5 August 2021
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Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress have started arriving in Abuja for a meeting on the state of the party.
The meeting, which barring last-minute changes is due to hold on Thursday (today), is aimed at finding a political solution to the challenge posed by the Supreme Court judgment on the Ondo State governorship election.
Some senior party members have argued that a part of the judgment calls to question the continued stay in office of Buni, a serving governor, as Chairman of the Caretaker/ National Convention Planning Committee of the party.
It was gathered that the governors would be discussing how best to give their colleagues “a soft-landing” in a way that would preserve the party’s reputation as well as ensure that the governors would not leave with a feeling that they were used and dumped.
Although neither governors nor members of the Federal Executive Council who are senior lawyers have reached a consensus on the issue, multiple party sources who spoke to our correspondent in confidence tilted towards “saving the party first.”
A high ranking party source told The PUNCH, “There are as many views as there are lawyers in the cabinet and in the party. Just like the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN) argues that the party should halt further activities and effect changes in leadership, people like the Attorney General of the Federation and our party’s lead counsel in the Ondo case, Niyi Akintola (SAN), maintain the view that the party leadership has no reason to nurse any fear because no law has been breached.”
As of Wednesday, the governors who had arrived Abuja for the meeting included Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Sani Bello (Niger), Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe) and Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi).
Attempts to get an official response to enquiries about the meeting from the Director General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukman were futile. Calls to his mobile telephone number were neither picked nor returned as at 9:14 pm
Recall that The PUNCH had on Wednesday reported that after a meeting attended by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the APC state governors and other stakeholders on Friday night, the party leaders started considering the removal of Buni as caretaker committee chairman and other governors, who are members of the panel.
Apart from Buni, who is the Governor of Yobe State, other governors, who are members of the committee, are Sani Bello of Niger State, who is representing the North-Central and his Osun State counterpart, Isiaka Oyetola, who represents the South-West.