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‘Yobe APC can carry on despite Maihaja’s sack’

Daily Trust: The APC in Yobe State recently expelled Mustapha Maihaja who is current Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Some observers…

Daily Trust: The APC in Yobe State recently expelled Mustapha Maihaja who is current Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). Some observers have argued that this might enhance the chances of the rival PDP in the state as Maihaja might leave the APC for another party. What’s your view?

Alhaji Hashimu Nuhu Hashimu: Well, first, let me say that the APC (and before it the APP and ANPP), is the most pre-eminent political party in Yobe State. This is why the APC and its predecessors always formed the government in the state.

In fact, as I speak to you, the APC in Yobe State could not be stronger than it is currently as most of the PDP stalwarts in the state have decamped or are about to decamp to the APC.

Part of the reason for this is that many people across the state have seen how Governor Geidam is really working very hard to move the state forward and they want to join him in this effort.

As for Maihaja leaving the APC, that’s no problem at all. Maihaja is not a significant political figure either in Yobe State or in the APC in the state. Even in his native Nguru town, he is not known to pull any political weight. Since when has Maihaja been to Nguru or participated in local activities there? What people believe is that he is always in Abuja working for his own political interests and not the interests of people in his community. In fact, even his appointment as NEMA DG we believe has more to do with his personal acquaintance with some people who helped him to the job rather than any previous political performance.

If you are following Yobe APC closely, you would have known that the idea of Maihaja having political followers is only an idea that exists in the figment of the imagination of his few hangers-on who tend to equate their personal opinions with the opinions of the majority of APC supporters in the state. But this is absolutely false. So, if Maihaja leaves the party, it would not affect the APC in any way. As of now, the party has already expelled him on the grounds of gross indiscipline for filing a court action against it.

DT: Yes, but his supporters say the APC in Yobe State tried to toss him around

Hashimu: That’s not true. Is Maihaja not aware that nomination forms for governor, senator and member of the House of Representatives can only be submitted at the party’s national headquarters and that only House of Assembly forms are submitted at the state level of the party? I think he is just crying wolf.

The most important thing is that from the Federal High Court to the appeal court to the Supreme Court, the APC in Yobe State and Governor Gaidam won against Maihaja. The string of rulings in Yobe APC’s favour shows that the party was on the right side of history. The rulings reinforce the position of the party and the decision that Yobe people made to elect the party and its governorship candidate.

DT: How do you think the APC can address internal grievances in time for a good showing in the forthcoming 2019 elections?

Hashimu: In any large scale human activity, disagreements and misunderstandings can occur. The APC is a large family, more so in Yobe where majority of the people of the state are APC members. The party has mechanisms to address all grievances when they happen. And this has been an ongoing process.

The most important thing is discipline and loyalty to the party. If any person has any issue with the party and the person abides by the internal mechanism of the party for resolution, then everything will work fine.

As I talk to you, Yobe APC is in a very strong position. Allah-willing this strength can only increase. With the huge number of opposition politicians coming to join the APC in Yobe, I am sure that we are ready for a strong performance in future elections. Our party leadership has a listening ear. They will continue to work very hard to ensure unity within the party.

DT: So, you are saying that if Maihaja moves out of the APC, you are still confident in 2019?

Hashimu: Absolutely yes. And for emphasis, he is already out of the party in Yobe State. Let me say that by the grace of Almighty Allah, anyone who wants to cause trouble within our party in the state will not succeed. They can go to any party they like. Our people here in Yobe State are interested in politicians who always stand by them, who they see regularly in their times of need. That’s why people are not intimidated or impressed if the only thing a politician can show them is that he is coming from Abuja.

The APC in Yobe is a party that works for the people that stand by them at all times. We will continue in this practice and our leaders will continue to mobilise our supporters throughout the state to remain vigilant to ensure that the party grows from strength to strength.

DT: Finally, would you consider an apology from Maihaja if he offers one?

Hashimu: No. Not at the level of the party in the state. Our party secretary has said so. Maihaja can only be pardoned if the governor asks the party at the state level to pardon him.  This is because of the weight of the allegations he leveled against the governor which the courts threw out.