Conduct of Lagos Congresses in 37 LCDAs Valid, Say APC Leaders

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• Warn against breaching decision of Supreme Court

By Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Chieftains of All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Olawale Oshun and  Prince Tajudeen Olusi yesterday faulted the decision of the National Working Committee (NWC) for not approving the results of congresses conducted on the basis of 20 local government areas (LGAs) and 37 local council development areas (LCDAs) in Lagos State.

The chieftains claimed that the congresses were validly conducted in line with the decision of the Supreme Court that validated the creation of 37 LCDAs and Article 10 of the APC Constitution that recognised “Area Council” as part of the party organisation.

They rejected the NWC decision in separate interviews with THISDAY yesterday, warning the APC National Secretariat against violating the decision of the apex court that declared the process that 37 LCDAs valid and constitutional.

The NWC had on Friday faulted the results from Lagos on grounds that the report contained results from 37 LCDAs instead of the 20 LGAs contrary to the position of the APC National Legal Adviser, Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), that Lagos congresses should be cancelled completely.

Rather than cancelling the results of the congresses, the NWC referred it to the committee that has the Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Lawan Shuaibu, as chairman, and Vice Chairman, North West, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir; and National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, as members, for resolution.

According to reports, the NWC specifically voted to refer it back to the congress committee and the Lagos State chapter to ensure that only results from 20 LGAs recognised by the 1999 Constitution are compiled and submitted for approval. The report of the committee will determine the fate of the Lagos State congress.

On this account, Oshun, a member of the APC National Caucus, saidthe issue of additional local councils “has been settled up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has declared that creation of additional local councils is a prerogative of the state government.”

In Lagos, Oshun explained that the House of Assembly “has completed all the process that created 37 local council development areas. It remains only one step. The National Assembly simply needs to list the 37 LCDAs to complete the process.   

Oshun argued that for the purpose of administration, governance and structure within Lagos State, conducting congresses in 37 LCDAs should not be an issue again, noting that the congresses conducted on the basis of the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs were valid.

He observed that the APC could decide to use 20 LGAs in determining national delegates, though in matters of organising governance and structure with the state, the decision of Lagos APC to conduct the congresses based on the 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs was right.

“It was in line with the spirit and letter of the Supreme Court judgment. This issue should not come up again because it is settled.  That is why we have a federation. As far as the 1999 Constitution, Nigeria is a federation of 36 states and FCT,” he said.

Olusi, a senatorial leader in Lagos Central, also defended the decision of Lagos APC to conduct congresses based on 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs, noting that it was in line with the decision of the apex court and Articles 10 and 12 of the APC Constitution

In Lagos, according to him, it is acknowledged that we have 57 local councils. This comprises 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs. The decision of the Supreme Court validated the creation of 37 LCDAs. Why should people raise issues about it again?

Even in the APC Constitution, he added, LCDAs are recognised under Articles 10 and 12.

Article 10 states: “There shall be seven levels of party organisation: i) the polling unit ii) the ward iii) the local government area/ area council iv) the senatorial district v) the state vi) the geo-political zone and vii) the national secretariat. Each of these levels shall have a functional secretarial except the Senatorial District and Polling Unit”

Contingent on this provision, Olusi said any person raising this issue again “has no valid ground. Aside, during our membership registration, we did it in all 20 LGAs and 37 LCDAs. Then, nobody raised issue. Why are they raising such issue now? It is a sheer waste of time.”