Lagos APC Crisis Continues As Party Holds Two Congress
Members of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, has stated that it would sue the National Working Committee of the party for altering the state’s congress.
Mr Abiodun Salami, the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the party, while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, revealed the decision in regards to the altering of the main congress of APC at ACME on May 19 by the NWC over issues of legality.
The party saw another congress held by a chieftain, Mr Fouad Oki on the grounds that the ACME congress lacked legal basis as it was conducted based on wards in 57 council areas instead of 20 approved by INEC.
Mallam Bolaji Abdullah, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, said the work had began in the party in respect to the reports from the various appeal panels on the conduct of state congresses.
He said a meeting to resolve the issues had been held and that the Lagos APC faction loyal to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which conducted its wards and local government congresses in 57 local council development areas had been overruled by the national leadership.
He said the state structure was however not handed over to Oki who he said conducted the congress in accordance with the party laws.
He added that a five-man panel had been set up to dissect the constitutionality of the two congresses and that the panel, headed by the party’s Deputy National Chairman, would begin sitting on Sunday.
“Yes, we set up a panel to look at the issues in the Lagos chapter. Of course, we overruled those who conducted their congresses in 57 councils because the constitution only recognises 20 councils.
“We could not have discountenanced those who conducted in 20 councils because that is constitutional. The issue in Lagos is about legality and constitutionality“, he said.
Reacting to the overruling by NWC in the state congress, Salami, said the chapter would challenge the decision in the court of law.
“We will challenge their decision at the court because there is a Supreme Court judgement in favour of Lagos State on 57 councils.
“We have been operating with 20 LG’s and 37 LCDA’s in Lagos before the formation of APC.
“The decision is not only mischievous but a deliberate way to scuttle the party in Lagos State,” he said.
Salami said the real congress was the one held at ACME in the presence of INEC and party officials, and that other congress lacked legal basis as no monitoring officer was present.
Salami accused Oki of double standards, saying the same person who was party’s Vice Chairman (Central) when the party conducted council elections in 57 councils was now complaining of illegality
Speaking to NAN, Oki said the decision of the party’s NWC to overrule the ACME congress vindicated him and his group.
“I have always said you cannot build something on nothing. What is wrong is wrong.
“I will continue to say that the constitutionally known local governments in Lagos are 20.
“And INEC recognises 245 wards. Therefore you cannot put up any illegality and expect it to hold.
“And if you look at their own congresses, you will see that they were full of contradictions and illegalities.
“The reaction of the NWC cannot be clearer. That is what we are seeing.
“We have an NWC that is committed to the constitution, to the rule of law and the electoral act and that is why they are trying to put things right”, he said.
Oki said he had been briefed that a committee was in the state to resolve the issues once and for all. He, however, said he had not been invited, but said he hoped to be invited on Monday to defend his own congress.