The attention of our party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State has been brought to the statement credited to Aare Afe Babalola, Chief Wole Olanipekun and 5 others in respect of the recent developments in the Ekiti State House of Assembly, EKHA, where our party holds sway, and we respond thus:
1. That as leaders of thought, observations of the 7 legal wise men deserve to be given serious thought by all well meaning sons and daughters of the land, whether or not they show adequate awareness of the facts of the matter before making them.
2. That since the matter, which the legal luminaries waded into and tried to adjudicate upon is already in court, their action is prejudicial and runs counter to the legal tenets, which they uphold.
3. That since the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is the grundnorm upheld by all, supports party supremacy and does not recognise independent candidacy, those elected on the platform of party at any level must have sworn to, submit to, and align with all its policies and decisions, with the party constitution, manifesto and programme.
4. That while they conveniently referred to the Constitution of the country and the Rules of the House, the seven legends deliberately ignored the Constitution of APC as a party as though it does not count.
5. That we are not ignorant of what the Constitution also says regarding the supremacy in day-to-day activities of our members in the parliament and we dare not meddle in them.
6. That history does not favour the 7 wise men as having interfered in similar matters in the past and we wonder why now.
7. That we specifically cannot remember what action was taken by any or all the seven legal legends when in November 2014, seven assembly members removed the then Speaker of the house, Rt. Hon. Adewale Omirin and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Adetunji Orisalade from office. None of those crying foul called the perpetrators to order then.
8. That we also cannot remember whether or not any or all of them complained when in October 2018, days before the expiration of the tenure of the then Gov Ayodele Fayose Rt. Hon. Kola Oluwawole and his deputy, Sina Animasaun were removed as speaker and deputy speaker, respectively.
9. That our memory hasn’t failed us regarding the role played by some of the 7 wise men in ensuring that Engr. Segun Oni, who came third, was foisted on his party, the PDP and the entire Ekiti State as Governor in 2007, only for the Court of Appeal in Ilorin to rule in 2010 that the action was a democratic fraud.
10. That by and large, the neutrality of these wisemen is questionable, and we are questioning it. Having relied majorly on the version of just a party in a matter is described as the proverbial wicked act by elder(s) who judged based on one-sided narration.
11. That these elders have deliberately omitted reaching out to all other parties involved, which in this regard include the new Speaker, the parent political party, APC, and the notable party leaders they have alleged.
12. That it offends the rule of natural justice, equity and good conscience for them to have come to judgement on the statement of one party in what they referred to as a serious conflict capable of affecting the peace of the state they claimed to have loved so much.
13. We thus wish to bring it to the memory of the seven wisemen, lest they might have forgotten, that it is not enough for a member to choose which law to obey and which law to disobey among the three laws guiding people’s conducts in a democratic setting.
14. That our party, APC, takes responsibility for the actions of our members in the House, just as we protect the interest of the executives. We therefore will not pretend that the conduct of any of our partymen and women does not matter to us or won’t affect us as a ruling party.
15. That like every, organisation, our party has its own set of rules and corresponding obligation of members to the organisation. Every of our member holding an elected position in whatever capacity is first a Nigerian, then a member of a political party before laying claim to the position.
16. That a major obligation of all members of our party, APC, is obedience to decisions of the party validly made by the organ of the party vested with such powers.
17. Peradventure the so called elders had made their
comments without recourse to all the above facts, we would regard such comments as made in error and advice them to retract them in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice.
18. That since our party, APC is not a court of law, but only a political party, we can only subject our actions to the law of the land and not the decision of any individual.
19. That having acted in accordance with the law, we know the circumstances that can compel us to reverse our decision and none has arisen as yet.
Anyhow, what the legal legends have done is tantamount to giving their piece of advice on a raging issue and not imposing on anyone, so we conclude. We will therefore continue to regard them as illustrious sons of our dear state, Ekiti, who would not want things to degenerate and we weigh their advice dispassionately.
All Progressives Congress, APC,