✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

APC’s big hurdles in Kano, others

With the November 26,  2013 defection of Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) from…

With the November 26,  2013 defection of Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) from the ruling PDP to the opposition  All Progressive Congress (APC), the party  is now faced with  harmonisation crisis in  some  states.
Political analysts say the multi-faceted and differing interests of various stakeholders have remained hard knots to crack in the affected states.
Before the public pronouncement of the defection of the G-5 governors, stakeholders and bigwigs of the merging parties  who formed the APC from the remains of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) especially from Sokoto, Kano, Adamawa and Kwara states had expressed mixed feelings. 
It was learnt that majority were not favourably disposed to the governors decamping into the APC as apprehension about their influence as power brokers in the states whittle down the clout of these party chieftains who nurtured it.
While Sokoto is witnessing a silent contest between Governor Aliyu Wamakko and his former boss, former Governor  Attahiru Bafarawa;  in Kano, the battle is majorly between Governor  Rabiu Kwankwaso and his  predecessor Ibrahim Shekarau. Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State is contending with the challenge of former Lagos State Military Administrator Buba Marwa, who has pitched tent with former ACN guber candidate Marcus Gundiri. Governor  Abdulfatah Ahmed is  contending with the ACN governorship candidate Dele Belgore’s challenge in Kwara State.
Weekly Trust gathered that Shekarau  formalised his protest against the purported  plan by APC’s  interim leadership to handover party machinery to the defecting governor. He  led a rather large delegation of APC chieftains in Kano on a protest match to Abuja’s national secretariat of the party, where they opposed the plans by  party leaders to relinquish APC structures in the state to  Kwankwaso.
Addressing the leadership of the APC, which earlier in the day visited former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, including former Lagos Governor and national leader of the party, Senator Bola Tinubu, former Borno governor Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Bisi Akande, Shekarau recalled the efforts made by the opposition parties in Kano State towards the success of the APC merger.
“Kano had five members in the merger planning committee, so Kano will be the last state that will do anything to make the party fail. We have come to register our displeasure to the leadership of the party. What we are presenting is the feelings of the people we represent. There is no sector of the party that is not represented.
“We have worked hard to make the party successful, I think when we were forming the party, we had a vision of internal democracy in building the APC and if we cannot continue with that vision, then we should forget democracy in Nigeria,”  Shekarau said.
Reading the position of the party loyalists in Kano, Sani Hashim Hotori, who was the state chairman of the ANPP said the APC is a product of patience and sacrifice by opposition parties and should not be traded off cheaply for political expediency.
Hotoro demanded that the interim national chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, to inaugurate the State Interim Committee (SIC) as per the list earlier submitted by the three merging parties, through the National Vice chairman Northwest, as approved by the national leadership of the party.
He also asked that the party leadership should “direct the ‘new PDP’ governor of Kano to liaise with the SIC of the APC to work out an amicable working relationship within the party.”
Akande said the party has raised a seven-man committee to address the harmonization of the Kano State APC and promised to present the letter to the leadership of the party and the committee.
“We are going to run the party transparently. I won’t say much about the registration or the harmonization or whatever, because a lot was said here at the meeting. We will run the party transparently,” Akande said.
In Kano, Weeky Trust reports that Kwankwaso’s defection along with many elected representatives at the state and federal levels may give him an edge in the APC. He was however yet to take a public position on the seeming clash of interest between his and Shekarau’s loyalists.
For Sokoto,  Bafarawa has said he would not quit the APC and that whoever thinks can send him packing is a joker. When the speculation about Wamakko joining APC was thick, especially with the coming of APC bigwigs to the state in  efforts  to woo the him, many people foresaw  a wide crack  in the house that was yet to be built. The general belief was   that the two gladiators would hardly live under one roof,   though, the self acclaimed Professor of politics (Bafarawa) has said it severally that he would welcome anybody joining the party in the state as long as due process is followed by registering himself with the party right from his ward.
But Akibu Dalhatu who addressed Bafarawa loyalists under the auspices of Concerned Members of APC, APC Youth Forum, APC Mobilization and APC Network Sokoto State, said  “it is therefore surprising and with trepidation that we heard the pronouncement made by Governor Aliyu Wamakko that there is no APC leadership in the state and that nobody owns the APC.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to reiterate that the APC in Sokoto State has an Interim Leadership Committee and it belongs to members of the legacy parties. Therefore, anybody who is interested in joining the party has to recognize these facts. We, therefore, wish to unequivocally reject the attempt by Governor Wamakko and his henchmen to reconstitute another caretaker committee in the state. Magatakarda or anybody can join the APC, but he or she must recognize the existing structure of the party and its leadership in the state,” spokesman of the coalition said.
However, APC Youth Patriots, which claimed to be the only recognized affiliate of the APC, countered all these allegations at a press conference. The group  stated that Governor Wamakko was not coming to hijack the APC in Sokoto State as the “faceless coalition” will want to allege, but rather he is poised to bolster the party, with the massive decamping of all his political allies and subordinates along with him to the APC.”
Some political observers, however, believed that Wamakko certainly has the upper hand because Chief   Akande in Sokoto indicated that wherever any governor defects to APC, that governor would assume leadership in the state.
At present there are two state’s secretariats of the party, one opened by Bafarawa at Old Airport area and the former PDP office at Diplomat area which was converted to the APC secretariat by Wamakko.
In Kwara, the CPC governorship candidate, Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq  seems to have towed the line of the Interim National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in welcoming Governor Ahmed and the Saraki political dynasty to the APC with a seemingly smooth ride to taking over the party’s machinery in the state. Dele Belgore who was the candidate of the Lai Mohammed’s former party, the ACN, however rejected such arrangement and has reportedly threatened to move to the PDP.
Though Benue State is not having any challenge of a defecting governor moving to the APC and causing possible ripples, but the party is nonetheless having series of challenges of integration. Many of them are from the defunct ACN which was in the  majority  before the formation of APC.
Leaders of the party have continued to antagonize each other over who should have supreme control of the state’s affair with one form of controversy or another such that the factionalized blocs do not seem to find any solution to harmonise their diverse views for a way forward in the state.
At the beginning, the issue of leadership stirred contention among major blocs within the party as each of the faction led by Prof. Daniel Saror and the incumbent Senate Minority Leader George Akume respectively sought to have control of the party.
The development had made it practically difficult for the leaders and their supporters to speak with one voice in order to conduct a free congress to elect state officials for the party based on the suspicion that some are out to hijack the party at the detriment of the other.
So far, none of the sides has agreed to submit to the other according to a former gubernatorial aspirant in the state, Shima Atim-Atedze because some power brokers  want to take full control of the party at the state level.
Ameh Diga, an APC chieftain in Benue South told Weekly Trust that some people are trying to contest the party’s leadership in the state when it is not suitable for contest, saying: “Some people are trying to contest leadership which is not a contestable thing. In political leadership, you earn it. Politics is a game which is associated with interest,” he posited.
At the moment, Professor Daniel Saror, Alhaji  Usman Abubakar, Ambassador Michael Gbasha, Major General Idyar Garuba (Rtd.) amongst others are on the same side while Senator George Akume, former PDP chairman, Audu Ogbe, Senator Joseph Waku, Nelson Alapa among others appear to be at the other side of the divide.
A national officer and chieftain of the party, who prefer anonymity, however told Weekly Trust in Abuja that there is nothing to worry about as the party knows how to resolve its challenges and bring everyone home.

VERIFIED: It is now possible to live in Nigeria and earn salary in US Dollars with premium domains, you can earn as much as $12,000 (₦18 Million).
Click here to start.