Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Despite the protests from the Kogi, Abia and Cross River states’ chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party on Friday night inaugurated six additional members.
The national secretariat of the ruling party was practically turned into a war zone on Thursday when men of the police force took over the secretariat to prevent a breakdown of law and order, especially from aggrieved party members.
However, attempts to swear in the officials on Thursday night were stalled following protests from Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and other stakeholders from Abia and Cross River.
Bello, who stormed the party secretariat in the early hours of Thursday waited fruitlessly for the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, who tactically avoided the secretariat because of the aggrieved members.
His absence, however, forced Bello to take his protest to Ganduje’s residence, where they finally reached a compromise around 12 midnight.
At the end, those sworn in were: Deputy National Chairman, North, Ali Bukar Dalori (Borno State); National Vice Chairman, North-west, Garba Datti Muhammad (Kaduna State); National Legal Adviser, Prof. AbdulKarim Kana (Nasarawa State); National Welfare Secretary, Donatus Nwankpa (Abia State); National Woman Leader, Mary Alile Idele (Edo State); and the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Duro Meseko (Kogi State).
An earlier nominee for the North-central Zonal Organising Secretary of the party, Ikani Okolo from Kogi State was however, dropped to placate Bello whose nominee for the office of Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Ismail Yahaya was dropped.
The chairman, who acknowledged that the party had taken serious notice of Yahaya, said he would be put forward for other appointments.
He said those who lost out in Abia and Cross River states would also be considered for appointments as a way of satisfying all the aggrieved.
Speaking at the inauguration on Friday night, Ganduje said there was no doubt that during the last meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, the NWC was mandated to undertake some tasks on behalf of NEC.
His words: “We have succeeded. We consulted with stakeholders, governors and others. We know there are some aggrieved people and they are very important. We will discuss with them and I will speak later on that.
“We have taken a decision that every Wednesday, we will conduct our weekly NWC meeting. It is very important. Also, we have already made a resolution that our party as an institution will be active throughout the year and not just during election periods. Our party will have operational and functional offices right from the wards, LGs, States, Zonal and national offices as you can see. We believe we will be able to abide by all these.
“Very soon we will launch the National Campaign Councils for our three states – Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi- going into elections this year. Instead of inaugurating the councils here in Abuja, we have decided to do so in the various state capitals so that we can connect with the various stakeholders.
“All of you are competent. We have seen your credentials and you have been nominated and elected through due process by the various stakeholders and therefore we congratulate you.
“As earlier mentioned, there is no doubt that there are some people who are also competent but you can only fill a person.
“From Kogi State, we have Ismail Yahaya. We have taken note of him and he will be engaged in one way or another. We have Ikani Shuaibu Okolo from Kogi State. He too will be engaged appropriately in our government. Mrs Obinna from Abia, she too will be accommodated. Hon. Dr Stella Ekpo from Cross River. I think she is a medical doctor. She and two others from Cross River State, according to the outcome of our dialogue, will be accommodated in our government.
“With these, I think we have achieved complete agreement and dialogue. We have achieved dialogue and we have deepened dialogue within our party and this is our culture. We are not dictators but that does not mean that everyone must necessarily agree with you.”
Ganduje added that the party was currently putting its house in order because it was determined to win the forthcoming off-season governorship elections in Kogi, Imo and Bayelsa states.
He noted that the party would be in the various state capitals to inaugurate its National Campaign Councils for the three governorship elections, as a way of connecting with the grassroots.