smoothen arising minor crisis.
“It is trite to note that, the Congresses to produce our party organs across had commenced on the July 31, 2021 and you will agree with me that it went substantially well.
“However, it is expected that where ever and whenever there’s a competition, of course, there is bound to be contestation. “Therefore, as an organization based on rules and procedures, avenues and channels must be provided for party members who are dissatisfied with the processes, to ventilate their grievances through an internal mechanism, hence this Wards Congresses Appeals Committee in the circumstance of this exercise.
“This party is for all Nigerians, therefore we must show, not only by words, but by concrete actions that there’s no attempt to exclude or sideline anybody in the course of the exercise. This is very fundamental, not only to the Caretaker Committee, but to the preservation of the very essence of the party.
“Your actions in this wise will help engender cohesion, build trust and confidence in this all important exercise. Today, you have been entrusted with one of the most solemn obligations of citizenship which is to help deepen our democratisation processes and strengthen the polity.
“You all were carefully selected based on your proven records. We trust in your strength of character, your integrity and your capacity to be fair in your dealings to those who approach your committees.
“The Chairman had directed that I remind all party members that this is a family affair, hence differences should be handled with the understanding that no dispute is worth the destruction of the house you jointly erected.
He called on the Appeal Committee members to take the APC guidelines to the Congress, as well as the constitution as their guidelines for the exercise, adding that terms of reference shall be made available to them.