Despite the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), its interim National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, said the party’s leadership is “intact and functional as originally constituted.”
He also said the party had set in motion a plan to vacate the court injunction restraining it from going ahead from March 26 National Convention.
Mr Akpanudoedehe spoke at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday.
The embattled secretary, who had stayed away from his office after denying his resignation, said the interim National Chairman, Mala Buni, was on his way from the United Kingdom to resume duties.
President Muhammadu Buhari had reportedly appointed Governor Abubakar Bello to take over the leadership of the party from Mr Buni following the latter’s alleged reluctance to organise the national convention.
Mr Bello is also a member of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) appointed by Mr Buhari in June 2020 after the exit of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
Mr Akpanudoedehe said: “The CECPC therefore informs the Press and the General Public as follows:
-That the CECPC was appointed, and has always done her best, to steer the affairs of the APC in line with the mandate invested in her at inauguration by the National Executive Council (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress.
-That on the 28th day of February, 2022 the CECPC Chairman took a long-delayed trip abroad on health grounds, leaving behind written authorisation for other members of the CECPC to continue work in his absence, particularly the day to day management of the APC.
-That in his absence, sundry activities earlier scheduled for action appeared to develop fresh urgency in order to satisfy the Timetable for the 2023 General Elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thus galvanizing some within the CECPC to act in their best understanding of both the situation and the leadership dynamics in the Committee/Party.
-That all such actions were clearly identified at all times as happening in an acting or proxy capacity, and under the auspices of the substantive Chairman, His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni, contrary to widespread speculations that the Chairman, Secretary or some other officials of the CECPC have been removed from Office or otherwise replaced;
-That the CECPC is intact and functional as originally constituted; and
-That delivering a seamlessly successful National Convention for the APC on March 26, 2022 is top on priority for the CECPC and we shall continue to execute such assignments as are legal pending the return of the Chairman who is on his way back to the country and shall resume Office on arrival with the full support of all members and other stakeholders.”
Vacating court order
Mr Akpanudoedehe also spoke on the injunction by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) against March 26 national convention of the party following a suit instituted by one Salisu Umoru.
The hearing of the suit, which has the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the CECPC chairman, Governor Mala Buni, as respondents, was recently adjourned to March 30 for hearing, four days after the fixed date for the national convention.
Mr Akpanudoedehe said the party has engaged lawyers to vacate the court order.
“Meanwhile, the party has engaged a team of senior lawyers to address a purported court order halting the planned APC National Convention.
“We hereby call on the Judiciary to give the matter the needed and expedient attention in our bid to vacate the purported Court order and allow for the conduct of a transparent and rancour-free National Convention deserving of our great party, APC,” he said.
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