Akande: APC members in court over leadership tussle ‘are innocently in error’

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Chief Adebisi Akande, the Chairman, APC Reconciliation Committee, has called on all party members to resolve their internal conflicts through dialogue, deliberation and ultimately through open and transparent voting procedures.
Akande, made the call in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.
According to him, politics after all, is the art of resolving conflicts and disputes in a manner that strengthens institutions as well as relationships between people who share those common institutions.
“I have noticed with growing concern the increasing number of court cases being filed pertaining to disputes regarding the leadership of our party, the All Progressives Congress.
“Competition and different views on leadership are inherent in political parties, thus, the fact that all party members do not agree on all things is not abnormal.
“The APC is a democratic body. This means we seek to resolve internal conflicts through dialogue, deliberation and ultimately through open and transparent voting procedures,” he said.
The APC chairman said he was a bit taken aback by the swift resort to the courts by some members who sought external decisions on “what are intrinsically internal matters best determined by the deliberative process that was part and parcel of democratically-oriented party politics.
“I do not know the motivations behind this litigious conduct; it is not in my nature to ascribe negative or harmful motives to anyone.
“Those seeking access to the courts to decide what are basically political questions perhaps think they are doing the right thing.
“If this is the case, I must state that they are innocently in error.
“Their actions are harmful to the party in compound ways.
“First, the subject matter they bring before the court is not amenable to judicial pronouncement.
“The manner by which court decisions are rendered– one side wins, the other loses– is not the best way to resolve political disputes.
“Again, such disputes are better treated by dialogue and the give-and-take that dialogue engenders.”
According to Akande, courts do not proceed in such a manner and to resort to the courts casts the party in a negative public light.
“The penchant by members for litigation undermines party discipline, internal dispute resolution mechanisms and institutions.
“I must remind party members the party Constitution requires that all internal dispute resolution measures be exhausted before a member carries a matter to court.
“I dare say this provision has not been honoured, either in spirit or in letter by those initiating these court cases seeking to oust party officials,” he said.
Akande said that along with several other respected party members, he had been appointed as the chairman of the party’s special reconciliation committee.
“This committee is the product of discussions and deliberations of party organs such as the NWC and NEC.
“No one has contended that this committee was improperly established.
“The committee’s mandate was to investigate and submit recommendations regarding the dispute in Edo, involving the National Party Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and Governor Godwin Obaseki as well as inquire into disputes in other states that might weaken the party.
“All party members are aware of this decision. Thus, it runs contrary to the explicit decision of the party.
“It is severely premature for members to seek judicial intervention in areas that form the very subject matter of the special committee’s mandate,” the chairman said.
Akande stressed that to seek judicial intervention before the committee has had time to do and finish its work, not only insults the committee, it offends the NWC, NEC and the entire party.
He, however, called on all party members to honour the rightful and correct decisions of the party leadership.
“Members should allow the committee to do its work and should stop seeking judicial intervention in matters under the purview of the special committee until the committee has done its work and the party leadership has acted upon its recommendations.
“For members to act otherwise would be to discard the party Constitution and ignore the tenets of deliberation and compromise upon which all successful political parties are founded,” he said.

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