APC stung as Saraki, Dogara, Baraje, others form R-APC
In what came as a thunderbolt, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, in Abuja got a shock a treatment from some of its aggrieved members, who branched off to form the Reformed – All Progressives Party (R- APC).
The group, led by a foundation member of APC, Alhaji Buba Galadima and chairman of the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Alhaji Kawu Baraje, addressed a press conference at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers, declaring that the ruling party has dashed the hopes of Nigerians.
However, APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has sued for calm, urging party faithful to be patience as he settles down to try to address the many challenges confronting the party, even as he pledged to run an all inclusive party.
It was so much like a rehash of similar mass desertion that weakened the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), one year to the 2015 general election. Galadimma, who read from a prepared text, recalled how in the build up to the 2015 General elections, some political parties and groups came together and formed a brand new political party, the All Progressives Congress.
He noted, “Sadly, after more than three years of governance, our hopes have been betrayed, our expectations completely dashed. The APC has run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people.”
Galadima, who is an erstwhile staunch ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, said APC has “rather imposed dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete abdication of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, infidelity to the rule of law and constitutionalism and failed to ensure the security and welfare of our people and elevated nepotism to unacceptable height.”
Announcing his leadership of R-APC, he observed that the APC has failed to deliver on its key promises to the nation, adding, “There is no evidence of any political will to reverse the decline of our party, while leaders who have created these circumstances continue to behave as if Nigerians owe our party votes as a matter of right.”
While noting that the APC government “has been a monumental disaster, even worse than the government it replaced,” Galadima regretted that the political party that was a vehicle for enthroning the government “was rendered powerless by manipulations and complete lack of due process in its operations.”
Further, he said: “The last straw was the congresses and convention the party held recently. The Congresses were intensely disputed as it was conducted with impunity, total disregard for due process, disregard for the party constitution and naked display of power and practices that have no place in a party we all worked very hard to put in place.
“There are countless cases in courts all over the country, challenging the legality of congresses and even the national convention itself. It is very likely that the judicial decisions on these cases will result in massive chaos, confusion and uncertainties. The fate of a party in this state with a few months to the elections is best left to the imagination, but it is not a fate we believe our millions of members should be abandoned to.”
Reeling out evidence of the impending confusion, Galadima said there were parallel congresses in 24 States namely: Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara.
He disclosed that these “congresses in wards, local government councils and states all over the federation produced different sets of delegates. We therefore had an unfortunate situation, where the party has been seriously factionalised and divided in not just 24 states, but the 36 states and Abuja FCT.”
Taking a swipe at the national convention of the APC, Galadima said it was even worse, stressing that the APC national convention was riddled with constitutional infirmities that were so glaring and obvious that no fair-minded person can claim that a legitimate and lawful executive emerged from that process.
“The chairman of the organising committee, Jigawa State Governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, declared 18 seats unopposed and uncontested, since only one valid candidate stood at the end of the grossly manipulated nomination exercise for each of the offices and proceeded to declare them duly elected in flagrant abuse and violence to Article 20 of the APC Constitution,” he explained.
Galadima said the R-APC believes that if the convention chairman put the “No” question, the voice vote for the “Noes”, may have been more, arguing, “We will never know, since it was never done, contrary to the express provisions of the APC Constitution.
“It is therefore unquestionably clear that the 18 officers of APC that was “elected” through this process could not have been duly elected. This constitutional vice infected the offices of all the national executives.”
Galadima said that it was under those circumstances “that patriotic elements and most of the original founders of the APC have found themselves in the opposing side of this charade. Most of the delegates, who bought and paid for forms for the congresses and convention and were elected as delegates have come together to take control and give legitimacy to APC to be now known as and called REFORMED-APC (R-APC).”
He disclosed that already, the R-APC have officers in all the wards, 774 Local government councils and all the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT, noting that R-APC includes all the progressive forces in APC, including most of the leading members of the defunct nPDP, CPC, ANPP, ACN and others.
His words: “The new political bloc already has a national executive committee, the national working committee and other organs properly constituted and functional. The R-APC will work with like-minded political parties and groups to offer Nigeria qualitative good governance in 2019.”
The R-APC chairman said Nigeria faces an existential threat arising from three years of near destruction of this country and exacerbation of our ethnic, religious and divisive cleavages, assuring that the party will in concert with others offer real change to Nigeria.
Some of R-APC national officers unveiled, include: Buba Galadima, National Chairman (Yobe State), Bala Muhd Gwagwarwa, National Deputy Chairman, North (Kano State), Chief Theo Nkire, National Deputy Chairman, South East, (Abia State), among others.
Meanwhile, speaking while receiving the report of the Senator Ken Nnamani-led convention appeal panel, Oshiomhole acknowledged that there were challenges that need to be addressed in the party and assured that he would surely make a difference in the running of the party.
Apparently reacting to the emergence of the Reformed APC group led, he pledged to run the party in an all-inclusive manner, adding: “My appeal to all those who are aggrieved is to be patient. The assurance is that under my leadership, we will make honest mistakes and once our attention is drawn, we will find courage to make up for our mistake. Some people say how can people eat their words? For me, I will eat my words if it is nutritious enough and if that is what I have to do to have peace in the family.
“ I am not going to be detained by arrogance because I don’t think at this level, any of us will take a position except based on our conviction. I am very appreciative of the fact that we were elected and in the case of some of us, we were even unopposed that our members have entrusted us to pilot that affairs of the party at this time.”
He said the new APC NWC knew there were challenges when they offered themselves to contest for offices for which they were elected, stressing, “So, we can’t claim that we didn’t know. We are not going to lament that we knew, but we didn’t know it was this much.”
“To us, it is a huge opportunity to make a difference, not only for our party, but for our country. So, I appeal to people to realize that a blind man can redeem his eyes if he applies the correct medication. Buy you can’t force it open over night! Otherwise, you will create more problems and damage the eye the more.
“But we will do everything possible to sustain confidence and trust. For us, everybody is important, for us everybody matters and we want to run an inclusive party. Like I said in my acceptance speech, in a true democracy, there are no losers. If you run that the party efficiently and democratically, those who lost will found that their interest and those services they wanted to render are being rendered efficiently and democratically.
“They will feel a sense of relief. As the6 said, if God gives you power, may He not deny you wisdom. I pray for wisdom and courage and I believe that we have it and we will deploy it for peace within the APC family,” Oshiomhole declared.