The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it is going ahead with the conduct of its nationwide local council congresses billed to hold tomorrow (Saturday), while vowing “to severely sanction members and their sponsors who take the party to court.”
APC’s position is in defiance to an order by an Asaba High Court presided by Justice Marshal Umukoro, which on Wednesday, restrained the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) from administering the party pending the determination of a suit brought before it and slated for October 4, this year.
Buni, apparently piqued by the court pronouncement, yesterday went ahead to inaugurate the Osita Okechukwu-led local council congress committee at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Buni, represented by the CECPC Secretary, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, charged the officials to conduct the congresses in line with the official timetable/schedule of activities released by the party. The chairman urged committee members to go to their various states of primary assignment with confidence, dignity, commitment, and pride.
Okechukwu, Director-General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), who spoke on behalf of the LG Congress Committees, promised to conduct the exercise in line with the Constitution of the party and the vision of the founding fathers.
Though Buni was absent from the meeting, he had, before now, delegated most of his functions to Akpanudoedehe.
The APC chief reminded those who drag the party to court of the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to severely sanction members and their sponsors who indulge in the act.
He said: “Governor Buni is determined to carry out to the letter the instructions of our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, which is to rebuild the party, bottom up. The process has reached an advanced ground stage. Rest assured that your assignment, as well as the earlier Ward congresses nationwide, is legally protected. We are on solid ground.”
The APC chief disclosed the decision to ratify and adopt the results of the party’s earlier nationwide Ward congresses held on July 31, warning that any state caretaker committee that swears in any person or group of persons, not elected through a congress conducted by the designated national congress committee of the party is null, void and of no effect.
Also speaking through his media aide, Director General, Press and Media Affairs, Malam Mamman Mohammed, Governor Buni in the statement titled: ‘The facts in the Delta State court ruling on APC,’ argued that the restriction of the conduct of congresses was only limited to Delta and does not affect other states.
Buni blamed mischief-makers who never wished the party well for the misrepresentation of facts on the court ruling.
According to him: “Mr Elvis Ayomanor and seven others, on August 19, instituted a case against APC and its leadership in Asaba, challenging the outcome of the party’s ward congress of July 31.
“The seven applicants prayed the court to among other things issue and service the originating summons on 15 defendants including the party, the Chairman Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and members, as well as the chairman of the party in the state.
“The applicants also sought the court to issue interim injunction to restrain the CECPC chairman and members from acting or parading themselves as leaders of the party pending the determination of the case against the outcome of the ward congress in Delta before the court, while further praying for interim injunction restraining the party from conducting the local government and state government congresses slated for Sept ember 4.
“The court, in its wisdom, ruled that having looked at the motion ex-parte granted the prayers sought in reliefs 1, 2, 3 and 4 that have to do with issues of service of processes on all parties in the suit. Prayer 5 was granted only in relation to the 15th defendant (Jones Ode Erue, Chairman APC, Delta State).
“From the above, it is apparently clear that the court ruling only affected the15th defendant (Delta Chairman of APC) and not the National Chairman, Governor Buni.”
HOWEVER, three APC chieftains have dragged the party and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before a Federal High Court in Abuja, challenging the unlawful conduct of ward congresses in Benue State.
The chieftains, who are aspiring to contest for various elective positions in the party, are praying the court to compel APC and INEC not to accept any list of Ward executive other than product of the consensus list reached at the meeting in Makurdi of August 1.2021 for Otukpo/Ohimini Federal Constituency.
Their grouse in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/969/2021, was that attempt was made to tinker with the consensus ward executive list agreed upon by stakeholders in the state.
In the suit instituted on their behalf by John Ochogwu, the plaintiffs asked the court to determine whether by combined effect of Section 223 of the 1999 Constitution, Article 30 of the APC Constitution and guidelines for the congresses and Section 85 of the Electoral Act, the ward executive congresses conducted on August 1 for
Otukpo/Ohimini Local Government Area without due regard to the consensus reached on August 1, violated the Constitution of the party and the Electoral Act.
