• Silent on Kano, Sokoto executives
• APC will protect Nigeria from those who destroyed it in the past – Dalori

‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja

Daily Courier – APC Caretaker/ExtraOrdinary Convention Planning Committee has issued certificates of returns to 34 of its 36 state chairmen, as well as that of the FCT. Sokoto and Kano chapters were left out.

The roll call of the state chairmen at the occasion climaxed the intrigues and horse trading as a result of the crisis that followed the state primary elections.

Caretaker Chairman and Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni was absent at the ceremony, which was supervised by Caretaker Secretary John James Akpanudohede.

Buni was at the Presidential Villa to present Senate Deputy Minority Leader Emmanuel Bwacha to the President, having defected from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the APC.

The Secretary of the CECPC, John James Akpanudohede said: “I have been asked to issue you certificates of return as the duly elected chairmen of your states” as he begins to issue the certificate.

Factional groups kick

Factional groups that conducted parallel congresses in most of the states have rejected the new state executives inaugurated by the Caretaker/ExtraOrdinary Convention Planning Committee.

Daily Courier can report that factions that are loyal to ministers and Senators have vowed to seek redress or continue with their pending cases in court.

Following the development, the national secretariat of the party was yesterday the centre of contestation by in aggrieved members from various states which led to chaotic scenes at the entrance of the national headquarters.

The Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) was forced to delay the inauguration of state party executives which was billed to hold at 10:00pm till about 5pm in the evening.

There was heavy security at the party’s national headquarters, with operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigerian Security Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and other security agencies positioned at the entrance of the gate and other strategic positions along Blantyre Street, Wuse 2 District, Abuja to stave off protest by aggrieved party stakeholders.

Supporters of the new state executives, journalists and some APC staff who were not aware that there was a stay-at-home circular were prevented from entering the party’s secretariat, even as commuters could not access the road leading to the place.

Daily Courier learnt that the party’s leadership beefed up security around the national secretariat to avoid disruption of the inauguration by angry supporters from states where there were parallel congresses leading to the emergence of two party executives in the affected states.

The party had on Wednesday night issued a circular ordering staff of the secretariat to not to report for work yesterday in a bid to manage the situation to forestall a breakdown of law and order.

There was apprehension that since the party’s national reconciliation committee led by former Nasarawa State governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, is yet to round up its assignment disgruntled members of the party besiege the party secretariat to stop the inauguration.

The state congresses were mired in crisis, with aggrieved stakeholders challenging the exercise in court.

But after over six hours of delay, the national caretaker committee of the APC eventually inaugurated state party chairmen without administering oath of office on them.

The oath of office, which is the conventional way of extracting commitment and acceptance of responsibilities delegated to office holders was preemptively avoided in the ceremony which lasted a few minutes.

The state chairmen inaugurated were Dr. Kingsley Ononogbu (Abia), Alh Ibrahim Bilal (Adamawa), Mr Augustine Enefiok Ekanem (Akwa Ibom), Hon Basil Ejike (Anambra), Alh Babayo Aliyu Misau (Bauchi), Dr. Dennis Otiotio (Bayelsa), Mr Augustine Agada (Benue), Hon. Ali Bukar Dalori (Borno), and Mr. Alphonsus Orgar Eba Esq. (Cross River).

Others include Elder Omeni Sabotie(Delta), Hon. Stanley Okoro Emegha (Ebonyi), retired Col David Imuse (Edo), Barr. Omotosho Paul Ayodele (Ekiti), Chief Ogochukwu Agballah (Enugu), Mr Nitte K Amangal (Gombe), Dr Macdonald Ebere (Imo), Hon. Aminu Sani Gumel (Jigawa), Air Cdre Emmanuel Jekada (Rtd) (Kaduna), Alh. Muhammed Sani (Katsina), Alh. Abubakar Muhammed Kana (Kebbi) and Hon Abdullahi Bello (Kogi).

