The crisis gripping the All Progressives Congress in at least 12 states has not subsided despite the conclusion of the party’s national convention and the indictment of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), for unity, The punch has learned.
It was also found that the reconciliation committee headed by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who is now the chairman of the party, had not yet submitted its full report as only an interim report had been given to the APC.
The punch reported that there were 208 ongoing trials in different parts of the country by aggrieved members of the APC. However, with the conclusion of many cases, some losers have now started to shed the party, while others are now engaged in talks with the People’s Democratic Party.
In Kwara State, members of the APC faction led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, were found to have removed the party flag from their secretariat. A visit to the faction secretariat at 26 Abdulrazaq Road, Flower Garden, GRA, Ilorin revealed that members had deserted the building.
A National Assembly Member representing Ojomu/Balogun Constituency in Offa Local Government Area, Saheed Popoola, who is a leading member of the Lai Mohammed faction, announced his defection to the Social Democratic Party on the Floor of the Assembly last week.
In a conversation with The punch on Monday, the faction announced that it had left the APC.
The publicity secretary of the APC faction elected at the parallel congress organized by the group, Ibrahim Sharafadeen, revealed this in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents.
“We officially left the APC, but we did not declare ourselves for any political party. Our leaders have made no public statement about which political party we are heading towards. We will make it public very soon,” Sharafadeen said.
When asked if the faction would switch to the SDP, Sharafadeen said no, adding, “It was the only decision of Popoola, who informed the Kwara State Assembly that he had defected from the SDP. ‘APC’.
In Sokoto state, where there is currently no APC president, it was reported that the PDP has started taking steps to bring aggrieved members back into its fold.
An APC leader in the state said, “Sokoto State is a special case. The party has no recognized leadership at the moment, due to the court case challenging the congresses. In fact, only statutory Sokoto delegates, such as former governors and others, were allowed to vote (at the national convention). Others, coming out of congresses, have been banned.
“We are aware that the PDP is already trying to seduce some of the APC members into its fold. And if this disagreement is not well managed, the APC risks losing again in Sokoto.
In Zamfara State, the faction led by Governor Bello Matawalle is recognized, but the factions led by Senator Kabiru Marafa and ex-governor Abul’Aziz Yari have refused to withdraw their cases from court.
The Mafara faction said it would not withdraw its pending cases from the courts despite the national convention held last Saturday.
Talk to The punch over the phone, faction spokesman Bello Bakyasuwa said cases pending in various courts would be pursued to their logical conclusion.
He said: “We are moving forward with the court cases. We have pending cases in various courts and we will not be withdrawing the cases as we are still not satisfied that we have been treated fairly.
“We are challenging the legality of Governor Matawall’s faction chairman, Tukur Danfulani, and other members of the executive committee, as they were not elected in a legal manner.
“We also dispute the reason why the national headquarters of our great party refused to recognize the leaders of our factions, who were duly elected at the parallel congress held in the state.”
Bakyasuwa also pointed out that the faction would contest last Saturday’s national convention as due process was not followed at the event.
“We are going to court to challenge the election of Senator Abdullahi Adamu and other members of the national executive of the party, due to a series of illegalities. We were really not happy with how the congress went and we won’t let it go that way,” he said.
As to whether Marafa’s APC faction would remain in the APC or not, Bakyasuwa said he was in consultation with lawyers.
“We are in consultation with our lawyers on whether or not we should stay in the party. So I can’t tell you specifically what’s going to happen before the consultation,” he explained.
In Osun state, Abiodun Agboola, publicity secretary for the APC faction backed by Interior Minister Rauf Aregbesola, said members of the group would wait for the court to rule on a case he has instituted challenging the eligibility of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, who is before an Abuja search.
Agboola told one of our correspondents that the group had no intention of leaving the APC.
He said, however, that the group would pursue the issue of Oyetola’s eligibility to run as a candidate for governor of the APC until a logical conclusion.
He said: “We are not going to any party and we are not talking to any party. We remain members of the APC. The national convention has passed. The officers appeared and they took the oath.
“That doesn’t mean we’re going to quit the party. But we have a case in court. We contest his (Oyetola’s) eligibility. The case was taken to the Federal High Court in Abuja last Friday. We say he is not even qualified to be the party’s flag bearer in the July elections. We will wait for the court to rule on this case before moving on to the next action. »
But a former deputy national publicity secretary of the PDP, Mr Diran Odeyemi, said the opposition Osun State party would be interested in negotiating with the APC faction backed by Aregbesola.
Odeyemi, an associate of Osun Governorate PDP flag bearer, Senator Ademola Adeleke, who observed that negotiations should not be ruled out ahead of the poll, added that his party would reach out to all those who opposed Oyetola within the APC, since they had been ostracized by the APC.
He argued that the crises in Osun’s APC would be exploited by the PDP to have a good run in the gubernatorial poll.
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