…No faction in APC, Galadima, Baraje mischievous- Spokesman
…Dogara: No, only justice will prevent dissent
The declaration of a splinter group, the Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC), from the ruling APC, on Wednesday in Abuja, has sparked a flurry of reactions from the parent body of the party.
Rising from its National Working Committee (NWC) on Thursday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) described the rAPC leaders as mischievous and ill-advised.
The NWC, in its official reaction, stated that it viewed promoters of the new group which emerged from the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) actors in APC as mischievous and ill-advised individuals.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, stated this in a statement made available to The Daily Times on Thursday.
He said: ‘‘By their actions, this group has attempted to create the impression that our party is factionalised, this is not true.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) wishes to affirm that there is no faction in our party and declares the action by these individuals as mischievous and ill-advised.
Having failed to scuttle the National Convention as was their original plan, they now resort to this subterfuge as a way of achieving the pre-determined end of causing confusion.
“As a matter of fact, we doubt that these individuals parading as leaders of the so-called faction are actual members of our party. We are currently investigating their true membership status within the party.
“While we shall continue to monitor developments in this respect, we will not hesitate to take lawful actions to defend the unity of our party and protect the sanctity of its identity.
We are currently reviewing the action of this so-called faction in order to determine if any aspect of the party’s constitution has been breached with the connivance of any of our members.
“For those members who have genuine grievances, we want to assure them of the commitment of the new leadership of the party to address those grievances as quickly as possible in a manner that ensures that justice is done to all”.
But the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday, urged the APC national leadership led by Adams Oshiomhole to enthrone justice and equity in the party in order to silence dissenting voices and opposition.
Dogara spoke at a meeting between the House caucus and members of the newly elected National Working Committee of the party led by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, at the National Assembly.
The speaker stated that although there is no human endeavour that is perfect but insisted that the APC lawmakers only expect justice which is indivisible and universal.
“In every family whether it is a nuclear, extended or an organization, there is bound to be problem and that is because we humans that are running those institutions are not perfect ourselves. So we don’t expect perfection from any quarters.
“Our only expectation is the issue of justice and justice is indivisible. What is justice to the executive should be justice to the legislature and it should be justice to the judiciary.
“What is justice to the president and the vice president should be justice to the governor and it has to be justice for the members of the National Assembly, because you can’t divide justice. Once you begin to divide justice you don’t have justice.
“And once we are able to get these things in their proper perspectives to some extent we will be able to silence the voices of dissent within the party.
“But, that we have problems is perfectly okay but we mustn’t allow our problems to define us; rather we should define our problems as a party,” he added.
Dogara expressed optimism about the ability and capacity of Oshiomhole to tackle the challenges confronting the party, saying that “I know that you came well prepared, we can only wish you well and pray for God’s additional wisdom because human wisdom won’t be enough as you navigate very treacherous terrain.”
Responding, Oshiomhole assured the House caucus that “every person matters in our party because all party members voluntarily moved from various political platforms, and dissolved those platforms in order to give birth to the APC .”
He said that the idea of delivering the greater good for the greater number of Nigerian citizens is what binds the APC together and “defines us in spite of the teething problems we were bound to experience that every new organisation goes through.”
Meanwhile, the lawmaker representing Kaduna North Senatorial District, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, has disclosed that plans were being concluded on whether or not he would defect from the APC.
Hunkuyi made this known when he received a delegation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the area.
He said he had detailed discussion with the delegation on how to work together to salvage Kaduna State from poor governance.
The Daily Times recalls that Hunkuyi has been having a running battle with Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai over accusations of injustice and high handedness.
In the course of the battle, the lawmaker’s party office was allegedly destroyed by the state government.
The lawmaker had also been attacked at different political fora in the state allegedly by party members who are sympathetic to el-Rufai.
The Senate’s non-approval of a foreign loan of $350million request by the state further affected the already strained relationship between the governor and the lawmaker.
He said, “The PDP members that visited me today are my kith and kin because no story of the party will be complete in Kaduna State without my name featuring prominently at one point or the other.
“The political arena as we know guarantees freedom of participation, association and very shortly we will come up with a position on the direction for our polity, to correct the anomalies in the state.
“The essence of participatory politics in democracy is to create a sense of belonging as no one person is an island and a tree cannot make a forest.
“I am committed to building and developing Kaduna State,”
Hunkuyi further expressed concern over the crisis in the party in general, saying the formation of the Reformed APC was a serious blow to the party.
“The crisis in the APC is nothing new. Everyone is aware of it, and what happened yesterday signifies the climax of the crisis in the party.
“We discussed a lot of things and it is not an understatement to say that we are all unhappy with the situation in the state.
“We discussed on how to seek solution to the challenges in the state.
“We will not stand firm and strong in finding solutions to the challenges,” he added.
A member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Musa Soba, who also played host to the PDP members, said they would inform Nigerians of their intention in no distant time.
He said: “They are our bothers and sisters from the Northern Senatorial District of Kaduna State.
“They are PDP party executive members from Kaduna State that came to seek our support to salvage our state.
“They want us to join hands with them to do what is right for our people regardless of party affiliation.
“You know we are politicians, it is either you woo me or I woo you”.
Soba said the crisis in the APC was unfortunate, adding that the PDP was already taking advantage of it to woo politicians.
He said: “They have seen the division in the APC in the state and they want to exploit that avenue because they know our antecedent and where we started from and they know what we want to realise as a people.
“They have extended the olive branch and we have welcomed them and we will look critically into their request with the aim of salvaging our people.
“We have not defected but we all know we have problems with the APC and I can tell you that I belong to the Reformed APC.
“We are considering avenues that will enable is create political understanding with people of various political parties.
“Very soon we will make our position known if we are defecting”.
The Legal Adviser to the Kaduna PDP, Mr. Musa Kabir, expressed optimism that their meeting with the Hunkuyi and the other lawmakers would yield positive result.
He said: “We came to see the lawmaker because of his hard work. He was with us and now we want him to come back so that we can work together to salvage Kaduna State.
“We came to plead with him to team up with us to revive the PDP and from our discussion we are hopeful that he will give us a positive response.’’
National Chairman of rAPC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, had at a press briefing on the emergence of the news group, premised their action on grievances stemming from the APC’s inability to rescue the Nigeria from ‘‘drifting,’’ pointing out that ‘‘what is on ground today is not what was envisaged during the formation of the APC.’
Galadima, who was one-time President Muhammadu Buhari’s right hand man, also frowned that people who worked for the formation of APC are being sidelined.