By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA: The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has expressed sadness over the judgement of the Supreme Court which upheld the decision of the Sokoto Division of the Court of Appeal which invalidated the primary election of the party and the consequent electoral victory of its candidates.
National Vice Chairman of the party in the South South, Hilliard Etta, who reacted to the judgement described it as a ‘sad development’.
“It is a sad day for every member of the APC. It is a very sad day for us. For me, I am a democrat. The issue of internal democracy is a serious problem in our country but it is work in progress. We have made a lot of strides in the party,” he said.
It would be recalled that the candidate of the APC, Mukhtar Idris, had been declared winner of the elections after he polled 534,541 votes despite controversies trailing his candidacy.
APC candidates, including the outgoing governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who was elected to the Senate, had won most of the offices contested for in the 2019 elections with the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidates coming as first runners-up in the polls.
Earlier, at about 2:40pm on Friday, members of the APC’s National Working Committee had entered into a closed-door meeting to deliberate on various issues including Zamfara case.
After the meeting, neither the Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole nor any member of the NWC spoke with journalists.
The meeting was briefly attended by Yobe State Governor-elect and the outgoing National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni after which the party announced deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom as the acting National Secretary.
Meanwhile, the party has congratulated Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu over his emergence as the Chairman of Progressives Governor’s forum.
This was contained in a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu and made available to journalists in Abuja.
The statement reads: “We note Bagudu’s achievements in the agricultural sector, particularly rice production in Kebbi State which is in line with the diversification agenda of the President Muhammau Buhari-led APC administration.
“In line with the PGF’s Objectives of promoting good governance, ensuring developmental synergy across APC States and promoting the social democratic programmes of the APC, we are confident that under Bagudu’s leadership, the PGF will continue to contribute to the growth of our great party, promote our progressive ideals and support the President Buhari administration to continue to deliver on the promises made to the Nigerian people.
“We wish Bagudu a successful tenure as Chairman, Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF).”