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Nasir El-Rufai’s memo splits Kaduna APC

By Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief
04 April 2017   |   4:08 am
The negative effects of Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s memo to President Muhammadu Buhari over the failings of the administration are spreading fast.

Nasir El-Rufai

Party intact as one united family, says governor
The negative effects of Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s memo to President Muhammadu Buhari over the failings of the administration are spreading fast.

The governor owned up to the memo but decried the leak to the public asserting that the leak of a ‘private’ memo he penned to the President was the handiwork of the All Progressives Congress (APC) members nursing presidential ambition for the 2019 general elections.

He said that the content of the memo sent in September last year was deliberately twisted to achieve sinister motives, insisting that if circumstances warrant for another one he would not hesitate to do so.

But the development has engendered divisions in the state chapter of APC with a group castigating the governor for embarking on a one-man war.

Specifically, members of a splinter group of the APC, which goes by the name, APC Akida, with some persons as members, has been critical of the governor. Some of the members are: the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, Dr. Tom Maiyaishi, Ambassador Sule Buba,
Alhaji Yaro Makama Rigachikun, etc.

They met to consider the memo and its implications on the party as well as the alleged plans by some persons to dim the chances of the party in the forthcoming general elections.

Maiyashi who is the chairman of APC Akida, particularly drew attention to the manner El-Rufai went about his observations of the government at the centre, claiming that it was intentionally done to reverse the fortunes of APC ahead of 2019.

He said that it would have been better for the governor to
concentrate on how to deliver the dividends of democracy to the citizens for Kaduna.

“I am sure you are all aware of the famous memo written by our own governor, Nasir El-Rufai intimating the President of the weaknesses of his government, the inactivity of his government, the failure of his government, the slowness of his government and also intimating the President of some people in his government that are unfit and as clueless, incompetent and that this government seems to be on the path of disappointing Nigerians since it is not fulfilling the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.

“In our view, knowing beyond the fact that General Buhari is the President of Nigeria, and knowing the role he played that enabled El-Rufai to become governor today … in our view it is total disrespect, it is discourteous, it is shocking that Nasir El-Rufai would write this type of memo to Mr. President”.

According to him, there was no basis for the memo as the governor has not been able to meet the yearnings of Kaduna people who voted for him to change their lot for good.

The APC Akida group also claimed that the governor does not listen to people’s advice and was insensitive to the party members.

Maiyaishi said: “After all, what he is doing here is no story to tell anybody about achievements. So far what we can see is that there are gutters being dug all over the place. I wonder if that should be the mark of progress and development of our state. And he has proved himself to be somebody who is not prepared to listen to anybody. He is Mr. Wisdom and it is the same psychology that propelled him to write this letter to President Buhari.

“We have been correcting him in the past and he said we should go and commit suicide on Kufena hill. And there are some of us he tagged as ants, that he has iron shoes to muzzle us”.

However, the state executive of APC and some members of the caucus avowed that there was no faction in the ruling party, stressing that those who constitute themselves as opposition group in APC were those who are seeking relevance and recognition.

They argued that the governor’s determination to ensure that they were checkmated has been the source of their grumblings and negative attitude.

Similarly, the governor’s Special Adviser on Politics and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mallam Uba Sani who spoke at the end of party’s caucus meeting in Kaduna, contended that members of the party who are criticizing the governor are party bent on sabotaging El-Rufai’s effort to bring development and growth to the State.

Sani said: “All I can say is that in the party in Kaduna we don’t have any division, no faction. But, a lot of people are going out issuing statements and talking to the media about a faction in Kaduna. The word faction is clear, that is when you have some members coming out to disagree with the party’s position.

“When you have the entire members of the executives from the local government to the State working together collectively without any problem then you cannot say any division exist or faction. You could have ordinary members of the party who call themselves elders, who probably are used to the system we inherited, the system where you go to the media and disagree with the government and the governor will call you and settle you. But, in this government we are not going to accept that.

“The Governor made it abundantly clear that we are not going to settle anybody because he disagrees with us. The governor is more concerned about delivering his promises to the people of Kaduna State. That is why a lot of people are happy with the development we are now having in education, health sector, and other infrastructures.  You can accuse our government but we will not change the direction and focus of our government towards settling some very few, but vocal people who will confuse the general public thinking that they are the majority. There is nobody in the executive of APC in Kaduna State who is not happy with this government”.

He denounced the actions of the so called APC Akida describing them as unpatriotic members of APC concocting hatred and campaign of calumny against the governor, as well as embarking on measures designed to cause disaffection and squabbles not just in the party but also in the state.

Sani who claimed that APC is intact in Kaduna pointed out that they have just held the state caucus meeting and that it was well attended. “The governor of Kaduna state, Mallam El-Rufai; and the deputy Governor, Barnabas Bala Bantex; the Senator representing Kaduna North, Suleiman Hunkuyi; and the entire APC members in the House of Representatives representing APC Kaduna State, as well as the members of the State Assembly of APC attended the meeting.

“And we have former members of the State Assembly who are members of the caucus in attendance. So, I can assure you that the meeting went on very well. We had good deliberation; we talked about the progress of the party
in Kaduna State and how we can improve the welfare of the members of the party, not only the executive but other members from the ward, local government up to the State levels,” the special adviser averred.

Furthermore, he said: “We are happy in Kaduna, we don’t have problem within the party in the State. That is the reason why we have a lot of support from the members of the State Assembly and the House of Representatives and the Senator. I can assure you that we have only one APC in Kaduna State. That is the reason why we don’t have any dissenting view either from the wards, local governments or even from the State. And as usual we are really happy with the contributions of the people that attended the caucus meeting.”