By Laleye Dipo
At last, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has thrown his weight behind the removal of Alhaji Jibrin Imam as the state chairman of the All Progress Congress (APC) and two other party executives.
Bello said the allegations against Imam and the erstwhile secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Liman, and Treasurer, Dr Shafi Abdulrahaman, “are too weighty to be ignored” hence relevant sections of the party constitution should be invoked on the trio.
Bello’s position was contained in a statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mary Noel Berje, on the outcome of the state executive council meeting of the party held Monday night.
Imam, Liman and Abdulrahaman had been sacked from their positions by a group in the party about three months ago over allegations of gross financial mismanagement, maladministration and refusal to follow due process in the running of the party.
Bello, according to the statement, said: “The allegations of financial misappropriation levelled against the former Chairman, Jibrin Imam, and two other officials of the party were too weighty to be brushed aside with a wave of the hand hence relevant provisions of the party constitution were invoked to remove them from office.
“It is an aberration for the former chairman not to call for SEC and caucus meetings of the party in almost four years from 2015 to 2019 against the party’s constitutional provision for such meetings quarterly.
“Something is fundamentally wrong. Let me also make it clear that there is no conflict between the former chairman and I as insinuated in some quarters. My position is that we must abide by the provisions of the constitution in running the affairs of the party.”
The statement also quoted an elder of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Magaji, as supporting the position of the governor.
Magaji was said to have told the meeting that the allegations against the chairman and others could not be waved aside.
The state Executive Committee therefore resolved to rebuild and reposition the party for better performance in 2023 and therefore constituted a five-man committee including that of reconciliation to “avert impending crisis in the state”.
The reconciliatory committee is headed by General Mohammed Garba, while other committees set up include party membership, Finance, Publicity and Contact as well as Mobilization.
The resolutions were endorsed at the SEC meeting held at the Government House Monday night at the instance of the leader of the party, Governor Bello.
In attendance at the meeting were members of the National Assembly led by Senator Abdullahi Sabi and other party chieftains.
However, Imam and others have insisted they are still in charge of the party.
The state PRO, Alhaji Mohammed Abini, who is siding those removed, told journalists that “we are still in charge”.