From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
There was confusion at the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, over the judgment of the Supreme Court on Ondo State governorship election as it concerns the legality of the party’s National Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni continuing in office.
While some felt the judgment meant that Buni should be relieved of the post given the minority judgement of dissenting judges, others felt he should continue in office as his stay would have no consequence on the party.
While the APC Progressive Youth Movement insists that the Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee should resign and the party’s account frozen, its National Secretary, John Akpanudeudehe, and party’s lawyer, Micheal Akintola, assured party members preparing for the weekend’s ward congresses that the disputed position of the party chairman would not affect the exercise.
Addressing newsmen, yesterday, at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, both Akpanudeudehe and Akintola frowned at the controversy the judgment had generated, especially from those they described as media lawyers misinterpreting the Supreme Court judgment.
Akintola specifically argued that since the legality of Governor Buni’s position in the party had been resolved at both the Ondo election tribunal and the Appeal Court, the minority ruling at the apex court is inconsequential and can only be cited as an academic exercise.
On his side, Akpanudeudehe described the warnings from the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, as a personal opinion that does not have any impact on activities of the ruling party.
“We are not going to be personal. It was his personal opinion. He is my good friend. I am not a lawyer and people are bound to interpret law the way they like. I will consider it to be his personal opinion.”
Leader of the Progressive Youth Movement, Zahra Mustapha Audu, however, said: “We have patiently watched to get the party’s reaction to the Supreme Court judgment on Wednesday which we narrowly escaped losing. We congratulate Governor Rotimi Akeredolu who is an exceptional governor. We would have lost that state but for God.