ONE week to the takeoff of its membership revalidation and registration exercise, there is rising tension in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) because of frantic bid by major stakeholders to hijack the party structures.
Reports from Kaduna, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kwara and a number of other state chapters revealed bitter rancour and resistance among different power blocs and party chieftains to control the machinery of the APC .
At the dawn of the New Year, the Secretary of its Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), John Akpanudoedehe unveiled the date for the exercise.
Some sections of the party kicked against the exercise until President Muhammadu Buhari upheld the recommendation contained in a report by the interim committee running the affairs of the party.
Disagreement persists among stakeholders in Kano
Ripples created elicited by the resignation of two principal of officer of the state House of Assembly at the close of last year are reportedly subsisting in the rank and file of the Kano State chapter of the party.
The resignation of the Speaker, Abdulazeez Garba-Gafasa, and the Majority leader, Kabiru Hassan Dashi, came amidst insinuations of a cold war.
In a letter titled ‘Notification of Resignation’ dated December 14th and addressed to the Clerk and the Permanent Secretary. The Press Secretary to the Speaker, Nura Bala Ajingi, confirmed the resignation of the two officials to newsmen.
In his resignation letter, Garba-Garfasa hinged his decision on personal reasons and thanked all the members for their support during his tenure.
But, the Majority Leader, in his one-paragraph letter of resignation addressed to the Clerk, was silent on the reason for his action.
Some forces are opposed to the desperate moves by the loyalists of the state governor to consolidate the firm grip of their principal on the APc structure in the state.
Discordant tunes rages in Kwara
In Kwara, some APC youths in the state are unrelenting in their fight over the purported removal of the chairman of the party’s caretaker committee, Honourable Bashir Bolarinwa.
The Concerned APC youth stakeholders, a group loyal to Hon. Bolarinwa, insisted through its spokesperson, Mallam Ahmed Ishowo, that the planned membership revalidation and registration would not to hold in the state if the APC leadership did not reverse the decision to remove Bolarinwa.
Ishowo said that the removal of Bolarinwa was a move to return the state to the reign of impunity.
In a counter-move, another set of APC youths led by Abdulmumin Lade Yunusa, said the suspension and removal of the party chairman must subsist, aligning itself with the appointment of Alhaji Abdullahi Samari as chairman of the party’s caretaker committee in the state.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin at the weekend, some elders and stakeholders of the APC, led by stalwarts in the three senatorial districts of the state, including Alhaji Kunle Sulaiman, Senator Makanjuola Ajadi, Chief Wole Oke and Ambassador Nurudeen Mohammed, alleged that the likes of the former governorship aspirant of the party in the last general election, Professor Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo and recently removed party caretaker committee chairman, Honourable Bolarinwa were against the administration of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
However, two notable ministers from the APC in the state, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Senator Gbemisola Saraki, have remained silent on the crisis, despite being mentioned as forces opposing the Governor Abdulrazaq administration.
Meanwhile, the senator representing Kwara South Senatorial district, Oyelola Ashiru, urged APC members in Kwara to be cautious because of the implications of the crisis for the party.
Addressing some party faithful across Kwara South senatorial district at his Offa residence at the weekend, Senator Ashiru bemoaned the potential damage the festering crisis could cause the party and its developmental agenda.
“When the fight is prolonged, the party may lose cohesion, unity, strength which might result in the loss of the support of a significant proportion of the populace. This situation foretells a double electoral gain for the opposition.
“The fundamental things that we have achieved as progressives in the current political dispensation include being able to reinvent ourselves, institutionalising democracy and installing good governance. But if we continue to indulge in bitter intra-party fight, we might lose all these gains and strengths which will be calamitous for the people of Kwara state,” he stated.
Suspense in Oyo APC
In Oyo, there is a pall of suspense as the state chapter of the party has been in hide and seek over leadership.
Though the stalwarts have, of recent, been promising to close ranks, it was not clear if they have been able to reach a consensus on the conduct of membership validation and registration starting next Monday across the country.
A former governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, is the chairman of the reconciliation committee of the party in the state.
But, a few other party chieftains are laying claim to the leadership of the party.
A former Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin; Senator AbdulFatai Buhari; a former Minister of Communications, Mr Bayo Shittu; former deputy governors: Iyiola Oladokun and Moses Alake Adeyemo, as well as Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, are among other top leaders of the state APC.
Uncertainty in Adamawa
There are reports about schism in the Adamawa State chapter of the party, especially between loyalists of former Governor Muhammad Umar Bindow and supporters of other APC chieftains.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, both indigenes of Adamawa, had moved to reconcile aggrieved members of the party in the state.
The APC lost the governorship election and legislative seats in the state in 2019 to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP due to internal conflicts.
