Last Thursday, as early as 8:00 am, another party secretariat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was already agog with activities signaling the zenith of the crisis that has been rocking the party in Kaduna State shortly after the emergence of Malam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai as the flag bearer of the party. MIDAT JOSEPH writes
As early as 9:00 am, Shuiabu Inuwa Danladi Wada had gathered journalists to unveil the birth of another party secretariat, located at No.11B Sambo Road, near the Kaduna State Assembly complex. Wada claimed he was elected and sworn in as Vice Chairman alongside Bala Barnabas Bantex, current Deputy Governor at the party’s Congresses in 2014. According to him, he relocated the party secretariat to No. 11B, Sambo Road, Kaduna following the continued invasion, attacks and harassment by sponsored political thugs on state party executives at the former address of the party, hence the relocation to a more secured address was necessary.
Though LEADERSHIP gathered the other factional party secretariat located along Ali Akilu Road was still been occupied by another factional Acting State Chairman, Mr. Shuiabu Idris, who is alleged to have been imposed on the party by the powers that be after the appointment of the substantive Chairman, Mr. Bantex as running mate to el-Rufai in the last 2015 polls. Addressing members of the press at the new party office, the state acting Chairman, Wada called on all Local Governments and Wards party officers in the state to direct all their correspondences to the new address and advised other stakeholders including INEC, Nigerian Police, the DSS, Kaduna State electoral commission, party members and the public to note the recent change in the address of the state party secretariat which he claimed had the approval of the National Headquarters of the party.
Wada also urged all members of the party to remain steadfast and committed to the lawful activities of the party and avoid any act of disloyalty and anti-party activists that could undermine the unity of the party in the conduct of congresses, the success of the party in the forthcoming Local Government Council elections and the 2019 general elections, in the state. His words: “The decision to relocate as being approved by the majority members of the state Executive Committee becomes necessary so as to create a harmonious working environment for the leadership of APC in the state, considering the unprecedented manner by which some politicians have permanently deployed thugs that invaded the former address and harrassing and intimidating other innocent officers and members of the party that are perceived as political threats and were severally prevented from attending or taking part in any activity of the party at the former address.”
He also used the opportunity to announce the query and warning letter to the State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai over activities he claimed the party viewed as “capable of eroding the confidence of members and followership of the party, electorates and residents of the state.”Similarly, the state political adviser to the governor, Uba Sani was slammed with a suspension for 18 months and advised to desist from participating in the party affairs or face prosecution.
Also suspended for 18 months are the serving State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Suleiman Abdu Kwari and Alhaji Yahaya Baba Pate who is the acting State secretary of the party. According to Wada in the letters of which copies were made available to newsmen, the suspension of the said members is with immediate effect while the governor is expected to respond to the query within 48 hours of face further disciplinary measures. “The State Working Committee (SWC) of the party after due consultation with stakeholders and elders of the party has decided to issue notice of suspension from APC to Mallam Uba Sani for 18 months.The acting state secretary is also suspended for 18 months, Alhaji Audu Kwaru, commissioner of finance is also suspended for anti party activities for 18 months.His Excellency, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai has been queried and we are expecting him to answer the query within 48 hours. Failure to do that, the SWC will seat down and deliberate.
“We queried Mallam Nasir el-Rufai for his anti-party and anti-human activities. The letters would be delivered to these personalities today (Thursday),” he stressed.Senators Hukunyi and Shehu Sani Back Wada Senator Suleiman Othman Hukunyi, a Senator representing Kaduna North Senatorial District and a Deputy National Organising secretary of the APC in a press statement personally signed and issued aligned himself with the decision of the Wada’s led executives.
He said, “I align myself and the followership to the decision of the National party that recognises S.I Danladi Wada as the acting chairman of the APC in Kaduna State as known to the party records.”
On his part, Senator Shehu Sani, the senator representing Kaduna central (APC) said he was in full support of the Wada-led leadership, because “Wada is the recognised Acting Chairman by the National headquarters of the party.
“I Comrade Shehu Sani, I am in full support of Alhaji Danladi Wada Chairmanship of our party, APC in Kaduna State. I am also in support of all the decisions taken by his leadership in order to reposition the party in the state,” he said.
Shuaibu Idris-led Faction Reacts
Reacting, the Alhaji Shuaibu Idris who still operates the office along Ali Akilu Road called on members of the public to be weary of the “activities of these imposters whose activities and plans are to destroy the goodwill of the party in the state.”A statement signed by Salisu Tanko Wusono, acting Publicity Secretary of the party in the state said “attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Kaduna State chapter has been drawn to the purported opening of a factional office by the Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi-led group of disgruntled elements within the party.”
