From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has put on hold scheduled Local Government Areas and State Congresses pending the submission of report from the recently constituted Wards Congresses Appeals Committee.
National Secretary, APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Sen John James Akpanudoedehe, made the disclosure while inaugurating the Wards Appeals Committee on Wednesday at the party’s headquarters in Abuja.
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.
Speaking after inaugurating the committee, Senator Akpanudoedehe, who represented the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Yobe Governor Mai Mala Buni, said: ‘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.’
Earlier in its prepared address, the Caretaker Committee had 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 re-affirmed 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 contestations.
‘Therefore, as an organisation 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.
‘The party’s guidelines for the exercise and the constitution shall be your guide. The terms of reference shall be made available hereafter. I wish you all the very best in this endeavour,’ the party’s national leadership noted.