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APC says no going back on congresses

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The ruling All progressive congress (APC) says it is not going back on the conduct of its nationwide congresses scheduled to hold on Saturday.

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The National Secretary of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party, Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, faulted notions held in certain quarters that conducting the congresses would be an exercise in futility.

Akpanudoedehe maintained that the Supreme Court’s Wednesday judgement affirming the election victory of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had no bearing on the CECPC’s status and its membership.

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He urged party members and aspirants to come out en masse and peacefully to participate in the ward congresses in line with the dictates of the party constitution.

“If you are a politician be a politician. In politics, you either win or lose. And you can always reactivate what will happen to you in the future. All that was said were personal opinions. We are going to conduct the congresses,” Akpanudoedehe said.

“A lot of people have seen that they are in a disadvantaged position in their communities, in their wards and they want to vent their anger by misinforming the public. All that you are hearing is because of the congresses.

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“I want to assure them that congresses would be fair and transparent. I advise them to go to their wards and be a party man and be a politician who should expect to win, expect to lose. You can always re-strategize and not to destroy the party.

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the deputy senate president, asserted that the caretaker committee was duly constituted by the NEC of the party and given a specific mandate.

The Delta born lawmaker contended that Section 183 of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) only bars a governor from holding executive positions like being a minister, or any other executive positions for which he shall be paid.

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“It does not by any scintilla of imagination, render the appointment of Governor Bumi as APC Caretaker Committee Chairman incompetent and will not in any way, affect the legality or competence of the APC scheduled congresses.

“There is no law under our legal jurisprudence that bars or prohibits a governor who is a member of a political party and won elections under the political party from carrying out specific assignments on behalf of his party. How this will amount to holding an Executive office is beyond every stretch of human comprehension?”

But Senators Babafemi Ojudu and Ita Enang, who felt otherwise, called for the suspension of the congresses pending the determination of the legal status of the CECPC.

The duo, who are aides to President Muhammadu Buhari on political matters and Niger Delta Affairs respectively, enjoined the party to commission legal experts to review, appraise and give a considered opinion on the import of the majority and in extreme particular the reasonings in the minority judgment of the Supreme Court as to the legal Status of the CECPC to proceed with any activity in the name of the party or otherwise.

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