APC In-House Crises Threaten To Tear Party Apart
The ruling All Progressive Congress, which has been experiencing in house crises overtime has seen some of the aggrieved members of the party in Katsina State threaten to leave the party.
Report has it that the results from the congresses of the party would this week be reviewed by the APC National Working Committee, in respect to putting an end to the crises that could lead to the defection of some party members.
Recall that Naija News reported that some states like Lagos, Kwara, Delta, Rivers, Ondo, Enugu, Kogi, Bayelsa experienced parallel votings, within the party and with the likes of Rivers and Ekiti faced with violence.
A leader within the party, who spoke with Punch, stated that to prevent the defection of some aggrieved party members, the NWC and its successor has a role to play in reconciling them.
Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, the spokesman of APC, on Saturday in an interview, stated that no parallel congresses would be tolerated in any state, he stated the only recognised congresses were the ones organised by the committees set up by the NWC
However, the parallel congresses have started taking their toll on the party.
In Kastina State, President Muhammadu Buhari’s state, a group of governorship aspirants, under the aegis of APC Aqida (ideology), threatened to dump the party.
The aggrieved party members, including Senator Mohammed .T. Liman, Dr. Usman Bugaje and Alhaji Saidu Ilu, described the congresses held in Katsina on Saturday, as “despicable and outrageous.”
In a press statement, the three party leaders revealed their jointly signed move and made available to reporters, in Abuja, on Sunday.
The group stated, “We must finally make the important point that as citizens, we have options and will not remain in a party which has chosen to ignore all appeals to ensure decorum and due processes.”
“Many lives were lost and many more were maimed in an exercise that is supposed to elect leaders of a party that claimed, to not only bring change, but pledged that change begins with it.
“In Katsina State, which is the primary constituency of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a President that has been sold to many as an embodiment of honesty and integrity, forms were not sold to many who wanted to contest.”
“Actually, what happened in Katsina during this last congress is a confirmation of all our fears that democracy, when taken over by a group of people who have lost their conscience and sense of shame, can only be scandalised and the party dragged into disrepute making it look worse than the very party the APC loved to condemn.”
The group further said that it complained to the national headquarters to no avail.
Report has it that in Bayelsa State, no fewer than 2,000 members of the party defected to the Peoples Democratic Party in Sagbama area of the state.
Mr. Godspower Keku, the State Secretary of the PDP, received the defectors in company with other PDP leaders including Lt.-Col. Bernard Kenabai (retd.), a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly in Sagbama on Sunday.
National Vice-Chairman, Senator, ex-Gov lead protest in C’River. Hundred of stakeholders of the APC in Cross River State on Sunday protested against the state congress held on Saturday.
At the congress attended by the supporters of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Usani Usani, Mr. Etim John, emerged as the new state chairman.
But hundreds of stakeholders, including a former governor of the state, Chief Clement Ebri; Senator John Owan-Enoh; the APC National Vice-Chairman, South-South, Chief Hilliard Eta, and Mr. Paul Adah, said the results of the rescheduled May 13 and 15 ward and local government congresses had yet to be released before the state congress was fraudulently organised.
In Enugu State, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, accused the APC NWC of bias in the party’s congresses in the state.
The minister, who addressed journalists on Sunday, faulted the guidelines given by the NWC to the ward, local government area and state congress committees, who were reportedly directed to hand over voting materials to the chairmen of the party in the states.
Reacting to the development, the minister accused the APC national headquarters of ‘complicity’ and insisted that ‘justice’ must be done.
He also insisted that the process had not been completed in Enugu State.
On Sunday, the APC in Taraba State held parallel congresses where two factional state executives of the party emerged.
The faction of the party led by the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Alhassan, elected Alhaji Abdulmumuni Vaki as the Chairman at a congress held at Gonvi Hotels in Jalingo.
The congress led by the minister was supervised by the Secretary of the Taraba Congress Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Umar, and officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state.
Meanwhile, a leader of the APC, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, on Sunday raised the alarm that the parallel congresses of the APC in many states were dangerous developments.
At a press conference in Ilorin, he stated that it was more worrisome that some of the arrowheads of the parallel congresses were top government functionaries.
Baraje said it was surprising that some people would want to destroy the house in which they were living. He stated that even when he was the Chairman of the PDP, he never witnessed such a large number of parallel congresses.
He said, “These parallel congresses everywhere, I was trying to count the states where we had parallel congresses and I counted 21 states. I was trying to compare how many does APC control? I have had the opportunity of being the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party and the impression that people had was that they (PDP) did not have internal democracy. As bad as people thought it was then, we never had 21 states where we were had parallel congresses.”
He noted that the APC was not controlling Enugu, but there were parallel congresses. Baraje stated, “In Rivers, we do not control the government there, but you see the violence that is going on there. It is left to the party to decide what to do. It is not for an individual to decide, but if you ask me as an individual, it is a dangerous trend. The earlier, the party gets its act together, the better for the APC.”
Baraje, who is the leader of the new Peoples Democratic Party in APC, said it was incorrect that the group issued an ultimatum to the APC leadership or President Muhammadu Buhari.
He explained that the content of the letter the group wrote the national leadership of the APC was a piece of advice.
According to him, national leaders of APC and members of the nPDP will hold a meeting on Monday in an effort to address the grievances of the group.
He stated that the group was invited by the APC last week. “The party wanted us to meet on Thursday last week, but I told them that it was not possible because leaders had to travel from their various destinations. So we could not meet the party that day, we agreed on Monday, and hopeful we are going to continue from there on Monday (today).”