APC reconciliation runs into hitch as aggrieved members demand tickets, appointments, refund

Posted by News Express | 25 November 2018 | 946 times

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The National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC, led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had, on Wednesday, November 21, inaugurated the National Peace and Reconciliation Committee for each of the six geo-political zones in the country, majorly due to cases arising from primary elections.

The NWC had announced the formation of the committees, with each headed by a governor, to find a way out of the stalemate, so that they could go into the 2019 elections as one strong family.

According to Daily Trust, the committees might not be able to alter the decisions the party had already taken on the volatile states, particularly Ogun, Imo and Zamfara, despite the ongoing protests.

Amosun’s camp insist on Adekunle

In Ogun State, the grieving loyalists of Governor Ibikunle Amosun have insisted on the declaration of the governor’s anointed candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, as the party’s governorship flag-bearer as condition for peace to reign in the party.

They are equally demanding the ceding of 26 House of Assembly tickets to Amosun’s loyalists, who had been “denied” candidates form (CF001) by the national leadership of the APC.

The ruling party in the state was polarised following the submission of Dapo Abiodun’s name as the governorship candidate against the governor’s pick.

Visit to Zamfara will have no value

In Zamfara State, Governor Abdulaziz Yari said the visit of the APC reconciliation committee would be of no value if its main focus is to look into the controversy surrounding the state’s party primaries.

Governor Yari, who spoke through his special adviser on communication, media and public enlightenment, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, said the effort of the committee would not make any difference since they had already filed a suit in a court before the constitution of the peace and reconciliation team.

He said that until the court delivered its verdict on the case, any reconciliation on the state’s party primaries would be an exercise in futility.

It would be recalled that the fight among nine governorship aspirants in the state had led to unsuccessful conduct of primary elections.

Aggrieved members want refund in Kogi

In Kogi State, the grievances of aspirants mainly stemmed from the alleged lack of level playing field and hijack of the primaries’ processes by powers-that-be, in order to allow some preferred candidates to emerge against all odds.

Prominent amongst the aspirants that cried out include Dr Toyin Akanle, who contested for the Kogi West senatorial zone, Alhaji Yahaya Audu (Kogi East, Senate) and Mr Ben Adaji, who contested for the Ankpa/Olamaboro/Omala in the House of Representatives.

Speaking on the constitution of the reconciliation committee, Mr Adaji, described the move as “belated.”

According to him, “To me, the reconciliation committee is coming belatedly because so many of the aggrieved persons had already left the party while others have gone to court. How would they reconcile with such people now?

“The APC NWC ought to have set up this committee immediately after the kangaroo primaries that took place all over the country,” he said.

Imo factions maintain rigid stand 

The chairman of the APC in Imo State, Dan Nwafor, said the reconciliation would make sense after the restoration of the mandate given to those who won in the primaries conducted by Brig-Gen. Ibrahim Agbabiaka (retd) on October 6, 2018.

Nwafor said, “We are ready for peace, and that peace must come with justice. If the committee is coming to ensure justice, then we will welcome them.

But Dr Theo Ekechi, the convener of the Imo APC Restoration Coalition, said the major obstacle to the job of the peace and reconciliation committee was the “hard-line posture of Governor Rochas Okorocha.”

Ekechi said, “Much injustice has been done to the people of Imo State. So many wounds have been inflicted on innocent citizens of the state. So many expectations of the people have been dashed. Therefore, the APC has lost so much goodwill in the state by the infighting within the party in the state as a result of the impunity from the governor.”

Bauchi: Gov Abubakar must be removed as candidate

The aggrieved aspirants are still hurling accusations at Governor Mohammed Abubakar.

Two governorship contenders, including Dr. Ibrahim Lame and Captain Bala Jibrin, who spoke on behalf of “Concerned Citizens of Bauchi State” in Abuja recently, said no primaries took place in the state, except the direct presidential primary election, saying Governor Abubakar would not win in 2019.

However, Captain Jibrin expressed hope that the committee would not only do a thorough job but also ensure that justice is done to the aggrieved members. He, however, warned the committees to prepare for grievous consequences in 2019 if they fail to bring genuine reconciliation.

Alhaji Sani Malam, a former adviser to Governor Abubakar, is presently in court challenging the party leadership that emerged after the congresses.

On his part, the state party organising secretary, Lawan Gyan Gyan, described the constitution of the committee as a “very good move” to heal the wounds ahead of the elections.

Leadership impasse in Enugu

Since the APC in Enugu State conducted its congresses, there have been lingering leadership crisis, which eventually snowballed into the pre-primaries and post-primaries period, leading to two factions.

One of the factions is headed by the state chairman, Dr Ben Nwoye and the other by Deacon Okey Ogbodo.  Also, there is another group led by the former Secretary to the State Government, Onyemuche Nnamani.

Speaking with our correspondent, the director-general of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, who contested for the party’s primary for the Enugu West senatorial district, claimed that the result of the primaries was grossly rigged.

“The Electoral Act has provision for substitution of candidates that were rigged in. The basic function of the committee is to review the petitions. And those found to be genuine, the candidates that were illegally brought in, should be substituted with the genuine ones.

“If they don’t do that and they tour the whole country, it will end up being a peace of the graveyard,” Okechukwu said.

Yobe: Those who worked for party are not compensated

Yakubu Mainasara, had, between 2011 and 2015, represented Nangere/Potiskum federal constituency of Yobe State in the House of Representatives.

He vied for the same position during the recent primaries, but was reportedly edged out because of the procedures put in place in selecting the candidate. According to him, “The formation of the reconciliation committee headed by the APC governors is a welcome development but they have to do it fast.

“We are not happy because we were made to cough out millions of naira to buy forms, but the real primaries were not held at the end of the day.

“We know it is not possible for everyone to get elective positions, but I feel the party has the capacity to reduce tension.

“There are hundreds of appointments into boards and parastatals that have not been filled. President Buhari had also long ago promised to expand his cabinet, but he didn’t do it.

“Assuming they had made all these appointments, the pressure would have been less. Thousands of people who work for the success of the party have not been rewarded with anything since 2015. And they now spent their money to vie for elective offices but were edged out; so how would you convince them to work for the party?

Excerpted from a Daily Trust report

Source: News Express

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