The Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday, ordered state chapters of the party to go ahead with the local government congresses scheduled for Saturday.
This came barely 24 hours after a Delta State High Court sitting in Asaba issued an order restraining Buni from parading himself as the chairman of the committee.
The Secretary of the CENCPC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, while addressing the chairmen, secretaries and members of the various local government congress committees at the APC national secretariat in Abuja, reiterated the resolve of the party’s leadership to come down hard on aggrieved members, who took the party or any of its officials to court, without exhausting internal party mechanisms.
He enjoined the committee members to go about and discharge their responsibilities without fear or favour.
The party secretary also extended the warm regards of the Chairman of the CENCPC, Buni, who he said was unavoidably absent from the gathering, to the attendees.
Akpanudoedehe said he would not comment on the restraining order issued by the Asaba High Court “so that I will not be misquoted.”
Akpanudoedehe stated, “We also use this opportunity to reiterate the resolution of the NEC of our party to severely sanction members and their sponsors, who take the party to court.
“His Excellency, Mai Mala Buni is determined to carry out to the letter the instructions of our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, which is to rebuild the party from the bottom up. The process has reached an advanced stage.
“Rest assured that your assignment, as well as the earlier ward congresses nationwide, are legally protected. We are on a solid ground.”
He added, “Consequently, the CECPC ratifies and adopts the results of the party’s earlier nationwide ward congresses held on Saturday, July 31, 2021; however, any state caretaker committee that swears in any person or group of persons, who are not elected through a congress conducted by the designated National Congress Committee of the party, is null, void and of no effect. However, where there are still complaints, the CECPC will be fair to all.
“Accordingly, the CECPC hereby directs you all to go and conduct nationwide local government congresses on Saturday, September 4, 2021, as contained in the official timetable/schedule of activities released by the party.”
Article 21 (D) of the APC Constitution, 2014 (as amended), titled, ‘Punishment of Erring Members’, read in part, “(i) The party shall have powers to impose the following sanctions on members in accordance with the nature and gravity of their offences: reprimand, censure, fine, debar from holding party office, remove from party office, suspend from party office and expunge from the party.”