*APC May Annul Last Week’s Ward Congresses*

August 3, 2021 2:46 Am

All things being equal, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is likely to annul its ward congresses held last Saturday, the first in a series of steps in the selection of delegates that would ultimately lead to the party’s convention.
A consensus is already burgeoning around outright cancellation of the congresses to avoid legal landmines in the foreseeable future, going by the Supreme Court judgment in the Ondo governorship election last week, which touched on the fate of the current APC national Caretaker leadership.
A top Villa source said last night that, “The Vice President is of the firm view that the Supreme Court ruling last week is a clear legal ditch, which is best avoided. And he wants to ensure that the interest of the party is what is paramount, hoping that all stakeholders would eventually find a way out in the interest of Nigerians, who have reposed so much confidence and support in the party.”
Continuing, the source said, “you know the Vice President is a man of constitutionalism and would not do anything to undermine the constitutional process. He believes in the sanctity of law and due process and anything that is not in conformity with the law must be brought to compliance. As a professor of law, he sees the implications of the Supreme Court ruling and is trying to avoid trouble that may be waiting ahead.”
On the express directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, the source claimed that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has continued to consult with stakeholders on how best to bring the party in compliance to legality, despite early resistance by the Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami and the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Mai Mala Buni, who both defied the resolution reached at a legal review session with lawyers in the federal cabinet, where the issue was discussed.
The resolution, at that review session hosted by the vice president, was to pause the congresses and reflect on the wider implications of judgment of the Supreme Court and consult widely to achieve the best way out of the legal quagmire. The quest for a safe option to resolve the internal political complications is said to be the driving force behind the consultation as earlier directed by the President
Competent Villa sources, therefore, explained last night that already the Vice President had been holding further consultations with party leaders and governors on a solution that would save the party from future legal traps and at the same time be acceptable to all within the APC.
It is believed that Osinbajo, who has been asked to resolve the matter by the President, is intent on ensuring that the party benefits from what seems to be a legal warning from the Supreme Court judgment, which had a 4-3 verdict with the justices questioning the constitutional validity of a sitting governor holding such an executive post as national party Caretaker Chairman. “He wants the party not do anything that would further complicate an already complicated situation,” the source stated.
While a last minute cancelation of the Congresses was on the table on Friday night, APC governors explained to the VP that majority of them would rather prefer to go on with the Congresses even though some felt an outright cancelation of the Congresses would be inevitable if the party went ahead.a graphical illustration of how Malami and Buni defied Osinbajo’s directive, which was informed by an instruction by the president to the vice president to find a way around the legal lacuna that laid-in-wait for the party.
The development is believed to have precipitated a rethink on the future of the party as more stakeholders have started to reach out to the vice president, pledging their readiness to work with him in the onerous task of finding a lasting solution to the party dilemma.