An open yet restricted rivalry and political hostility is going on in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the seeming indifference of party leaders towards zoning of party offices as well as a designated date for its much-anticipated national convention, LEADERSHIP has learnt.
It was gathered that the silence over the issue has set some governors of the party on a collision course with the Mai Mala Buni-led national caretaker committee.
A former member of the APC National Executive Committee (NEC) told this paper that the silence over the zoning and date for the convention is part of a plot by some party stakeholders to retain power ahead of the convention.
It was learnt that the forces in the unfolding power game are those believed to be close confidants of the presidential villa who are working in cohorts with some APC governors.
It was gathered that the arrowheads are two governors from the North West, two from the North East and a serving minister.
The source who did not want his name in print linked the move by the northern governors to their desire to have a firm grip of the party after the national convention.
He said, “It is suspected that the reality of the southern governors’ push for the major parties to pick their presidential candidates from the southern part of the country is already sinking.
“Our apprehension, and particularly what some of the Southern governors have always detested, has always been the silence and unusual attitude of the national leadership when we are approaching a major national programme like a ruling party’s convention.
“Up till now, the date for the convention is not known by us; not even any Southern governor knows except about four northern governors and a minister who was nowhere when we formed APC. No governor in the South knows what is even zoned to each zone and state; yet, we are preparing for our convention.
“The most disturbing thing is that some of these men I can call cabal are already propping cronies who they believe are not on the same page with some governors in the south in order to install such interlopers.
“I can confirm that these people are poised to frustrate men presented by southern governors for NWC slots, even though they know it would create problems in the party. They have perfected their plans by encouraging splinter groups within some States and backing their stooges against some targeted governors”.
PDP Closes Submission Of Forms As Concern Mounts Over Secondus’ Appeal
Meanwhile, anxiety has enveloped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the party’s October 30 national convention as the Court of Appeal is set to rule on a suit filed by Prince Uche Secondus challenging his suspension as national chairman of the party.
LEADERSHIP learnt that while the court might rule before the national convention, there are fears that the outcome of the suit might alter the course of the convention.
This is even as submission of forms for the party elective positions ended yesterday amid aspirants rushing to submit their forms.
A PDP source within the party noted that fears of a court injunction halting the convention are rife.
Secondus had on Sunday declared that he will not withdraw his case from the appellate court, noting that the procedure on how he was removed from office was unjust.
Throwing his weight behind Secondus’ suit, a former PDP governorship candidate, Dr Umar Ardo, told LEADERSHIP that some members of the party have refused “to accept the fraudulent, deceitful, illegal and unjust way and manner by which Prince Uche Secondus was removed as the PDP’s National Chairman.
“We condemn in the strongest terms those who orchestrated and carried out this diabolical political subterfuge against the party. They should be seen as the enemies of PDP and our democracy. We support the decision of Prince Secondus to appeal this judicial ambush at the higher court.
“We thus withhold recognition of all the flurry of activities being hurriedly undertaken by the party in consequence of this judicial fraud that necessitated the constituting of a disciplinary committee by the NJC to look at the untoward actions of the judicial officers involved; and consequently.
“We do not recognise the People’s Democratic Party’s leadership in Adamawa State as constituted today through a charade called state congress,” he added.
In a related development, submission of forms for the party elective positions ended yesterday as aspirants rush to submit their forms.
Among them are a two-term member of the House of Representatives and lawyer, Hon Debo Ologunagba, who submitted his expression of interest and nomination forms for the position of national publicity secretary of the PDP.
Similarly, a former federal commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Prince Samben Nwosu, submitted his forms for the office of national Auditor.
He was at various times, former special assistant to PDP national publicity secretary, former state publicity secretary, former state organising secretary, and former ward chairman.
Also, a former minister and erstwhile national woman leader, Mrs Inna Ciroma, equally submitted her own forms seeking to contest for the position of deputy national chairman (North).
Ciroma will be slugging it out with two others including a former Ambassador, Alhaji Umar Damagum.
A former professor with University of Calabar, Cross River State, Stella Effah-Attoe, also submitted her form for the position of national Woman Leader, describing herself as a “politician with academic background.”
Ambassador Usman Sani Elkudan, who similarly threw his hat in the ring to contest the position of PDP national Youth Leader of the main opposition party in the country, also submitted his expression of interest and nomination forms at the party’s national secretariat.
Addressing journalists shortly after submitting her form, Prof Effah-Attoe said, “I have a very deep interest in women affairs. People have asked, Why are you going for National Woman Leader, why not any other position?
“I said well, in as much as National Woman Leader is zoned to my zone, I normally would have gone for it because of my passion for women. I am very passionate about women.
“Over the years I’ve been deeply involved in women’s issues. Like I said earlier, apart from being a female politician, I have done a lot of work in the academic field concerning women and gender issues.”
On his part, Ologunagba said, “The superpower is in PDP, where hope resides. So, two things are going to be key in this communication mantra; retrieve and restore.
“We want to restore the country back to the PDP days when it was easy for you to go to bed at 10pm and take your car and drive down to Lokoja and come back.
“We want a situation where kids will go to school, and they won’t be kidnapped. We want to restore fundamental freedoms that are guaranteed for instance, the freedom to worship.”
The aspirant for the National Youth Leader, Usman Elkudan, promised that PDP youth will be taught how to become tech savvy to farm and trade if given the mandate.