The peace move, which was at the instance of a party stalwart, Mustapha Salihu, led to the setting up of a 39- member Central Steering Committee to oversee affairs of the party in the state.
Crack threatens exercise in Kaduna APC
The current feud between the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Yusuf Zailani and the Senator representing Kaduna central senatorial district, Sani Uba, was said to be tearing the APC part in Kaduna State.
The feud is shaking the party to its foundation, with appeal by concerned stakeholders to call the two lawmakers involved to order.
Claims, counter-claims among leaders in Bauchi
In Bauchi state, the APC, which is in opposition in the state, is divided along two camps loyal to a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara and immediate past governor of the State, Mohammed Abubakar.
Checks at che party’s secretariat revealed that no activity was going on there, as all the caretaker Committee members had deserted the place since they were appointed after the dissolution of the former executive committee.
Some members of the party who spoke to our Correspondent expressed dismay over the current situation in the party lamenting that information has not been flowing from the leadership for a long time, particularly on the membership revalidation and registration exercise.
The caretaker chairman, Uba Ahmed Nana did not pick calls put through his phone or responded to the text messages, but the public relations officer of the party, Adamu Jalla said that the party was ready to do what the National Secretariat directed.
He denied the insinuations that the chairman was not carrying others along in running the party, adding: “He is not in town now; we are expecting him to come back and brief us on how the exercise will be conducted.”
One of the elders of the party, Hassan Sherrif, while in reacting, claimed that the caretaker Committee was trying to frustrate the directives of the APC national secretariat on the exercise because of an alleged selfish reason.
Another member of the party, Aminu Tukur expressed confidence that the exercise would retool the party ahead of the 2023 general election.
Senator Isa Muhammad Misau said that the party would have more bona-fide members at the end of the exercise because, according to him, “The APC is a party of people and no matter the short notice, they will come out to support the party.”.
Isah Muhammad Misau added that the leadership of the party in the state was ready to comply with the directives of the APC national secretariat “our mass movement in APC is to come together and reclaim the state in 2023 and nothing is going to stop that”.
APC youths to mobilise 236,000 for registration in Ogun
In Ogun State, the APC Youth League in Ogun State, promised to mobilise no fewer than 236,000 youth members for the registration and revalidation exercise.
The coordinator of the League, Comrade Olamide Lawal, who disclosed this at a meeting held in Abeokuta,said that the youths were ready to mobilize massively during the registration in order to justify the emergence of Governor Dapo Abiodun as the vice Chairman, Mobilisation and Sensitisation Committee of the party.
Lawal, who is also the Special Assistant to the Governor on Youths and Sports, charged the party youths to work assiduously in order to make the dream a reality.
“Everyone must be up and doing. All hands must be on deck. We must mobilize to ensure at least 1000 persons per ward, in all our state’s 236 wards” He said
The coordinator maintained that the state had witnessed tremendous growth since the emergence of Prince Dapo Abiodun as governor.
He charged members to keep faith alive while supporting the present administration.
According to him, “Mr Governor has assured us that youths would not be left behind in the delivery of his democratic dividends. And as we all know, he is a man of his words”.
“He has been doing a lot in terms of Youth Empowerment. Many of us have benefited from his benevolence. In this present administration, we have a lot of us (youths) as S.As, members of board, Transport Unions Executives, etc”
The state meeting which had Coordinators of the league from the 20 local government areas of the state in attendance, also witnessed the inauguration of the State Reconciliatory Committee headed by the group’s secretary in the state, Yunus Fayomi.
The committee is to resolve all lingering issues within the league across all Local governments and report back in February.
No barrier against new prospective members in Jigawa
One of the national leader of the APC from Jigawa State, Honourable Faruk Adamu Aliyu said the January 25 exercise would hold as it was an opportunity to register new members by the party.
The former Minority Leader in theHhouse of Representatives, dismissed that “the new registration exercise is not an attempt to victimise party members or any group.
Honourable Aliyu said the party welcomed even Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members, adding that “The 1999 Constitution gives any citizen to be a member of any political party.
All efforts to contact the Jigawa caretaker committee chairman, Muhammadu Umar Dikkuma through his mobile phone to comment did not succeed, as he did not picked all calls put to him.
Thought the governor of the state, Muhammad Badaru, in his speech while inaugurating the caretaker committee of the party, said the lingering crisis in the party (APC) may cost the party victory come 2023 if goes unchecked,
He said if the party lost, he had nothing to lose being an established businessman.
The report from the state indicated that Governor Badaru, at a meeting in September last year, removed the APC acting chairman for allegedly shifting loyalty to the leader of a factional group of the party, Sabo Nakudu, a serving senator for Jigawa central.