Reject result of state congress Party spokesmen clash over Banireâ€™s suspension saga
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Some top leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Kaduna State yesterday stormed the national secretariat of the party in Abuja to register their displeasure over the alleged infractions witnessed at last weekend congress held in the state.
The aggrieved stakeholders led by two serving senators, Shehu Sani and Suleiman Hunkuyi, met with the National Chairman of the APC and the National Working Committee (NWC) behind closed doors where they submitted a petition demanding the cancellation of the exercise in Kaduna State.
The congress was meant to produce adhoc delegates from each local government areas to act as delegate at the yet-to-be scheduled APC convention.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Hunkuyi said the APC in the state was gradually collapsing, adding that unless the national leadership intervened urgently, the party might die.
â€œWe the leaders of the APC from Kaduna State have come to the national secretariat to lay our complaint to the national leadership on the just concluded congress to elect adhoc delegates for the national convention. Unfortunately, elections did not hold in Kaduna, this culminated in the manufacturing of results that was presented to the election committee chosen to conduct the exercise,â€ he said.
First, he said there was a planned stakeholdersâ€™ meeting in the state meant to herald the Saturdayâ€™s congress which failed to hold.
He said rather than going ahead with the elections last Saturday, a list was presented which was manufactured by the team led by the state governorâ€™s Political Adviser.
Hunkuyi decried the orchestrated violence which he said did not spear journalists as sponsored thugs invaded the state secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) destroying and maiming innocent journalists.
â€œWe are concerned that elections should be transparent and not by appointment. We have seen the NWC and they have accepted our petition and we have made it very clear that APC in Kaduna State is undergoing very serious hemorrhage and there is the need to quickly move in with expert medical attention to arrest that hemorrhage to avert the inadvertent, untimely and selfish death of our very beloved party,â€ he said.
On his part, Senator Sani accused the state government of compiling the names of delegates which it sent to the national secretariat.
â€œWe are here to register our rejection of the move by the Kaduna State Government which went into the room and wrote the names of delegates and sent them to the national secretariat to represent the state as delegates to the national convention. We are opposed to that,â€ he said
While accusing the state police of working with close associates of the state governor, Sani said such impunity that the APC campaigned against must not be given a place under the watch of the leadership.
He painted a gory picture of attack by thugs at the NUJ secretariat in Kaduna last Sunday, and demanded that the party conduct a thorough probe on the incident and sanction the culprits.
In the petition, the leaders demanded that a special committee to be set up to probe last weekendâ€™s alleged infraction with a view to preventing a reoccurrence of such incident in the future.
The petition which was signed by Senator Hunkuyi, Shehu Sani and Alhaji Tijjani Ramallah demanded that the result of the congress be cancelled and a fresh one held.
â€œWe therefore ask the state congress committee and APC leadership to do the obvious and declare the Kangaroo process a nullity; reappoint a very credible team of state congress committee for the state,
â€œTo convene a briefing of the stakeholders at the proper venue on a date to be appointed by the NWC and follow strictly all the guidelines as provided by the NWC of the party for the purpose of local government congress delegates election at all the 23 local government areas of Kaduna State.â€
Meanwhile, fresh crisis has originated within the ranks of spokespersons of the party over the recent reversal order of the NWC of the party annulling the purported expulsion of the partyâ€™s Legal Adviser, Muiz Banire.
The partyâ€™s spokesman in Lagos State, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, had in his response to the NWCâ€™s position alleged that the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, was not validly elected and as such could not speak for the party.
However, the matter took another dimension yesterday as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the party expressed dissatisfaction with a statement credited to Igbokwe.
In the statement signed yesterday in Abuja by the spokesman of FCT chapter of the ruling party, Adaji Usman, the party described Igbokweâ€™s allegation as â€œabsurd and without basis.â€
He said Abdullahi was validly elected in line with provisions of the partyâ€™s constitution on filling vacancies in the NWC.
â€œAs the spokesperson of the APC in the FCT, which is in the North-central zone, I participated fully in the North-central convention through which Abdullahi was elected as the substantive National Publicity Secretary of the APC.
â€œThe election had delegates and key stakeholders from the zone, including four state governors, and was supervised by relevant bodies saddled with such responsibilities, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),â€ Usman said.
While calling for a serious sanction against the Lagos spokesman, Usman said: â€œIgbokwe has definitely stepped out of his bounds by issuing such a reckless statement attacking a highly-placed and reputable national officer of our party. He should retract this obnoxious statement or face disciplinary actions from the party.
â€œIt is surprising that Igbokwe who attended a workshop in Abuja organised by Abdullahi in his capacity as the National Publicity Secretary will turn around to cast aspersion on Abdullahi. If he had doubts about Abdullahiâ€™s position in the party, on what basis then did he attend the conference in Abuja?â€
The statement said that Igbokwe would have been removed as the chairman of APC spokesmen forum if not for prompt intervention of Abdullahi.
â€œIgbokweâ€™s penchant for insulting party leaders must stop. Our job as spokespersons for the state chapters of our great party requires temperance, moderation and decorous use of language. Qualities that Igbokwe obviously lack.â€