Some key federal lawmakers from Bauchi State were conspicuously absent at an expanded State Executive Council meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend.
The concerned legislators included Senators Ali Wakili, Isa Hamma Misau, Suleiman Nazif, Speaker Yakubu Dogara of the House of Representatives and the member representing Misau/Dambam Federal Constituency, Ahmed Yarima.
Senators Dogara and Yarima were seen as the major actors in the face-off with the state governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, and the party leadership.
Last August, they were part of a team of key APC stakeholders in Bauchi State led by Speaker Dogara who visited the party’s national secretariat in Abuja over the payment of salaries and the utilization of bail-out funds among other issues in the state.
The key political figures, including the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, met the APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and expressed worry over the current state of the party in the state.
Rising from the expanded State Executive Council meeting, the Bauchi State chapter of the APC threatened to sanction any of its members who defied its rules as contained in the constitution of the party.
The meeting, which had in attendance elected representatives, the state governor, State House of Assembly principal officers and other statutory delegates, held that it would not condone abuse of the party constitutional provisions.
The state party publicity secretary, Alhaji Auwal Aliyu Jalla, who briefed journalists after the meeting, said it had tolerated the excesses of its members for too long and would no longer condone any unethical behaviour from any member.
Speaking on the absence of some lawmakers, who were seen as the major actors in the crisis between the state governor and federal lawmakers from the state, the party’s spokesman said some of the people had sent apologies for their absence.
“Most of the people, who were not able to attend, have sent in their apologies. Some have explained that they have already obtained visas to leave the country, while others have various official and personal engagements which prevented them from attending the meeting,” he added.
However, while speaking to journalists at his residence in Bauchi, Senator Ali Wakili said he did not attend the meeting because he received the invitation late. Wakili also said he had some pressing official engagements to attend.
He, however, lamented that the party did not send the invitation for such crucial meeting to some of the lawmakers on time.
The Bauchi State federal lawmakers, who attended the meeting, were Tata Umar, representing Zaki Federal Constituency; Lawal Yahaya Gumau, representing Gumau/Toro; and Isah Hassan representing Itas/Jama’are Federal Constituency.
Speaking earlier, Governor Abubakar said the meeting was convened to review the party’s activities and discuss the way forward.