Barely a week of simmering of leadership crisis that gripped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Yekini Nabena on Sunday said he has taken over the office of the National Publicity Secretary on acting capacity.
He said the substantive occupant of the office, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu cease to be the party’s spokesperson until the time he (Onilu) vacates a Court order restraining him from duty.
A Sokoto High Court last week had restrained the party from appointing or electing “Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu or any member” into its top positions except through a National Convention.
In a statement issued in Abuja and signed by Nabena, the deputy spokesman said understanding reached with Onilu, he (Nabena) would act pending the time the substantive National Publicity Secretary will sort out the court matter.
According to Nabena, “APC is a law abiding party and as leaders of the party we must be seen doing the right thing at all time, including respecting the order of the court.
In lieu of this, Mallam Onilu has began the process of vacating the order of the Sokoto High Court restraining him but pending the time this will be done I will act in his position.
“Unlike the former ruling party, APC has high regard for the judiciary and we must be seen at all times practicing what we preach,” Nabena stated.
The deputy National Publicity Secretary then called for understanding among the APC supporters and urged the media and other stakeholders to cooperate with him in carrying out the assignment as usual.
He assured media representatives of prompt responses to enquiries and clarifications while creating mutual understanding between the public and the governing party.
Efforts to get Issa-Onilu’s reaction to the development failed, as our reporter’s telephone calls went unanswered.
It would be recalled that the National Vice Chairman – North West of the party, Barr. Inuwa Abdulkadir in a Motion Exparte dated March 13, 2020 and filed before Justice Mohammed Mohammed of Sokoto High Court sought an order of the court to restrain the APC from appointing Issa-Onilu into any substantive position.