About 15 state chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have petitioned the national secretariat of the ruling party to protest the outcome of the recently conducted ward congresses across the country.
It was also gathered that election committees sent to 12 states to conduct the said ward congresses were yet to submit reports of the exercise to the party’s national secretariat.
This is coming as indication emerged that the party is yet to fix dates for the conduct of its local council and state congresses initially billed to hold end of August 2021.
It was gathered Wednesday that 15 states, including different factions from Osun, Ekiti, Enugu, Akwa Ibom, Kwara, Niger, Kano among others, had submitted petitions to protest the outcome of the ward congresses.
A source said: “I know that different groups and interests from 15 state chapters have submitted petitions and only 21 out of the 33 states where the ward congresses held have submitted reports of the July 31, 2021 exercise, while officially congress did not hold in Anambra, Bayelsa and Zamfara states.”
Inaugurating the ward congress appeal committee Wednesday in Abuja, National Secretary APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) Senator John Akpanudoedehe said the party was yet to fix any date for the next stage of the congress.
It was observed that going by the schedule published by the party, the appeal committee ought to have finished its assignment five days before it was inaugurated.
While charging committee members to be fair in dealing with issues raised by aggrieved party members, Akpanudoedehe urged them to “note that the outcome of your findings will determine when the Local Council and State Congresses would be conducted.”
Speaking on the crisis arising from the Supreme Court judgment, Akpanudoedehe said: “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 who 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 Progressive Governors Forum through their extensive legal apparatchik have x-rayed the generality of the issue in their meeting of 8/8/2021 and have re-affirmed their support to the CECPC and urged the CECPC to proceed with the Congresses as scheduled.
“It is trite to note that, the Congresses to produce our party organs across had commenced on the 31st of July, 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 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 Extraordinary Convention Planning 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.”