APC State Chairmen Confirm Crisis In Party As Progressive Govs Visit Buhari,Lawan,Gbajabiamila

State chairmen of the All Progressives Congress are threatening a showdown with the national leadership of the party over recent appointments at the federal and state levels.

It was  learnt on Monday that the state chairmen were becoming frustrated over the failure of the leadership of the party to reward loyal party members with appointments.

The chairmen expressed their grievances as the governors elected on the platform of the party on Monday warned that the internal crisis in the APC could destroy the party and the political process.

The renewed agitation of the chairmen followed the expiration of a 10-day ultimatum issued to the National Working Committee of the party under the leadership of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.

Recall that the Forum of APC State Chairmen had on September 23 issued an ultimatum to the NWC to address their perceived concerns.

Among their concerns are failure to secure appointments for party loyalists and fill vacant leadership seats in the party.

The position of the National Secretary had become vacant following the swearing-in of the last occupant, Mai Mala Buni, as Governor of Yobe State.

Also, the Deputy National Chairman (South), Otunba Niyi Adebayo, was recently appointed as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment.

Their chairmen alleged that they were being treated as outsiders in the party they toiled day and night to secure victories for in the last general elections while those who worked against the party were being rewarded.

Prominent among state where core party members were neglected included Ogun State, where two loyalists of ex-governor Ibukunle Amosun, clinched federal appointments. During the 2019 elections, Amosun supported the Allied Peoples Movement governorship candidate, Mr Adekunle Akinlade.

The ultimatum has expired without the chairmen getting any concrete response from the party national leadership.

One of the state chairmen, who spoke with one of our correspondents in confidence said the state chairmen were angry because their concerns had not been addressed despite the letter to the national leadership.

He said, “It is unfortunate our efforts are not being recognised by the party we have all laboured for while those that did nothing were getting rewarded because of their closeness to some powerful forces in government.

“There is a limit to everything because we are fast losing grip of our members at states who feel the party is not carrying them along.”

Another state chairman from the North said, “The situation is getting critical and our members are becoming disenchanted and losing faith in us for something that it is not our fault. We don’t know what to tell them again because it is getting to a stage they can no longer understand the direction of the party.”

However, the Secretary of the forum, Dr Ben Nwoye, told The PUNCH that they were not relenting in their efforts as there was no going back on their demands.

He said, “There is no response yet, but when it is time you will hear from us. You will hear from the party faithful; those who believe they worked hard for the party and have been left behind and out of the system while those who worked against the government and the party have been rewarded.

“You will hear from those who participated in putting the government in place in various states and have been abandoned.”

Nwoye, who is the Enugu State APC chairman, said the state chairmen would meet in the next few days to review the development.

“Discussions are going on.  We are planning and we are organising ourselves. Whatever that will be done will be a collective decision of all of us and it will be made public; it won’t be in isolation,” he said

Speaking on their grievances, Nwoye said, “The chairmen are speaking the minds of the people, those who sacrificed, worked hard and promoted the cause of the party but have been left behind.

“We are speaking the minds of the contestants who have promoted the image of the party and have been neglected. The minds of the people who nurtured the party in the non-APC states but have been left behind while the PDP people are rewarded.”

Efforts to reach the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, proved abortive as he did not answer calls placed to him.

He had also yet to reply to a text message sent to him on what the APC had done to address the issues raised by the forum of state chairmen in their letter to the NWC as of 7:53 pm.

We are looking into chairmen’s grievances – National Vice-Chairman

But the APC National Vice Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Eta, said the concerns raised by the party leaders at the state level were being looked into.

He assured the public that the party had the capacity to deal with its internal issues noting that all issues that fell within the purview of party leadership would soon be resolved.

He said, “You cannot take concerns of our state party chairmen as a storm in a tea cup. I’ve always said that politics is all about conflict resolution.

“It encompasses conflict resolution and when there are no conflicts then what is there to resolve? These are conflicts that are within the orbit of the party to be resolved; I believe the party will resolve these conflicts.

“We have internal conflict resolution mechanisms and I can assure you that all of these issues will soon be resolved.”

Mreanwhile,President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said a partnership between State Governors and the National Assembly would redefine good governance in the interest of Nigerians.

Lawan stated this when members of the Progressive Governor's Forum comprising the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors met with the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives on Monday at the National Assembly in Abuja.

According to Lawan, bridging the gap in governance would in no small measure ensure the security, safety and welfare of citizens.

Lawan, in his welcome address moments before going into a closed meeting with the delegation, thanked members of the Forum, for their roles during the leadership contest in the National Assembly.

He said: “It is a fact and truism that our party, particularly our governors worked so hard to ensure that the leadership of the National Assembly emerged with little or no hitch in the 2019 leadership contest.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank you for that show of trust. We intend to remain very resolute and loyal to the party and the principles it stands for.

“We intend to remain committed and dedicated to Nigerian ideals of making sure that Nigeria provides all the necessary services, especially when it comes to the area of ensuring the security, safety and welfare of citizens.

According to Lawan, the emergence of the Senate and House leadership was the product of a bi-partisan combination between the majority and minority parties.

“The opposition parties, in the Senate particularly, the PDP and YPP have done so much to ensure that they give that kind of support.

“So far in the National Assembly, the journey has been very good; we have been working in a bi-partisan manner, and all those things that we felt were very necessary to be achieved in the national interest have been done across party lines.

Stressing the need for a partnership between the executive arm of government and the Legislature, Lawan assured the state governors of the willingness of the National Assembly to give its support on matters of National interest.

“I believe that this kind of partnership will continue. It is necessary that all levels of government work together. We have certain issues that we cannot do alone at the National level.

“I want to assure our governors here that you have partners in the National Assembly. We believe that we can do far better and more when we work together.

“I think there’s need for us to continue to have this type of interaction so that we are able to bridge the gap and continue to define and redefine the dynamics of how good governance can be sustained”, Lawan said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who spoke on behalf of the delegation, said the Forum has two sub committees; one on governance, and the other on legislative programmes.

He added that the Forum was satisfied with the way the leadership of both chambers have so far handled issues in the interest of the nation.

He said: “As part of the initiatives of legislative programmes, we are here to appreciate the leadership of the National Assembly and to express our pride in the way you led the two chambers of the National Assembly, by giving confidence to our nation and supporting the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The Progressive Governors Forum is desirous and cognizant of the need to work together.”

On the delegation of the Progressive Governors Forum are: Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi; Governor Aminu Bello Masari, Katsina; Governor Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna; Governor Godwin Obaseki, Edo and Governor Abdularahman Abdulfatai, Kwara.

Others are: Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, Kano; Governor Abubakar Bello, Niger; Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe; Governor Babagana Zulum, Borno; Governor Mai Mala Buni, Yobe and Deputy Governor Emmanuel Akabe, Nasarawa.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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