Delta APC Secretariat Over Leadership Tussle – Those Uncomfortable Are Free To Leave – Tony Momoh – nPDP Has Genuine Grievances — APC APC chieftains jittery over impending Parallel national Convention – Ahead of its June 2 national convention, there is anxiety in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) […]
– Those Uncomfortable Are Free To Leave – Tony Momoh
– nPDP Has Genuine Grievances — APC
APC chieftains jittery over impending Parallel national Convention – Ahead of its June 2 national convention, there is anxiety in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of a likely parallel convention following the crisis that trailed the outcome of its ward, local and state congresses.
Some stakeholders, who spoke, said based on recent developments in the party especially the ultimatum given to President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief John Odigie-Oyegun by an aggrieved faction in the party known as New PDP, there may be a repeat of what played out in the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) five years ago.
During the PDP’s convention at Eagles Square in August 2013, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and seven governors had staged a walk out and moved to Yar’Adua centre where they held a parallel congress and adopted the name New PDP.
Two of the governors later retraced their steps while Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers States eventually joined the APC.
Many political analysts believe that that singular action signaled the beginning of the downfall of the PDP which finally culminated in the party’s defeat in the 2015 presidential election.
Speaking in 2015, Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo State, said that the defection of five governors from the PDP to the APC was a major factor determining the APC’s victory in the last general elections.
He said, “Make no mistake about it, without the five governors that joined the APC in 2013, we would not be here today. The moment the PDP lost five governors was the moment it lost the presidency and its planned 60 years in power”.
Credible sources, who spoke with our reporter, also said based on recent developments in the party, stakeholders are envisaging an implosion ahead of the convention.
“Of course, recent developments in the party shows that all is not well and it is reminiscence of what played out in the PDP five years ago. I know some key stakeholders in APC are on their way out of the party but they are ready to ensure the party collapses before doing so.
“Don’t forget that what is playing out in APC is the same thing that played out in PDP back then. Amaechi’s alleged victimisation by the presidency and the police then can be likened to what is playing out between some members of the Senate now. Also, if you consider the ultimatum handed down to the APC by the PDP bloc in the party few days to the convention, then it is safe to draw the conclusion that there may be an implosion in the party before, during or after the convention”, the source said.
Also speaking with our correspondent, a member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), who asked not to be named, said the possibility of a parallel convention cannot be ruled out but according to him “the party is working to ensure it is not caught unawares.
“Yes, we are hearing rumours that some dissidents may want to cause confusion by organising parallel convention but I can assure you that the party is on top of the situation”, he said.
In his submission, Prince Tony Momoh, former Minister of Information and a national leader of APC, said the situation in the party is not as bad as many people think.
Momoh, who said those aggrieved in the party are free to approach the panels set up by the party leadership, also expressed optimism that there cannot be a parallel convention come June.
He said aggrieved party members are free to approach the court if not satisfied by the decision of the panel.
According to him, given the freedom of association enshrined in the constitution, anybody feeling uncomfortable within the party is at liberty to leave.
“There can’t be parallel convention. Who will they say they are working for? Yes, you appeal through the committees that are set up and at the end of the day, the decision of the appeal committee is binding on everybody.
“Those who will not accept the decision can go to court but there can never be any parallel convention. There is only one party and everyone will have to subject themselves to the constitution of that party.
“Those people who said they are new PDP, were they registered? Is there any name like new PDP with INEC? If anybody wants to contest, will he go and buy new PDP form? People do not really know that what is happening is normal in political organisation and in democracy.
“We chose democracy as a way and there are challenges but the fact is that many people think disagreement in political parties means collapse. That is not true. There is freedom of association. Those who are not satisfied will move.
“The situation is not as bad as people think but at the end of the day those who are not comfortable being in the party will leave”, he said.
Signs that the convention may go haywire were evident at the weekend as violence marred the state congresses of the party held nationwide with 10 states hosting parallel congresses. The states where factions of the party worked at cross-purposes were Lagos, Kwara, Delta, Rivers, Ondo, Enugu, Kogi, Bayelsa, Oyo, and Ebonyi.
However, APC has said any congress not conducted by the committee appointed by the party is illegal and whatever result it generated is null and void.
Speaking with reference to the controversies being generated by conduct of parallel congresses by aggrieved stakeholders in some states during the congress, Bolaji Abdullahi, the National Publicity Secretary, said as far the APC was concerned there was nothing like parallel congress.
Abdulahi said, “There is no such thing as parallel congress. The only recognised congresses are those organised by the congress committees charged by the party to organise such congresses”.
nPDP Has Genuine Grievances— APC
Meanwhile, the APC on Monday admitted that the complaints of marginalisation and emasculation raised by the New PDP bloc in the party were genuine and are been addressed.
Shuaibu Lawan, National Deputy Chairman of APC, stated this shortly after a meeting with the nPDP team led by Alhaji Kawu Baraje, at the party’s national secretariat.
Alhaji Lawan said the APC takes seriously genuine complaints of its members, pointing out that it cannot ignore such grievances raised out of concern for growth of the party.
The APC chieftain stated, however, that the issues are yet to be resolved.
“We have not yet resolved. They wrote a letter to us; they are party men, they have grievances, we looked at the letter, their grievances are genuine. And they requested a meeting within seven days and before the seven days expired, I called them and they were not ready to come, they said we should shift the meeting till today, which we did.
“So we are listening to them, we have listened to them and we are taking up their matter seriously, we will address it.
“We don’t ignore our people except if you don’t send your grievances to the party, but if you send, we will address your grievances”.
Earlier Alhaji Baraje, who led the New PDP team denied issuing the party an ultimatum or any threat to quit the APC, pointing out that the nPDP in the letter merely suggested an opportunity to have a meeting within seven days because of the preparation for congresses and convention.
Baraje said the bloc has had an initial discussion with the party, which, he said, is ongoing.
“As you are aware that we requested that we wanted to see the party, and the party, very sensitive party, very responsible party, responded to our requests adequately and we think it is a very encouraging time. Since last week, they’ve gotten across to us but because of one logistics or the other, we couldn’t come until today. We begged the party to shift the day till today and today we have seen our party. We are party members, this office is our office, we have only come home to discuss those observations we copied you people…in our letter. The meeting was very beautiful.”