In a related development, the leader of the Ekiti APC Stakeholders Forum, Senator Anthony Adeniyi, on Sunday said members of his group stayed away from Saturday’s state congress of the party in view of the pending court case over the ward congresses.
Adeniyi, who is also the leader of the pro-Bola Tinubu group, South West Agenda for Asiwaju (SWAGA) 2023, in Ekiti, described the state congress conducted by the party as “waste of time” and “putting up something on nothing”, saying once the court nullify the ward congresses, there would not be any basis for the local government and state congresses.
Adeniyi said, “The state congress held in Ekiti on Saturday was “putting up something on nothing. When we demolish the ward congress through court, on what basis will they say they held the local government and state congresses?
“It was at the wards that the local government delegates emerged. It was at the wards that the state delegates emerged. Even, it was at the wards that the national delegates emerged. So, Saturday’s exercise was just a waste of time for them once the court demolishes the ward congresses”
On why the stakeholders were absent, Adeniyi said, “Legally speaking, since we have gone to court in respect of the ward congresses, we said they wrote the list of the delegates. It is the delegates that will do the state congress, so there was no need for us to obtain forms. Even, it was clear they would not accredit us to be there. It would be tantamount to waste of time and everything once they would not accredit us to be there.”
In response to enquiries with respect to parallel congresses in some states, the National Secretary of the APC, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, explained that only the outcome of congresses conducted in line with the party’s guidelines would be recognised.
Akpanudoedehe said, “The party has its rules and guidelines, if someone is deviant such a person does not deserve recognition.
“We have a structure; I have said so several times. Let me state here clearly that we don’t and will not recognise parallel excos because we have a structure.
“Don’t also forget that as a political party we are not bigger than INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission), which regulates political parties whether the party is in government or not.
“You must give INEC 21 days’ notice which must be duly signed by the national chairman and secretary, the name of those that are going to conduct the exercise in the states, you will submit these in Abuja, not to the state.
“Now, INEC must monitor what you are doing. If you go outside this and do anything else, you are on your own.”
In response to a question about reports that the APC national secretariat sent two separate teams to states to conduct the exercise, the party secretary denied the allegation.
He said, “There is nothing like that. It is absolutely impossible, it’s not true. If any such thing happened, which I doubt very much, it is definitely not from the national secretariat of this party.
“If someone goes to any of the touts hanging around the secretariat of political parties and gets a letter of appointment and goes to take part in an illegality and expect us to validate that, it is not going to happen.”
Why the exercise was suspended in Oyo State, Akpanudoedehe said the party needed time to investigate allegations of wrongdoing against a member of the team sent from Abuja.
He said, “We shifted it for one week. When there is violence or someone runs away with the congress material it is either we replace the team or we withdraw it that is what happened.
“We heard the secretary of the panel changed the delegates list, we need to suspend the exercise to get the truth because they may be lying against him, we want to know the truth to give credibility to it.”
He also denied reports that parallel congresses were held in Akwa Ibom State.
The party secretary said, “If there is any congress that can be adjudged peaceful and exemplary it was the one held in Akwa Ibom on Saturday.
“All of our party leaders, Chief Godswill Akpabio, Chief Don Etiebet and most of our leaders from the state were there. How can anyone who lacks the legal backing of a duly constituted committee claims to have conducted a congress and you believe him?”