UMAR MOHAMMED in this report writes on the crisis bedeviling the now opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State.
The battle for control of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara State has continued unabated. The battle between the immediate-past governor, Alhaji Abdul-Aziz Yari and Senator Kabir Marafa is grounding the opposition party in the state.
The political intrigues began when the two gladiators, Yari and Marafa fell apart following criticisms by the latter against Yari over activities of bandits in the state.
Interestingly, in the build up to the 2011 general elections, after Marafa parted ways with his former political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), having being denied senatorial ticket, he joined the now defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), where he became an ally of Yari.
But their relationship took a turn for the worse in the second term of the former governor when Marafa started raining criticisms on the government over its failure to tackle killings and kidnapping in the state, resulting in the sour relationship between the duo.
The intervention of the state APC leadership in the crisis worsened the situation, as the party leadership under the former chairman, Alhaji Lawal Kaura and his team interrogated Marafa over his criticism and warned him against such in the future.
According to Kaura, such issues should not be raised at the chamber, but rather in a face to face interaction with the governor. The sharp disagreement between the two political leaders divided APC into two factions.
The division manifested during the ward, local government and state congresses where executives to pilot the affairs of the party were elected. Expectedly, the factions produced separate executives for the party in the state.
Officials sent from the national headquarters of the APC supervised the congresses held by Yari’s faction.
Right then, the Zamfara APC chapter was faced with serious dilemma as the leadership of the two factions continued to disagree with each other up to the time of nomination of candidates for the 2019 general elections where both factions produced different candidates to stand for elections in the party.
The factions had earlier engaged in legal battle over the authenticity of the congresses but at one point the court ordered for status quo.
The attempt by the former governor to nominate candidates for all political positions of the party, further aggravated the already tensed political atmosphere.
The legal battle terminated at the Supreme Court but it has increased the damage it did to the party.
The Supreme Court ruling gave the candidates of PDP an opportunity to take charge of the political positions, with exception of one State Assembly seat of Maru east, which went to the candidate of National Rescue Movement (NRM).
The devastating loss of the APC resulted into aportioning blames on each other as leadership of the two factions expelled strong members of each faction.
Yari’s faction under the leadership of Lawal M. Liman sparked off a fresh saga with the expulsion of Marafa, Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji and the immediate past deputy governor, Mallan Ibrahim Wakala.
In a statement issued by the party’s publicity secretary, the Zamfara State chapter of the APC said it was expelling the former lawmaker over alleged anti-party activities.
Also expelled was the immediate past deputy governor of the state, Ibrahim Wakkala; and member representing Kauran Namoda/Birnin Magaji Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Aminu Jaji.
According to a statement by the party’s state publicity secretary, Shehu Isah, on behalf of the state chairman, the decision to expel the three politicians was reached at a meeting of the State Executive Committee in Gusau, the state capital.
Isah said, “The provision of Article 21 (A) ii and (D) v of the party’s constitution was activated against the three members for violation of the constitutional provision and engaging in acts inimical to the interest of the party”.
“Consequently, a resolution was passed expelling all of them from the All Progressives Congress.”
He highlighted the provision of the section of the party constitution to recommend that any member of the party who files an action in court against the party or any of its officials without first exhausting the avenues for redress stands expelled.
He added that the constitution also said no appeal against such expulsion shall be entertained until the withdrawal of the court case.
“We are therefore by this notice informing the general public that from the date of the said resolution, the aforementioned members cease to be members of the All Progressives Congress and consequently are disentitled from enjoying rights, privileges and benefits from the party,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the state chapter has communicated the decision to the party’s National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
In a swift reaction, the Marafa faction led by its chairman, Sirajo Maikatako also held a meeting and announced the expulsion of Yari for allegedly scuttling the party’s chances in Zamfara State.
Also expel was the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the APC, Lawal Shuaibu for conniving with Yari to sabotage the National Working Committee of the party during the botched primary elections of the state.
The decision to expel the former governor and the Deputy National Chairman was taken at the end of an emergency meeting held in Gusau, the Zamfara state capital.
A statement jointly signed by the chairman of the party in Zamfara, Alhaji Surajo Garba Mai Katako and the Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Bello Bakyasuwa, said the expulsion was sequel to the electoral misfortune, Yari and his co-travelers,exposed the pa
The party recalled how the former governor frustrated its efforts to conduct primaries last year, thus laying the foundation for the electoral misfortune that befell it in the state.
“After reviewing the outing of our party in the last general election and the outcome of the Supreme Court Judgement, we hereby dismiss the former governor of Zamfara state, Abdulaziz Yari and the Deputy National Chairman Sen Lawal Shuaibu from the APC.
“Following this development, we are urging them to immediately surrender all the belongings of the party in their possession including funds,” The statement added.
The Zamfara APC crisis has reached climax as it enmeshed the National Working Committee, following the request of the deputy national chairman, Sen. Lawal Shuaibu that the national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole resign over the party’s misfortune in the 2019 election.
The development led to the setting up of committee to probe the deputy national chairman.
A political observer, Anas Sani Anka described the action of the factions as ridiculous.
Anka said the National Working Committee should act promptly on the expulsion of members from the party.
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