The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress (APC) took a new twist yesterday as the party announced the suspension of its planned local government and state congresses pending the outcome of an appeal committee set up to address complaints that have trailed the exercise.
National Secretary, APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, John Akpanudoedehe, who inaugurated the Wards Congresses Appeals Committee said the party had jettisoned the idea of going ahead with local government and state congresses untill issues that arose from the ward congresses were addressed.
The inauguration of the appeal committee has, however, been greeted with apprehension by some party faithful who faulted the refusal of the party’s leadership to give either terms of references or duration that the committee would operate.
Our correspondent learnt that only 14 states have petitioned the party’s national leadership on the outcome of the ward congresses even as some of states are yet to submit reports on their ward congresses.
It was also gathered that the Caretaker Committee of the party plans to send a five-man committee each to the 14 states that sent in petitions.
The Wards Congresses Appeals Committee would hold five days behind schedule as it was initially billed to sit between August 2 and 7, according to the party’s timetable and schedule of activities.
Speaking after inaugurating the committee, Akpanudoedehe, who represented the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Mai 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.”
He reminded party faithful that as a family, differences should be handled with the understanding that no dispute is worth the destruction of the house that 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 as 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,” he said.
The Caretaker Committee said though the wards congresses were relatively peaceful and successful, there was the need to constitute the Appeal Committee to smoothen minor crisis that arose in some states.
“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 wherever 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.”