Like Keyamo, two presidential aides demand removal of Gov Buni as interim national chairman of APC

Two presidential aides have joined the State Minister for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, to demand the removal of Yobe State Governor, Mala Buni, as interim chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Babafemi Ojudu, the special adviser to the president on political matters and Ita Enang, the senior special assistant to the president on Niger Delta affairs, in a joint statement on Thursday, questioned the legality of Mr Buni’s leadership.

Messrs Ojudu and Enang are former senators and members of the ruling APC.

The duo, in a statement shared on Mr Ojudu’s Facebook wall, said the Supreme Court judgement in favour of the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, is a narrow victory for the party that had again brought to fore subdued concerns and agitations of many members of the party.

The presidential aides’ reaction came on the heels of Mr Keyamo’s warning on Wednesday of the imminent legal implication of Mr Buni-led leadership on the party if aggrieved members choose to seek redress in court.

Aligning their concerns with that of the minister, Messrs Ojudu and Enang revealed that they had raised similar issues earlier but that it was swept under carpet by powers within the ruling party.

“It has long been in contention whether unelected officers of a political party can exercise the powers of party vested in the Chairman and officers of the Party who ought, by Party’s Constitution to be elected at duly convened convention of the Party at the National level and congresses at State and other levels.

“A cursory reading of the Minority judgment, we submit, appears to have swept the carpet of legality off the CECPC rendering it illegal, null, void and of no legal capacity to undertake any action on behalf and in the name of the Party.

“It has also brought to question the legality of ALL the actions taken by him since inception,” the duo said in their statement on Thursday.

They asked the party to stop its proposed congresses to avert possible legal storms which may hurt the party’s chances in the 2023 General Elections.

Also in his comment section on Facebook in reaction to the development, Mr Ojudu said Mr Akeredolu nearly became a victim of the illegality he encouraged as a senior lawyer when he picked his ambition over legality.

“Some of us also warn. The folks who almost became victims yesterday were the architect of the illegality,” he noted in reaction to PREMIUM TIMES’ earlier article that raised a breach of APC constitution.

“I think we cannot, as a political association, run roughshod on legalities, while expecting to exercise power over others, judicially! Such a position is morally wrong!

“If Eyitayo Jegede has had an equal number of LGA votes as Akeredolu, we would have been upset.

“Why a lawyer as Akeredolu too did not see the legal anomaly in his nomination form being signed by Buni goes to show how careless our professionals are in practice. We get beclouded by self-interests, easily,” Mr Ojudu further said in an excerpt from his comments on his Facebook wall.

He urged the party leadership to set up a team of legal experts to appraise the legal status of the CECPC in carrying out further activity on behalf of the party.

The interim leadership of the APC was appointed in 2020 after the Adams Oshiomhole-led national working committee (NWC) was removed from office.

Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Sen. Ita Enang speaking during his appearance on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Tuesday (11/9/18). 04918/11/9/2018/Jimah Suleman/BJO/NAN

The interim National Secretary, John Akpanuodehede, also a former senator, hails from the same senatorial district as Mr Enang.

They both represented Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly at different times and they have both expressed interest in the Akwa Ibom governorship seat come 2023.

Their district is expected to produce the next governor of the state.

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