By John Shiklam in Kaduna
Efforts to reconcile aggrieved members of the Kaduna State chapter of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) seem to be heading towards the rocks, following a fresh suspension of Senator Shehu Sani by a faction of the party in his Ward 6, Tudun Wada, Kaduna.
The state chairman of the party, Mr. Emmanuel Jakada, has however condemned the suspension, saying it is unconstitutional.
Sani, who represents Kaduna Central senatorial zone, has been having a running battle with the state Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai.
The faction of the party in Sani’s ward said to be loyal to el-Rufai had in a statement on Thursday announced the senator’s indefinite suspension from the party.
According to the statement signed by the factional ward chairman, Ibrahim Salisu Togo, Sani remained suspended unless he apologises to the leadership of the APC, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Kaduna State Government.
“In all fairness to the party and Kaduna State voters, the only pre-condition for lifting this suspension on Senator Shehu Sani is for the lawmaker to openly apologise to the leadership of our great party for his various acts of misconduct and disrespectful attitudes towards both his constituents, party leadership and his vicious media attacks against our amiable President Muhammadu Buhari.
“He should also apologise to the government and people of Kaduna State for frustrating the $350 million loan meant to develop the State,” the statement said.
But in a swift reaction, the leadership of the faction loyal to Sani dismissed the suspension and endorsed him for a second term in 2019.
The statement issued on Thursday by the chairman of the faction loyal to Sani, Abbas Muhammad Anni, said: “The attention of the substantive APC executives in Ward 6 Tudun Wada has been drawn to the new political gimmick issued by some stooges purporting to be issuing the so-called suspension of Senator Shehu Sani from the APC.”
He said: “Ordinarily we would not have dignified these brainless characters with a response because it is common knowledge that the elephant footprint obliterates that of the camel. However, it becomes imperative to dispel this facade based on the request made by our teeming supporters across the Senatorial District.
“In this regard, the members of APC in Ward 6 and the general public are hereby notified to ignore in strong terms such blackmail and intimidation in the name of ‘suspension’ as it is completely with neither basis nor authority conversely, we wish to affirm our unflinching support and solidarity to Senator Shehu Sani for continuity in the forthcoming elections in 2019.”
However, Jakada declared that a serving senator cannot be suspended on the pages of newspapers.
“As the chairman, I have set up a committee to reconcile the aggrieved members. So I expected that if there was any issue with any of the aggrieved members it is supposed to be directed to the reconciliation committee.
“I’m so surprised that I am hearing this from you people, I have not seen anything like that on my table. I don’t believe that the right thing according to the constitution has been done,” he said in an interview.