Others are Prince Sunday Adeniran Fagbemi (Kwara), Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi (Lagos), Mr John D Mamman (Nasarawa), Hon. Haliru Zakari Jikantoro (Niger), Chief Yemi Sanusi (Ogun), Engr Ade Adetimehin (Ondo), Prince Adegboyega Famodun (Osun), Hon Isaac Omodewu (Oyo), Hon Rufus Bature (Plateau), Chief Emeka Bekee (Rivers). Hon Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi (Taraba), Alh Muhammed A. Gadaka (Yobe), Alh. Tukur Umar Danfulani (Zamfara) and Alh. Abdulmalik Usman (FCT).

APC will protect Nigeria from those who destroyed it in the past.

The Chairman of state chairmen, Hon. Bukar Dalori of Borno state in his address on behalf of the newly inaugurated chairmen thanked the caretaker committee, all party leaders and members for the confidence reposed in them.

He further said; “We have watched Your Excellency lead our party with an unimpeachable commitment to move the party forward and carrying all members and leaders along.

“In the last few months, we have witnessed leadership finesse in the manner party affairs are conducted. There is no doubt that Your Excellency has brought your experience to bear in piloting the affairs of our great party.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and the limitations associated with it, your practical ingenuity to still mobilize people to join the party will go down memory lane as being uncharacteristically magnificent. We remember vividly how all the Committees, especially the Women and Youths Mobilization Committee led by Governor Yahaya Bello deployed the media to market our party to millions of Nigerians. APC is indeed blessed with great leaders.

“On behalf of my colleagues, we wish to pledge our unalloyed loyalty to the leadership of Your Excellency and to assure you that we are all behind you all the way as your achievements have shown your sterling qualities.

“You are a great example to all of us and in the next few weeks, we shall be learning from you, the magic that brought Governors and other political bulldozers to the party.

“There was a joke among party members that when you see Governor Mai Mala Buni with an opposition leader, APC is about to witness an influx. How you do it without noise, makes it even more commendable. It is in the interest of all party leaders and members to give you the deserved support. You are a blessing to our party.
We have taken your charge in good faith and like soldiers, we shall be unrelenting in marching our party to a commanding and convincing victory in 2023.”

He assured members in the respective states that they will work with every party members to ensure APC protects Nigeria from those who destroyed it in the past.

Reactions from factional groups

In Rivers, a faction of the party loyal to Senator Magnus Ngei Abe has described the inauguration of state executives of the party as an exercise in futility.

In Kwara State, the Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa’s faction of APC has scheduled a meeting to take a decision on its members’ next line of action following the inauguration of the state APC chairman, Prince Sunday Fagbemi.

A stalwart of the APC faction in the state, Akogun Iyiola Oyedepo disclosed during an interview with a national dailies in Ilorin yesterday.

“We are studying the development. You will recall that our faction issued a statement on Wednesday that Kwara APC issue remains unresolved contrary to the position of Senator Abdullahi Adamu – led reconciliation committee.

“Whatever line of action we will take will come up later. A meeting has been slated to discuss this.”

The immediate-past APC chairman in Enugu, Dr Ben Nwoye yesterday commended the national leadership of the party for refusing to inaugurate the executive committee of the party in the state.

Nwoye, a former secretary of the Forum of APC Chairmen insisted that the person whose name was submitted as state chairman in Enugu, by some party leaders, did not participate in the congress of the party held in the state.

Nwoye insisted that Adolphus Udeh was duly elected as the APC state chairman of the party.

Meanwhile, supporters of a former commissioner in Enugu State Ugochukwu Agballa had already concluded preparation to give their leader a heroic welcome.

Billboards congratulating Agballa were visible in different parts of Enugu.

Recall that Three persons namely, Ude, Agballa and former military governor of Gombe State, retired Group Captain Joe Orji, laid claim to being chairman of the APC after separate congresses.

