The All Progressives Congress (APC) has begun the process to vacate a court order restraining the party from conducting its national convention.
APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) National Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, disclosed this while briefing reporters at the party’s secretariat on Tuesday in Abuja.
“The party has engaged a team of senior lawyers to address a purported court order halting the planned APC National Convention,” he said.
“We hereby call on the judiciary to give the matter the needed and expedient attention in our bid to vacate the purported court order and allow for the conduct of a transparent and rancour-free national convention deserving of our great party, APC.”
Reports had emerged that Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State was sacked as chairman of the CECPC, while his Niger State counterpart, Governor Abubakar Bello, took over the leadership of the party.
Governor Bello later presided over a meeting of the CECPC on Monday, saying he had the support of President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of the APC.
The party had later requested the presence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at an emergency meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC), but the electoral umpire rejected the request.
INEC explained that it took the decision because the notice for the meeting was not signed by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the CECPC.
Clarifying the controversy during the briefing, Akpanudoedehe insisted that the APC is crisis-free, strong, and remains united in giving Nigerians the leadership and governance that it promised them.
“On the 28th day of February 2022, the CECPC Chairman took a long-delayed trip abroad on health grounds, leaving behind written authorisation for other members of the CECPC to continue work in his absence, particularly the day to day management of the APC,” he explained.
“In his (Buni’s) absence, sundry activities earlier scheduled for action appeared to develop fresh urgency in order to satisfy the timetable for the 2023 general elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thus galvanising some within the CECPC to act in their best understanding of both the situation and the leadership dynamics in the committee/party.
“All such actions were clearly identified at all times as happening in an acting or proxy capacity, and under the auspices of the substantive Chairman, His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni, contrary to widespread speculations that the Chairman, Secretary or some other officials of the CECPC have been removed from Office or otherwise replaced.”
According to Akpanudoedehe, the CECPC is intact and functional as originally constituted, and delivering a seamlessly successful national convention on March 26 is the top priority for the CECPC.
He vowed that the committee would continue to execute its assignments, pending the return of the chairman whom he said was on his way back to the country.
“The Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) hereby restates absolute loyalty to the APC, thanks the national organs and leadership of our party led by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and reassures our members and citizens that the party is stronger than ever before and poised to extend her winning streak since 2015 into 2023 and beyond,” the CECPC secretary said.