Crisis in Sokoto APC as Wamakko, Gada lock horns over party structure | Dailytrust

Crisis in Sokoto APC as Wamakko, Gada lock horns over party structure

A crisis is raging in the Sokoto State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) sequel to the battle of supremacy between a former governor of the state, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko and Senator Abubakar Gada, who represented Sokoto East in the National Assembly.

Wamakko and Gada are at daggers drawn over who controls the party’s structure in the state. Their fight was reignited during the congresses conducted in the state in the last quarter of 2021.

Observers say the battle between the two APC bigwigs has thrown the party into serious confusion as it is causing more bickering and acrimony among its members.

The APC state congress produced two parallel executives as two factions held elections at different locations.

Some APC top shots in the state held one of the congresses at the party’s secretariat along Sultan Abubakar Road while another congress was held at an undisclosed hotel at the instance of Senator Gada.

Among the party’s bigwigs who attended the Wamakko-led congress were Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi; leader of the party in the state, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko; Senator Ibrahim Gobir, members of the House of Representatives from the state with the exception of Abdullahi Salame and all the state lawmakers who were elected on the platform of the party.

Others were; a former Minister of Transport, Yusuf Suleiman; the current Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF), Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto; a National Commissioner, National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Chiso Abdullahi and a host of others.

The Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Aminu Achida, who is a member of the APC and Abdullahi Salame did not attend any of the congresses because they were said to be out of the country.

The Wamakko-led congress was orderly conducted with the State Working Committee (SWC) emerging through consensus.

The motion for the adoption of the consensus option was moved by Sen. Ibrahim Gobir (APC- Sokoto) and seconded by Rep. Musa Adar (APC-Gada/Goronyo).

Alhaji Suleiman Abubakar, the Chairman, APC Congress Committee, said consensus was an option recommended by the national leadership of the party.

He said, “As you are all aware, our mandate from the national headquarters of APC is to ensure the smooth conduct of the congress and that our party members mandate is fully protected throughout the exercise.

Therefore, we are fully convinced that the consensus option adopted in Sokoto is the true reflection of the mandate of our APC members in the state and will remain so.”

He commended APC members in the state for their dedication and commitment to the party’s struggle to reposition and reclaim power in the state in 2023.

The Sokoto APC Leader, Sen Aliyu Wamakko, described the exercise as peaceful and successful.

He tasked APC members in the state to be more committed to ensuring the success of the party in the state and the country in general.

Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, the Minister Police Affairs, also called on the elected officials to fashion out strategies towards taking over the state from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Dingyadi assured that APC in Sokoto State would continue to involve all party members in its decision-making processes to address the challenges bedevilling the party.

Responding, the re-elected Sokoto APC Chairman, Alhaji Isa Achida, lauded party members in the state for giving them another mandate.

He pledged to work with all party members and to initiate strategies that would enable the party to clinch victory in 2023.

But 24 hours after the congress, the Senator Gada-led faction announced the election of the party’s new officials in the state.

Senator Gada had been a political foe of Senator Wamakko for years.

The feud between them deepened in 2010, when Wamakko, then governor of the state, reportedly “denied” Gada a chance to return to the upper chamber over unresolved differences.

It was alleged that Gada wanted to use his connections to scuttle Wamakko’s second term bid.

But in an interview with newsmen, Wamakko said all the elected senators from the eastern zone of the state came from Gada and there was a need for change for the sake of fairness and equity.

Pundits say Gada was not alone in the fight. He was allegedly supported by Salame, the Speaker of Sokoto State House of Assembly. It was also alleged that a minister from the North West was behind them.

Wamakko is said to be the soul of APC in Sokoto State because he has been financing its activities since Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal defected to PDP in 2018.

Wamakko had played key roles that led to the party’s successes in the 2015 and 2019 elections because, despite having a PDP government, the party in 2019 won three senatorial seats before they lost one through a court verdict.

They also won nine of the 11 House of Representatives’ seats and later lost two in the courts.

Similarly, the party won 16 of the 30 state House of Assembly seats before the death of one of their legislators which paved way for a by-election which the PDP won.

With the emergence of two executives in the state, many have continued to ask questions, especially regarding which of the congresses would ultimately be recognised by the national leadership of the party.

Analysts say the Gada-led faction lacks grassroots support, adding that the chances of the party reclaiming power in the state in 2023 would be bleak if the faction is eventually recognised and given legitimacy by the national leadership of the party.

Our correspondent reports that at the moment, Wamakko’s group is in control of the party’s structure at the local government areas after the last local government congresses held in the state.

When contacted, Senator Gada promised to call our reporter back over the matter but which he didn’t at the time of filing this report.

Subsequent calls put to his phone line were also not answered.

However, Chairman of the Gada-led faction Mainasara Abubakar, is insisting that they are the genuine executive members of the party in the state.

“We are the leaders recognised by the national headquarters of the party. Our election was conducted by the committee sent by them under the chairmanship of Senator Jibril Wawo,” he said.

On why their election was conducted a day after all the state congresses, and in a secret place, he said the election took place at Giginya Hotel and was covered by newsmen.

On their part, the chairman of the Wamakko-led group, Isa Sadiq Achida said, “As far as we are concerned, they don’t exist. So we cannot join issues with the people that don’t exist at all.

“I was the chairman of the party and its caretaker chairman and after the last congresses, I re-emerged chairman of APC in the state for the second time. I was elected by all our delegates in the presence of the committee sent from our national headquarters,” he said.

“We don’t know when, where and how Gada joined APC. Gada belongs to the group we called ‘Any Government In Power’ (AGIP),” he said.

Achida said the only recognised executive members of APC in the state were those elected under the leadership of Wamakko.

“He pays our office rent, our salary and has been financing all our activities,” he said.

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