The plaintiffs further want the court to determine whether in the absence of due compliance with section 223 of the 1999 Constitution, Article 20 of the APC Constitution and the Electoral Act and the consensus of August 1, the announcement of a different list on a radio station in Otukpo, Benue State is legal, permissible and constitutional.
They also prayed the court to determine whether the list of wards executives for Otukpo/Ohimini Local Governments endorsed by APC National Ward Congresses of Mohamad Mashi is not illegal, null and void, having been produced without due regard to the 1999 Constitution, the APC guidelines for the ward congresses and the Electoral Act.
Plaintiffs are Dr Wilson Eche, Bartholomew Alike and Eigege Adejo, while APC and INEC are first and second respondents respectively.
Kaduna LG Polls: APC floors PDP, Secures 15 chairmanship seats
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has won the majority of the chairmanship and councillorship seats in the local government council elections held in Kaduna State on Saturday.
The ruling party won 15 of the 17 chairmanship seats whose results have so far been declared, while the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the other two.
The polls were postponed in four of the state’s 23 local government areas to September 25 over security concerns.
An initial sensation was recorded when the PDP won in Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Unguwan Sarki polling unit in Kaduna North LGA.
However, the APC rallied to win the chairmanship and most of the councillorship seats in the council.
The APC also won in the home councils of top PDP chieftains, including of former Vice President Namadi Sambo and former Governor Ahmed Makarfi.
The deputy governor of the state, Hadiza Balarabe, also delivered Sanga Local Government in the PDP-leaning southern senatorial district to the APC.
The PDP picked its two chairmanship seats in Jana and Kaura local government areas.
The elections in Kachia Local government council was declared inconclusive by the returning officer, Haruna Ahmadu.
The elections will hold in three weeks time in Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Zangon Kataf, and Kajuru LGAs following the postponement for security reasons.
See result as announced by returning officers for each local government council.
The returning officer, Katoh Ishaya, announced the PDP candidate, Matthias Siman, as winner of the chairmanship election having polled 19,511 to defeat Adamu Donatus of the APC who polled 10,941 votes.
PDP also won nine out of the 10 councillor seats while APC won one seat.
The returning office, Musa Makarfi, announced that the APC candidate, Nasara Rabo, polled 20,558 to defeat the PDP candidate, Caleb Pius, who polled 14,494 votes
Dayyabu Mohammed, the returning officer, declared Bashir Zuntu of the APC as winner of the election. He polled 23,973 votes to defeat Isah-Rabiu Imam of the PDP, who polled 9, 038 votes and Isah Yunusa of the SD who scored 530 votes.
Returning officer Haruna Abdu declared Shuaibu Jaja of the APC as winner of the chairmanship seat, having scored 18,129 votes.
Ibrahim-Shehu Doka of the PDP recorded 16,123 votes and Umar Taba of the Labour Party 1,844 votes.
Abubakar Buba of the APC was declared winner of the chairmanship seat with 36,389 votes, defeating Dalhat Abu-Dadda’i of the PDP who got 24,294 votes.
Idris Ibrahim of the APC was returned as the winner of the chairmanship seat with 34,006 votes. Yusuf Sambo of the PDP polled 14,019 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner after scoring 32,405 votes to defeat his closest rival, Abdu Bello of PDP, who scored 13,777 votes.
Bisallah Malam of the APC was returned as winner of the chairmanship election with 21,854 votes. The PDP candidate scored 12,832 votes.
Yunana Barde of APC took the chairmanship seat with 24,251 votes, narrowly defeating the incumbent chairman and PDP candidate, Peter Averik, who polled 23,215 votes.
The returning officer, Dr. Sunday Ibrahim, announced the results.
The ÀPC candidate, Abubakar Lawal, won the chairmanship seat with 22,896 votes His PDP rival, Awwal Kaya, scored 3,534 votes. Returning officer Godwin Ayuba also said the APC won all the 11 councillorship seats.
Mukhtar Baloni of the APC emerged winner with 16,545 votes. Adamu Dattijo of the PDP scored 15,472 votes. But PDP won 6 out of the 11 councilor seats to APC’s 5 seats.