We Won’t Recognise Kana Zuru Leadership, Say Aliero’s Supporters

In Kebbi State, the APC camp loyal to the former Governor Muhammadu Adamu Aleiro who now represents Kebbi Central at the National Assembly distanced itself from the inauguration.

Speaking to our correspondent, former special assistant on media to Aliero, Alhaji Abdullahi Idris Zuru, said his boss was unaware of the “so-called inauguration” which is to be performed today in the state by APC led by one Muhammed Kana Zuru.

”My boss, Senator, Muhammed Adamu Aleiro was neither informed no his group have received any information regarding this inauguration that you are talking about.”

Corroborating, former spokesperson of APC in the state, Alhaji Sani Dododo, who is now in Aliero’s camp, said the APC leadership led by Mohammed Kana Zuru does not exist.

Benue, Niger Factions Head For Court

In Benue State, the factional APC chairman, Barr. Oga Mathew Omale-Omale has filed an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the swearing in of the Benue State APC chairman elect and two other officials.

In suit no: MHC/14/22 that was filed at the High Court of the Makurdi Judicial Division, penultimate week, Omale sought the Court to restrain APC from swearing the chairman-elect, treasurer-elect as well as the assistant secretary-elect as officials of the party.

The suit, instituted by JS Okutepa and JJ Usman, insisted that Omale-Omale and the two others were consensus candidates of the party.

It would be recalled that the APC in the state has been factionalised since the state congresses of the party that was held in 2021.

In Niger State, the state High Court has fixed February 10, this year, to determine the fate of the APC state executives.

The suit was filed by the group led by Nasir Ubadiya who held their congress the same day as the recognised group inaugurated yesterday in Abuja.

When asked about their position on the inauguration, vice chairman of the group in Niger South, Sidi Saba said “how can a caretaker inaugurate duly elected officials, the inauguration should have been after the National convention”

“We will not talk much about the inauguration because we have a case in court and the ruling is coming up by the 10th of this month, we will talk on the legality of what happened after the court ruling,” he said.

It will be recalled that on October 16, 2021, the state APC congress, held and 15 plaintiffs who claimed to be aspirants during the state congress filed the suit at the State High Court II in Minna after the exercise.

Keyamo’s Associates Keep Mum

Members of APC Leaders’ Council in Delta State which the minister of state for Labour, Festus Keyamo, belongs to kept mum yesterday over the inauguration of APC state chairmen in Abuja.

The chieftains who are APC factions in the state have already resigned their membership.

Acting state publicity secretary of APC, Sylvester Imonina; acting state welfare secretary, Precious Enuenweayoi; and former deputy chairman of the party, Cyril Ogodo, had last Tuesday, resigned their positions and membership from APC and defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Imonina, when contacted on the issue, said they are no longer members of APC as they have already torn their APC membership cards and set the brooms, the symbol of the APC, on fire.

He said they are neither surprised nor perturbed over the inauguration because those inaugurated cannot mobilise to win even a councilorship election in the state.

But the APC directorate of Media and Publicity in Delta State, in a statement signed by, Pius Ituru, said they remain resolute under the leadership of deputy president of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and Engr Omeni Sobotie.

“The exit of the decampees can be described as “good riddance to bad rubbish” because the party has come to discover that they were moles in the fold of Delta APC that is waxing very strong, APC in Delta said.

Marafa Kicks

Meanwhile, in Zamfara, the Sen Kabiru Marafa-led faction of APC has faulted the inauguration of the executives loyal to Governor Bello Matawalle-led faction of APC faction by the National Working Committee.

Spokesman of Marafa’s faction, Bello Bakyasuwa said the issuance of the certificate to the Matawalle’s chairman was wrong as there was pending suit challenging the Congress in the state.

“We are totally against the inauguration of the Matawalle led faction by the National Working Committee of the party”, he added.

Bakyasuwa however reiterated the determination of the faction to continue with its judicial process to the logical conclusion.