APC stakeholders reject expulsion of acclaimed factional leader Audu

The All progressives Congress (APC) Stakeholders have rejected the decision to expel the acclaimed factional leader of the party, Prince Mustapha Audu, from the ruling party.

The APC stakeholders also known as the APC Rebirth Group led by Aliyu Audu in a statement Thursday in Abuja, said the decision to expel Audu was tantamount to punishing “alleged Illegality with another Illegality”, adding that the fact that Prince Audu expressed a contrary opinion or embark on activities that are seen to be against the current leadership of the party does not warrant his being denied his rights as a full-fledged member of the party. 

The Stakeholders accused the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Committee of instigating the expulsion of Prince Audu from the party through his ward in Ogbonicha, Kogi state.

Arguing that the party lacks the moral latitude to expel Prince Audu from the party, the group frowned at the decision by the department of state security services (DSS) to grill Prince Audu over the activities of his factional group.

The Stakeholders noted: “For the leadership of the APC to take this position against a group it has interfaced with at various times, so much as disowning their leader, Prince Mustapha Audu who was recently a governorship aspirant under the platform of the party, one only imagines how seriously those superintending over the affairs of the party takes their responsibility. 

“At what point did Prince Audu ceased to be a member of the APC? Could this be before he paid the sum of N22.5 million to the coffers of the party to contest the governorship primaries of the APC in Kogi State, or after he decided to speak against the continuous stay in office of the CECPC or their refusal to conduct the national convention of the party, especially within the time frame given to her?

“We feel that even if the party would impose any disciplinary action on Prince Audu, the constitution of the party must be followed to the latter by adhering to laid down rules and procedures prescribed for the discipline of party members, including being given the fair chance to defend himself, and not the arbitrary and unconstitutional action of the CECPC and the ward chairman acting on their behalf.”

Continuing, the group noted: “In any case, what has Prince Audu and his Progressive Youth Movement said about the current leadership of the party that are not true? Apart from the wooing of opposition politicians into the APC which has not translated into any meaningful political capital, the CECPC has lost more elections than it has won and has succeeded in creating more crisis across the length and breath of the party than it met and meant to resolve. 

“The Concerned APC Stakeholders recalls how nearly three months ago, it began to champion the cause for the rebirth of the APC, calling for a return to the founding principles and ideals of the party; all of which the Buni-led committee has further driven us away from. 

“While we may differ in the approach adopted by any other group, the goal remains to ensure that the APC take its pride of place and that include the enthronement of the right leadership at the national convention of the party which will drive the process. 

“As regards the purported invitation of Mustapha Audu by the DSS, the APC Rebirth Group would like to draw attention of the service to a subsisting court order which barred government or any of its security agencies from intervening in party affairs. 

“Except there is a different matter upon which Prince Audu was invited, we would be very disappointed if the invitation was as a result of the recent activities of his group. We recall that the leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari has warned several times that no individual, no matter how highly placed, should use the agencies of government to intimidate any Nigerian, let alone members of our own party.

“It’s our hope that whoever is behind the ongoing attempt to checkmate the activities of Prince Audu’s group or any other group for that matter would do so with a clear obedience to the Constitution of the party and the laws of Nigeria. Illegalities and violation of rights must have no space within a progressive party such as the APC and a democratic country under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The Concerned APC Stakeholders thereby reiterated its call on the Buni-led Caretaker Committee to conduct the national convention of the party in line with the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It’s been nearly two weeks since Governor Mai Mala Buni in company of some other APC governors told Nigerians that it took a date of February, 2022 for the conduct of the national convention to President Muhammadu Buhari and that the President graciously approved it; but no definite date or plan has been released by the CECPC since that announcement. This clearly shows that the CECPC, despite going to the villa with a February proposal has no prepared plan to meet the deadline. Let it be known, however, that any attempt to extend the convention beyond the February date as graciously approved by the President will be resisted by all concerned,” the group noted.