The returning officer, Garba Salisu declared the incumbent chairman, Kabir Mayare of APC, winner with16, 328 votes. Abubakar Makarfi of PDP scored 14,739 votes.
Jabir Khamis of the APC is the winner of the chairmanship seat. He scored 29,804 votes to defeat PDP’s Ibrahim Yusha’u who scored 10,865 votes.
But the PDP chairmanin the area, Dan Azumi Maganda, said the PDP will challenge the result in court.
Peter Omale, the Returning Officer, declared Philip Gwada of the PDP winner having recorded 9,012 votes to defeat the APC candidate, Benjamin Jock, who polled 5,640 votes.
PDP also won 8 of the 10 councillorship seats.
The incumbent chairman, Abubakar Jarimi of the APC polled 7, 879to votes to defeat the PDP candidate who scored 4,765 votes.
Mohammed Usman of APC was declared winner by the returning officer, Abubakar-Mohammed Sadiq. Mr Usman scored 32,405 votes to defeat Abdu Bello of the PDP who had 13,777 votes.
The APC candidate, Ibrahim Sadiq, scored 18, 974 votes to beat his PDP opponent who scored 13,416 votes.
The chairmanship election in Kachia local government area was declared inconclusive. The returning officer said cancelled and uncast votes were over 13,000, more than the recorded votes.
According to the result announced, Allison Chitta of the PDP scored 24,482 votes to Aaron Bako of the APC’s 23,270 votes.
2023: Only the best, popular candidate will emerge in Akwa Ibom – Iniama
A stakeholder in the Akwa Ibom State politics, Mr James Iniama, has stated that the state would expect nothing but only the best and popular governorship candidate in 2023.
Iniama, in an interview with Journalists in Uyo over the weekend, noted the clamour by different groups for the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, to name his successor and said that the delay by the governor in announcing his prefered candidate could result in the imposition of unpopular candidate on the state.
He warned that the state would not tolerate any imposition without a level playing ground for aspirants to test popularity.
“I want to assure you that Akwa Ibom will get the best among the best, there is no anointed yet. The Governor cannot have a successor until elections are held. There will be an electoral process that would be published by INEC which will be followed,” he said.
Iniama recalled that the political build-up of the past regime was marred with fear, violence and hounding of a perceived political opponent.
“I support this movement, in fact, I am an apostle of peace. Whatever you are doing in life, you have to cohabit peacefully.
“I have been one of the Nigerians who have suffered grave injustice, I have been hunted and hounded in this state just because I was seeking for governorship and an opponent to a certain candidate. You were in this state and knew how unsafe the state was at that time.
“In 2007 many people left this state, many left for Cross River, I returned to the United States. The state is now safe, well, I support the movement but I don’t know if it is the vehicle for the governor’s succession plan but peace is a necessity.
Secondus denies working against Southern Nigeria
The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, has denied the allegation that he is working against the interest Southern Nigeria.
Secondus stated this in a statement issued by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, in Abuja on Friday.
It noted “the Media Office of Secondus will continue to respond to even laughable talks because of the danger of allowing disinformation to enter public space unchallenged.”
It stated that one of such piece of false information being dished out was the allegation from the Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Desmond Akawor, that Secondus was working against Southern interest and that he had not paid his dues to the party.
“We understand the frustration of the anti-Secondus crusaders who have become evidence shopaholics in their desperation to find points with which to achieve their ignoble goals.
“The Media Office sees their effort as a case of bad marketer selling a product, who puts in several efforts to convince buyers to no avail.
“Our response is that there is no truth in all the allegations and Southern interest will be grossly endangered if it is the likes of Akawor and his clique that are pushing it,” the statement said.
The office said that critical members of PDP, including discerning members of the public knew as a fact that “no one person, no matter his position, could determine singularly the position of offices in the party”.
“The Media Office will, however, continue to urge members of the public and the media to be wary of compulsive shoppers whose agenda is mainly to distract and destroy this party and remove its focus from retuning to power in 2023 as being yearned by Nigerians,” the statement said.
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