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‘Goje must drop PDP toga to fully integrate into APC’

Weekly Trust: What are the APC elders doing to the defection of party members in Gombe due to the internal crises similar to those in…

Weekly Trust: What are the APC elders doing to the defection of party members in Gombe due to the internal crises similar to those in Kano and Sokoto States?
Engr. Sa’adu Abdullahi: All things were going on well between the legacy parties (ANPP, ACN,  and CPC) leaders, but the moment former Governor Danjuma Goje came in, things started going wrong. Any game whose rules are not followed will have problems. Since we didn’t have a governor, he became an automatic leader as the highest ranking officer in the party. The template said he should bring in the chairman only, but when he came in, he maneuvered all the positions for himself, excluding those of us who were members of the legacy parties who toiled day and night to ensure that the merger was successful.
What implications has this brought to the party in the state?
Before he came, we had our leader who is Prof (Buba) Bajoga and religiously we have been following him. Even before the merger, he was a key person from Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s side and has been a seasoned and progressive politician. So, when Buhari requested a trusted person in Gombe State, he was elected. Since Goje came, he has never bothered to visit this man. We are not saying Goje cannot exercise his right, but you cannot gather 20 important personalities in Gombe without them having one scar or the other from Goje. Most of our elite who were with us in CPC went aside.
The local supporters at the grassroots also abstained. That is why now, if you find the number of people in the former legacy parties and what was registered after Goje came in, the figure has gone down. Not that some of them had left the APC, but they refused to register because of Goje’s coming   and this is what we want the party headquarters to understand, that we have a lot of work to do.
Don’t you think the mindset and intransigency of   the leaders  is the problem as you do not see Senator Goje as a friend?
Our problem is that he refused to follow the rules; he has refused to put off the toga of the PDP aside. You know how they are, they are used to impunity. He came with impunity and feels that everybody must be under him and that is unacceptable to us.
This problem is not peculiar to Gombe; other states have similar crisis since the coming in of PDP defectors. Do you think mass defection to the APC has helped the party?
Any party that is starting will definitely face teething problems, we welcome them. In some of these states where the rules have been applied, the problems were sorted out. It is only in Gombe State that the people assigned to solve the problem refused to do it. In the last NEC (national executive committee) meeting, officials were told to revisit the interim leaders as it was done in Adamawa and Gombe States, but they have refused to come and solve the Gombe problem. Goje has taken all the positions for the interim leadership and his impunity has made him to start appointing people in the local government areas.
We are calling on our national leaders to call him to order. We have written a petition and the NEC has said our state should be revisited and be sorted out by Hon Aminu Masari and Umar Duhu because Masari is the Vice Chairman, North; but these people did not implement the NEC decision. They went to Adamawa and sorted out their case, because we in Gombe do not have a governor and they feel we are inconsequential, they sided with Goje. They refused to come to Gombe.
When we submitted our list after registration, they kept our list aside and used Goje’s list. My fear is that soon, we will start the congresses we need honest and sincere people to come to Gombe so that the congresses will be done with fairness.
Supposing the NEC requests you to go along with Goje, what would you do?
I have told you, we are not saying we will not go along with him, but he should put off the toga of PDP and come to be with us. This party is for fair and just people. The injustice he is used to in the PDP must be kept aside. We accept, we are loyal party members, nobody is saying we will not go with him, but as it is now, we have to convince our members to come and continue with us, he must play by the rules.

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