APC Faction in Kaduna Suspends El-Rufai

  • Sani: Party may implode if Tinubu’s reconciliation fails Urges Buhari to declare stand on re-election

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and  John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi faction of the  ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State has suspended the state Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, for six months.

The suspension followed  failure by the governor to respond to a query  issued to him by the faction last Thursday.

The Hunkuyi faction had also suspended two aides of the governor, Mallam Uba Sani, the political adviser and Abdul Kwari, finance commissioner for 18 months for alleged anti party activities.

However, rising from its meeting last Friday, the  El-Rufai faction  also announced the  suspension of Hunkuyi, alongside 28 of his supporters for six and 18 months respectively for alleged anti-party activities.

In a statement yesterday, the Chairman of the Hunkuyi faction, Danladi Wada, said el-Rufai was suspended from the party following his refusal  to defend himself against the  allegations levelled against him.

He said  the State Working Committee (SWC) of the party met and  resolved to suspend him for six months.

The statement said: “Sequel to the 48 hours ultimatum issued to the Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai by the Kaduna State Working Committee of the APC to give explanations and defence on the allegations labelled against him, the SWC under Chairmanship of S.I. Danladi Wada on  February 17, 2018 convened, resolved and do consider and ratified the findings and recommendations of the Disciplinary and Fact Finding Committee put before it in accordance with Article 21 (B) (iii) of the APC Constitution, to the effect that having the Governor failed to respond accordingly, he stands suspended for a period of six months from the APC with immediate effect.”

Both factions are claiming to be the authentic chapter of the party in the state.

The APC in Kaduna State has been bedevilled by prolonged crisis, leading to the emergence of three factions. The third faction, known as “APC Akida” or true APC is led by Senator Shehu Sani. However, the Hunkuyi faction and the Sani faction seem to be working hand in hand against el-Rufai’s faction.

Meanwhile, the senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has warned that the All Progressives Congress (APC) faces the risk of being torn apart if the current peace efforts by former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, fails to succeed.

He also said it was in the interest of the country and the party that President Muhammadu Buhari makes his intention whether to seek a reelection or not known now.

Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, Sani said but for the intervention President Buhari who appointed Tinubu to resolve problems in the party, things would have gotten worse.

“It is going to be a tragedy if he fails. This is what I know and I can’t speak in parables. The pronouncement appointing Tinubu to reconcile members has averted the tragedy of people decamping from the APC to the other parties. It has been able to do so at least for now,” he said.

Sani said nobody could have solved the problem in the APC other than President  Buhari himself along with Tinubu, adding that party organs would be handicapped in dealing with the issues.

According to the outspoken senator, most of the key organs of the APC are either too involved in the crisis or lacks the capacity to intervene and resolve

He said: “The governors cannot solve the problems of the APC because they are party to the crisis; APC senators and members of the House of Representatives cannot solve the problems because they are parties to the problems.

“The party at the national level cannot solve the problems because there is disrespect and disregard for its leadership in the last two years. The very fact that the party itself has been inhibited with lack of funds and other challenges made it impossible for it to bring to order what is happening.”

Regarding the intra party dispute rocking the Kaduna State chapter of the party, Sani said the crisis that had pitted Governor el-Rufai against him and some other party chieftains in the state has led to the fictionalisation of the chapter.

He said he was at the national secretariat to tell the leadership that he and Senator Hunkuyi and other party stalwarts in Kaduna would not accept or tolerate, endorse any form of tyranny by the Kaduna State governor.

“In Kaduna State today, we are having a problem and there are two APC secretariat. There is the one which the governor sets up for himself and serves as his personal convenience where he can do whatever he wants to do and we also have our own APC secretariat, so we have twins APC in Kaduna.

“We have parallel APC and it is left for Tinubu to build the bridges. Lagos is known for bridges. Therefore, we hope that there will be seventh mainland bridge to connect the divide. But we are not sure of that,” he said .

On the concerns being generated over President Buhari’s re-election, the fiery lawmaker said the onus is on the president to declare his stand on the matter now in order to clear the ambiguity.

“As far as I am concerned, any opinion on whether he should contest or not is simply an exercise of freedom of speech and is left for him to decide. However, in every consideration, he is constitutionally empowered to decide whether he wants to contest or not.

“But I think it is in the interest of the country and the interest of the party that President Buhari makes his position known because right now, it has been his Aides that are speaking on his behalf and whether they are doing it with his consent or not, no Nigerian for now knows whether President Buhari will contest or not,” he said.