Members of the Progressives Governors Forum, who met in Abuja, late on Sunday, failed to reach an agreement on what to do about the proposal to ease out their colleagues holding party positions, The PUNCH has learnt.
It was gathered in Abuja, on Monday that the meeting which was held at the Kebbi State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, was punctuated by words of caution by a governor from the North Central who urged his colleagues not to celebrate the Supreme Court judgment on the Ondo Governorship matter yet.
A source privy to the meeting who pleaded anonymity because he was not mandated to speak to the media on what has been discussed, said, “We only agreed to wait for the return of Mr. President before taking a final decision.”
While giving an insight into what transpired, the source said, “A governor of one of the states in the North Central cautioned the party against playing politics with the Supreme Court judgement which he described as a booby trap.
“The governor warned that the party could ill afford to give the opposition a legal technicality to deal a huge blow on the party’s electoral fortunes. He cited the cases of Zamfara and Bayelsa to back up his claim.”
The source further said, “Based on the judgement, the governor aligned with the position of Vice President Osinbajo and other party leaders who are accomplished lawyers in their own rights who advised that we tarry a while because as a party, we may be walking into a booby trap by allowing governors hold party positions while still serving.
“Apart from the legality or otherwise, there is also the moral question
“Another issue which was discussed was the fate of the recently held congresses. There were complaints against the consensus arrangement which did not go as planned in some states.
“There was also the case of whether in the light of the Supreme Court judgment we were right to go ahead in the first place.
“Some of the governors in attendance weren’t comfortable with these issues. So, in the interest of peace, it was agreed that we all wait for the President who is expected back into the country on Thursday.
Recall, based on the legal advice of the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), the party went ahead with the ward congresses.
This was against earlier advice by the party’s former national legal adviser, Muiz Banire (SAN) and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN) against doing so.
Meanwhile, security was on Monday beefed up around the party’s national secretariat following security reports that those opposed to the conduct of last Saturday’s ward congresses were planning to stage a protest.
Two police patrol vans with a dozen armed policemen were stationed along Blantyre Street where the party secretariat is located.
Confirming the development, National Secretary of the party, Senator John Akpanudoedehe said, “The police is here to strengthen the leadership of the Governor Buni, -led caretaker committee.
“What do I mean by that? Whenever you read a security situation, whenever we are privy to a security report, it is incumbent on our part to strengthen the Secretariat so that we can protect the lives and property of APC members.
“We have a security report, we can’t take laws into our hands, you can’t expect us to call thugs to defend the national secretariat. The right thing to do is to inform the police and the SSS that they may know that so, so thing has happened.”