“Accordingly, the party has conducted an interim review of this dastardly act hence the use of this medium to warn members of the general public to be wary of the activities of these imposters whose activities and plans are to destroy the goodwill of the party in the state so as to jeopardize the existing peaceful atmosphere in the state.
“We wish to assure our esteemed party members,supporters and admirers that there is no cause for alarm as necessary disciplinary actions will be taken against the culprits in due course just as security agencies across the state have been notified of this treacherous development,” the statement
el-Rufai Tackles Hukunyi
Also reacting to the development, Governor el-Rufai took a personal swipe at Senator Hukunyi, accusing him of betraying trust and confidence. A statement by the governor’s spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, said the State Government has sent political traders like Hukunyi into retirement, and “will not be swayed by their drowning antics.”
He said “no one will pay heed to the attention-seeking gambits of desperate politicians who have steadily been demystified. It also warned that rascally actions being undertaken by these traders in the hope of getting a lifeline from reconciliation moves will not be rewarded.”“The APC Government of Kaduna State has boldly lived up to the its manifesto commitments and principles to the people. In this work, it continues to enjoy the firm support of the APC State Executive which is united, and committed to the hard work of bringing sustainable change.
“The government appreciates the support it has received from the party in executing policies that stand up for the right of ordinary people to equal opportunity. That support was vividly demonstrated as the government took drastic action to ensure that only qualified teachers teach the children of the poor. “Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai is proud of his record in achieving unprecedented levels of capital spending in the state, direct job creation, doubling school enrollment and doublinginternally-generated revenue. The governor has no doubt that the people of Kaduna State have seen who was committed to building schools, roads and hospitals, and bringing investors and will make the right choice in their own interest. The political traders are also aware that the people know who is standing up for them.
“The government had been made aware of the boastful and pompous claims of Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, that he will change the leadership of Kaduna State in 2019 by installing himself as Governor. The desperate Senator is seeking a lifeline, in the vain belief that ratcheting up rascally actions will bring him attention and relief from the mooted national reconciliation efforts. Senator Hunkuyi has further illegally created a faction, headquartered in his house, as a bargaining chip. This Senator has failed to understand that you cannot create party executives at your whim. It is the party’s prerogative to consider appropriate responses to this breach of discipline. But as a government, we view these actions as the needless drama of political traders.
“Hunkuyi has on three previous elections failed to get himself elected as governor. Yet he flaunts false claims that it was him that got Malam Nasir El-Rufai elected in 2015.
“In 2015, it was God Almighty and the good people of Kaduna State that made Malam El-Rufai Governor and Hunkuyi a Senator. It appears that Hunkuyi has forgotten how his previous attempts to be Governor in 2003, 2007 and 2011 failed miserably. With the Almighty’s gracious help, his association with the El-Rufai brand helped get him elected as senator in 2015.“It is clear that he can’t be cured of his obsession to be governor of Kaduna State at all cost, whether through betrayal of trust, treachery, or deceit. But should know by now that Kaduna State is not for sale.Ordinary people, including in Hunkuyi’s Kudan local government area, now know that governance can work for them. The era of political traders is over,” the statement read.
Who Is The Authentic Acting Chair?
Sources within the party’s hierarchy at the National Headquarters told our Correspondent on condition of anonymity that Alhaji Shuiabu Inuwa Danladi Wada was the one sworn in as Vice Chairman to Barnabas Yusuf Bala Bantex by the National Congress committee of the party after its congresses.
“The truth is, Alhaji Wada is suppose to be the acting Chairman of the party after the substantive chairman was picked as running mate and now deputy governor. But some players in the party, including some Senators who are now fighting the governor of the state were part of the decision to substitute Alhaji Wada and replace him with Shuaibu Idris who actually contested the Vice Chairmanship position with Wada during the Congresses,” said our source.
As it stands today, except urgent steps are taken to resolve the brewing crisis, the APC in Kaduna State may go into the much awaited May 12 local government election as a divided house as the party is currently at the mercy of S. I Danladi Wada’s faction with office at No 11B Sambo Road. The Shuiabu Idris’s -led faction has its office along Ali Akilu Road, while the Tom Maitamaki Maiyashi-led APC Akida’s faction has its office along Tafawa Balewa Road.
As it is today in Kaduna’s APC, there is doubt that the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led reconciliation committee will have to move fast to save the soul of the party before it is too late.