’It’s an empty threat’
Shekarau, others submit memos, give condition for truce
By Saawua Terzungwe (Abuja), Clement A. Oloyede (Kano), Raphael Ogbonnaiye (Ado-Ekiti), Mumini AbdulKareem (Ilorin), Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos) & Jude Aguguo Owuamanam (Owerri)
The crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) worsened on Sunday as the Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa-led faction of the party in Zamfara State said it would seek Governor Mai Mala Buni’s removal as the party’s helmsman through the courts.
Buni is Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee which was inaugurated in June, 2020, following the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC), over alleged abuse of office.
The committee has failed to, among other things, conduct the party’s national convention since then. This development has caused confusion and acrimony among party members.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday in Abuja, Senator Marafa said Buni was on a mission to destroy the party, arguing that the governor was not qualified to be the party’s helmsman, citing legal issues.
He said his faction was going to challenge Buni in court for being a serving governor and Chairman of the APC at the same time, contrary to the provisions of the 1999 constitution.
Marafa said Buni was never elected at the APC national convention, congress or through voting, contrary to Article 17 (4) of the APC constitution.
He said the Buni committee was frustrating stakeholders’ efforts at restoring absolute peace in the Zamfara State chapter of the party.
“We participated (in the November 13 congress) just to tell everyone that madness is not an exclusive preserve of some people. The essence of this briefing is to tell Nigerians why there is a faction again in Zamfara. Let everyone know that this faction came about because of the way the APC national chairman is trying to suppress us in Zamfara State.
“Now APC looked for our trouble; we did not look for APC’s trouble. We did everything possible to accommodate our new visitor (Matawalle) but APC at all the points frustrated us.
“It appears APC national headquarters is at loggerheads with rules and procedures. They want to prove at every point that they are law breakers and uneducated. We have participated in the congresses, after this, I am going straight to court.
“He is an executive governor and cannot be chairman of the APC. If he can, let the court tell us. I am going to challenge that. And whatever he did since the time he was appointed to this time will be called to question. I will question that.
“We had warned APC to remove this man so that he doesn’t bring everybody down to his knees. So I am on a salvage mission for my brothers and sisters that are in APC; that are investing because they are investing in nothing.
“Who elected Mai Mala and his committee? At which convention? At which congress? Are we throwing away this constitution? Anybody that cares for APC let them come out and tell us,”he said.
We will meet in court – Buni
When contacted for comments, Mamman Mohammed, the Director General, Press and Media Affairs to Governor Buni, said Marafa should go to court.
“As a responsible politician, he should just approach the court and stop being the complainant and juror.
“Marafa’s vituperations on the Zamfara Congress and leadership of APC are nothing but an empty ranting of an ant. He is only complaining now because his camp failed the congress and lost out.
“He wouldn’t have been shouting if he had won. Marafa is a sinking politician who lost out and is holding everyone responsible for his self-inflicted political misfortune,” he said.
Shekarau, others submit memos, give condition for truce
Some aggrieved chieftains of the APC including former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, have submitted memos to the National Reconciliation Committee (NRC) of the party chaired by Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Recall that parallel congresses were held by aggrieved members of the party in 12 states, leading to the formation of factional executives. To address the challenges, the party constituted the Adamu-led committee.
Last week, the panel urged the aggrieved chieftains to forward their complaints to them for prompt action. The group of aggrieved members of the APC in Kano led by Shekarau said it has submitted its memo.
The Shekarau-led group, popularly known as the G-7, is made up of Shekarau, Senator Barau Jibrin (APC, Kano North) and five others.
When contacted, Dr Sule Ya’u Sule, the spokesman of Senator Shekarau, said the group submitted its memo on Tuesday to the reconciliation committee.
In Kwara, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed’s faction, said it would not submit a memo to the reconciliation committee. Lai is battling with the state governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, over the control of party structure.
The Senatorial Chairman for Kwara Central of Lai’s faction, Alhaji Abdulraheem Akorede, said they will shun the committee even if they are invited.
“First thing is that Senator Adamu has not invited us and even if they eventually do, we will not attend or send any memo because we don’t have the belief that anything good will come out of the whole process in the light of all the previous ones we had submitted to various committees.
“The result of the last Anambra election has exposed some things about the party,” he said.
However, the Lagos4Lagos movement, one of the aggrieved groups in the Lagos chapter of the APC said yesterday that it had confidence in the reconciliation committee set up by the national caretaker committee, adding that it must be allowed to do its work.
Spokesman of the group, Kasim Bakare, in a chat with Daily Trust, said though the committee was yet to formally write the group, it was open to any reconciliation from the committee.
Daily Trust reports that in Lagos, there were four parallel congresses held during the APC state congress.
In Imo State, the Rochas Okorocha-led faction under the chairmanship of Daniel Nwafor, said they have nothing to submit to the reconciliation committee.
Nwafor said, “We have nothing to submit because we have not been contacted by anybody. A lot of cards are on the table, but we will only act if we are consulted.”