Nigeria’s main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has argued that the ward congresses conducted by the “incapacitated” All Progressives Congress (APC) amounts to a nullity, given the pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the Ondo State governorship election.
According to the party, the Supreme Court decision in Ondo governorship election, has invalidated the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee of the ruling party.
The party in a statement titled “APC Ward Congress A Nullity – PDP…Blames Buni, Others Over Fracas, Death” issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan The PDP said the judgment by the apex court means that the intra-party polls by the APC under the leadership Buni would be null and void.
The APC had organised its nationwide ward congresses on Saturday amidst controversies and violence.
“The PDP strongly vilifies Governor Buni and other APC leaders for deceiving innocent Nigerians and cajoling them to participate in the needless exercise, which ended in violent crisis and avoidable deaths, when they know it was all in futility,” the PDP said.
“It is indeed callous that the leaders of the APC, despite knowing that any process conducted by the Buni-led national executive whose legal status, in the face of section 183 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 17(4) of the APC constitution, has been queried by the Supreme Court, could extort from their innocent followers and subject them to a fraudulent exercise that is a nullity.”
The PDP stated that while Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) bars a sitting governor from holding any other office while serving as state governor, Article 17(4) of the APC constitution clearly states that ‘no officer in any organ of the party shall hold executive position in government concurrently.’
“The implication is that with Mai Buni as Chairman, the APC has no valid national executive and as such, any congress or any other statutory process conducted by the APC under this circumstance remains a nullity.”
In response, the APC in a statement titled, “PDP a toothless, hungry Hyena, not a Court of Law-APC,” signed by the Secretary, Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, dismissed the PDP’s postulations.
He said “The PDP is an old, lonely, toothless and hungry Hyena wandering aimlessly in the jungle of political wilderness. Nigerians are fully aware of its antecedents and will never take it seriously no matter how much empty noise it makes.”