With the dusts raised by the legal challenges to the status of Mai Mala Buni as the interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yet to settle, coupled with the ward congresses of the party that ended in crisis in some states still generating controversy, the APC is today going ahead with local government congresses.
A High Court sitting in Asaba had restrained Buni and other members of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee from acting or parading themselves as such until the determination of a substantive suit before the court.
The trial court by Justice Onome Marshal Umukoro, also put on hold the local government congress scheduled for Saturday, September 4, 2021 in Delta State.
But Buni, in a statement issued by his Director General of Press, Mamman Mohammed, on Thursday insisted that he was never restrained by the High Court order in Delta State.
He added that the restriction of the forthcoming local government congresses was limited to Delta State and did not affect other states.
Buni, Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the APC, noted that some mischief makers, who never wished the party well, had continued to misrepresent the facts without having access to the court ruling.
The crisis generated by the judgement of the Supreme Court in the Ondo governorship election petition, has also left the APC in tatters.
The split judgment of four against three by the seven member Supreme Court justices, which sat on the Ondo governorship election petition, had contended that the reason it did not sack Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the state, was because the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate in the October 10, 2020 election, Eyitayo Jegede, failed to join Mai Mala Buni, even when the issues revolved around him.
Many stakeholders of the APC argue that all congresses be suspended, because holding such under the leadership of Buni, portend serious problem for the party, by the time the consequences begin to manifest before and after the 2023 polls.
Notwithstanding objections to the continuation of the APC congresses because of the status of Buni, the Buni-led interim leadership of the party insisted that today’s congresses in the local governments should go ahead as planned.
Buni, in a statement yesterday, called on the officials handling the local government congresses across the country to just and fair to all aspirants.
Buni in the statement issued by his Director General of Press and Media, Mr. Mamman Mohammed also urged members of the party to conduct themselves peacefully.
He said the Congress “is a family affair that should be executed without rancour in the interest of the party. We should all abide by the rules governing the election to remain a role model to other political parties.”
Buni added: “The leadership of the party has substantially complied with the dictates of the party constitution to promote internal democracy for the success of the congresses.”
The chairman charged the aspirants to respect the rule of the game and embrace the spirit of sportsmanship in the outcome of the Congress.
He commended the enthusiasm demonstrated by members of the party to elect leaders at the local government level.
The Chairman assured that the party would address all anomalies that were employed to manipulate the election results.
He called on aggrieved members to channel their complaints through the constituted channels to seek redress.