John Shiklam in Kaduna
The senator representing Kaduna North senatorial district, Suleiman Hunkuyi, has vowed to remove Governor Nasir el-Rufai in 2019.
Hunkuyi who played a key role in the election of el-Rufai in 2015, has since fallen with him due to differences in political views.
The senator who belongs to the state faction of the APC known as Kaduna Restoration Group, headed by Alhaji Tijjani Ramalan, also indicated his interest to run against the governor in 2019.
Speaking thursday in Kaduna at the inauguration APC Aspirants Platform, set up by his faction of the APC, said el-Rufai government has failed the people of the state, declaring that he would join forces with other stalwarts of the party in the state to wrestle power from governor, who according to him, has performed below the expectations of the people.
He said his group would resist any attempt to undemocratically impose candidates by the governor.
He said the inauguration of the platform to checkmate plans by el-Rufai and his followers to field his loyalist as executives of the party during the partyâ€™s congresses ahead of the 2019 general elections through consensus.
Hunkuyi said the forum would work with APC leaders to ensure that the party executives and political office aspirants emerged through a constitutional, transparent and democratic process.
He said branches of the forum would be established in all local government areas of the state, adding that the forum would reject any plan to stop the conduct of elections into various position during the congresses.
He said: â€œThe current government and the partyâ€™s executives emerged through election at the congresses and primaries, but the government of the day in Kaduna State is planning to use consensus in conducting the affairs of the party in the state. Are they afraid of election?
â€œWe therefore, reject any attempt to base the emergence of party executives and aspirants on consensus, the democratic processes must be followed.
â€œIf it has to be by consensus, then all the immediate past party executives in the state, whose tenure expired yesterday must be returned.
â€œAnything short of that, anyone interested for any leadership position in the party or elective position must purchase form and stand for election.â€
Hukunyi said further that the forum would work towards ensuring that primary election was held to elect candidates for various elective positions from counsellors, state and national assembly positions.
He urged stakeholders to join hands to â€œrescue the party and Kaduna state from total collapse.â€
He further accused state government of being â€œabysmally fair to the majority in our state.â€
â€œNobody should undermine the rights and powers of the people when it comes to matters of election and as far as we are concerned and as far as this forum which we started today is concerned, we will put all structures from the state to the ward level together to make sure our followers, the APC followers can find credible rallying point that they can aspire for whatever office from councellorship to the governor position in the state.
â€œAny thing less is not negotiable because it will amount to negotiating the instruments of our co-existence in our constitution that warrant and guarantee the provision of right to aspire to whatever office one seeks to aspire forâ€.
Also in his remarks, Chairman, Kaduna Restoration Group, Tijani Ramalan said that the group will not support El-Rufai candidacy in 2019.
According to him, El-Rufaiâ€™s policies and his attitudes towards the partyâ€™s democratic principles were clear indications that he was unfit to govern a sensitive state such as Kaduna.
â€œAll his appointments at the federal level were his relatives who were not even APC members.
â€œTherefore, we are calling on all APC members in the state to support the forum to protect democracy in the state to be able to provide the dividend of democracy to the people
â€œI learnt that APC reconciliation team would be coming to Kaduna, if they want our support, then El-Rufaâ€™i should not run in 2019,â€ he said.