Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has invited the Ibrahim Shekarau-led faction of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano to join in seeking unity for the success of the party.
Mr Ganduje made the call as the rival faction announced it would take its case to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal on Thursday restored the control of the APC in the state to the governor.
After Thursday’s judgment by the appellate court, Mr Ganduje had threatened to crush the rival faction. PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Shekaru faction accused the governor of incitement against its members in the remarks.
But in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, on Saturday, the governor adopted a conciliatory tone.
“We are assuring you that our intention of a united and strong party is still on. Our great party APC is still one in Kano. All controversies are over,” the governor was quoted in the statement.
“‘Just as you are aware that during our wards, local governments and state congresses, INEC, Police, DSS and national headquarters of the party were present and endorsed the validity of all exercises’.
“Based on this, therefore, he disclosed that the party would sit with all party leaders across all the 44 local governments and discuss their strategies, to strengthen all party structures.
“He also invited those who took their case to court before to come forth with the sole intention of building a stronger party, adding that, ‘We are ready for the national convention coming up very soon.”
Mr Anwar said “thousands of party supporters had received the governor, state party Chairman Abdullahi Abbas and many top government functionaries, as they came back from Abuja, through Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), in a four-hour motorcade procession to the state secretariat of All Progressives Congress (APC), he reiterated his intention of solidifying party structures.
“Present at the state party Secretariat were Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya, 20 members of House of Representatives, members of the State House of Assembly, all Commissioners and other members of the state Executive Council, all chairmen of the 44 local governments, all party leaders from the 44 local governments,” he said in the statement.
Shekarau faction head for Supreme Court
But Mr Shekarau has said his group (G7) would appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal and appealed to its supporters to remain calm.
The group spoke through a statement co-signed by Mr Shekarau, Barau Jibrin, who is the senator for Kano North, and four members of the House of Representatives, including; Nasiru Abdua, Tijjani Jobe, Sha’aban Sharada and Haruna Dederi; and the chairperson of Buhari Support Group, Shehu Dalhatu.
The statement read: “Indeed, we have very high regard and respect for our courts and judicial system. And every judge has the constitutional powers to make a decision, one way or the other, in respect of any matter which comes before him.
‘’What is heartwarming, however, is that the appellate system of our courts allows a party, who is dissatisfied with the decision given by one Court, to Appeal to a higher court.’
‘’It is in this regard that we, in very strong terms, urge all our supporters throughout Kano State and beyond to remain calm and focused because our lawyers have immediately commenced the processes of appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, being dissatisfied with the judgement of the Court of Appeal.’
‘’We urge all of you to remain steadfast and firm in your commitment and prayers and never be moved by any immature utterances coming from any quarters.’
‘’Recall that for three consecutive times we recorded similar successes and all the times we simply expressed our thanks and gratitude to Almighty Allah (SWT) without using any vulgar language against anyone. That is the kind of mature, disciplined and responsible leadership always expected from our leaders.’
‘’Although we have always appreciated the efforts of our party leaders in trying to move our great party forward, much more is still desired from them in terms of building stronger confidence in the party members. Members must be seen to be treated equally, fairly and equitably. ‘’What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander.
‘’For more than 40 days after the judgment of the FCT High Court, the leadership refused to give recognition to the victorious party despite efforts to make them see reason to do so in obedience to the rule of law.
‘’Conversely, however, barely a few hours after the judgement of the Court of Appeal, on the same day, we saw the leadership giving certificate to the person who emerged victorious in the appeal. All Courts should necessarily earn equal respect from citizens.
‘’We humbly and respectfully urge our party leaders, to always take the right actions to protect the party’s electoral viability. Party members should be inspired by the disciplined commitment of party leaders to support and implement lawful decisions.
‘’We, unequivocally, wish to assure all our supporters and followers that we shall never give up this fight for the entrenchment of inclusiveness, equity and justice in the Kano State chapter of our great party., the All Progressives Congress (APC) until justice is not only done, but manifestly seen to have been done.
‘’We urge you to continue to be loyal to the party and once more thank you all for your persistent prayers for our success and the success of APC.
‘’Please double your efforts in this regard as we continue our fight in the highest Court of the land, the Supreme Court of Nigeria,” the group said.
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Thursday set aside the judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory which invalidated the ward and local government congresses of the APC in Kano State.
The lower court had delivered the judgment in a suit filed by a faction of the party led by Mr Shekarau, which had conducted parallel congresses. The court also declared the congresses of the plaintiffs as valid.
The appellate court said the lower court lacks jurisdiction over the case as it is not a pre-election matter but an internal affair of the party, which should be decided by the leadership of the APC.
The decisions of the appeal court were delivered by Justices Haruna Tsammani, Gafai and J. Amadi.
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