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Internal wrangling and battle for soul of Kano APC

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[FILES] Ganduje. Photo: TWITTER/ AbdulAbmJ

The internal wrangling in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano is assuming a disturbing dimension as various interest groups kicking against the party leadership are now threatening to resist attempts to force them out of the party.

The aggrieved members, who accused the leadership of orchestrating plans to sack them from the party for selfish interest, stated their resolve to remain in the party. They threatened to form a parallel leadership to challenge the Prince Abdullahi Abbas Sanusi’s caretaker leadership. Prominent among the agitators is diehard supporter and associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, Abdulmajid Danbilki, fondly known as ‘Kwamander,’ who recently threatened to float a splinter APC ‘Aqida’ in Kano. Kwamander also warned APC of how the wrangling may make it lose grip of Kano to opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unless the state party leadership recognised and did the needful.

Besides Kwamander’s agitation, another party stalwart, Hussaini Isa Mairiga had raised concern of two battlefronts in Kano APC over what he described as high handedness of the party under the leadership of Prince Abdullahi. Mairiga, who had several times queried the legality of the leadership of Abdullahi as chairman, vowed to create a factional group known as ‘APC Maijama’a’ to challenge the party leadership.

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Although the leadership is yet to officially respond to agitations of the aggrieved members, the discordant tunes are sufficient evidence that all is not well with the party in the state.

Only recently, the member representing Kano Municipal Federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Ibrahim Sha’aba Sharada equally raised the alarm over how the state government was handling the affairs of the party. Sharada, who lamented the attempt by the party under the instruction of the governor to deny him membership registration, claimed that APC under the present leadership in Kano was only playing the ostrich in their support for President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Chairman, house committee on security and intelligence narrowly escaped the party’s disciplinary actions when he was denied party ticket during the party primaries in 2019 and subsequently denied the right to renew his membership registration. Sharada also claimed that the attempt to push him out of APC was a result of his loyalty to President Buhari.

Addressing a press conference recently in the ancient city, Kwamander declared readiness to form a factional APC that will be referred to as ‘APC Aqida’ to challenge the injustice in the party. Kwamander, who was suspended from his Zaitawa ward in the municipality local government, insisted he remained a credible member of APC, saying nobody had the authority to suspend him without following due process. He said the decision to create his faction of the party was in the interest of several members whose choices were not respected. Kwamander noted that the party leadership had decided to use him as scapegoat because of his principle and decision to reject undemocratic policies of the caretaker leadership of the party in the state.

While attributing the battle against him to his declaration on the choice of Senator Barau Jibril as APC governorship aspirant in Kano in 2023, he said that no amount of victimisation would deter him from pitching a tent with his choice aspirants.

“I learnt about my suspension from the party and I need to say the right procedures were not taken before this action was taken. Investigation committee was not set up, no warning was given; I was just declared suspended. This decision will certainly affect the APC in the state and the leaders will regret the action, as it was an action meant to scare some members of the party because of their choice of Senator Barau Jibril as the next Kano State Governor.

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“We shall remain in APC and set up a faction called ‘APC Aqida’ that will be based on principles and respect for the people’s choice, as against the other faction made up of hungry politicians. We will succeed because we are with the people and the people are with us. We are products of politics that is based on principles and they know that we will never support lack of fairness. The party must subject itself to the will of the people or else it will lose in the future even if we will be accused of anti party,” Kwamander stated.

In a swift reaction to Kwamander’s claims, the leadership of APC in Municipal local government had declared that the decision to suspend him as chairman of elder’s forum and subsequent suspension was a result of misconduct and disloyalty to party leadership.

A statement signed by the party chairman, Alhaji Sani Abubakar Maifata and secretary, Kamilu Saidu Bala, stated that Kwamander was sacked from his ward after the outcome of the investigation against him. The party executives accused the former chairman of elders’ forum of constituting nuisance and disregarding the party’s manifestoes.

The party leadership also declared that Kwamander’s sinful act reached the peak of violation of party principles when he (Kwamander) rained abuse on the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his family. The party said he was also indicted of anti-party activities during the conduct of the February 14 local government election where he was said to have convinced some party loyalists not to vote for APC candidates. Worse still, Kwamander was also accused of campaigning for a 2023 governorship aspirant at a time when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not authorized political campaigns for the 2023 general election.

Responding to allegations of anti-party activities, Kwamander said the party leadership had no moral justification to accuse any member of anti-party when the same leadership openly supported an opposition candidate against an APC member in Kiru/Bebeji federal constituency during the last bye-election.

“If they accuse me of anti-party, they should first bury their head in shame because they laid the foundation. The party under the leadership of Abdullahi Abbas led anti-party activities against Abdulmuminu Jibril Kofa, a member of APC in the House of Representatives. Jibril lost the election at the Tribunal. Fresh election was conducted and he lost not because he lacked the capacity but because the party worked against him. Kofa was sacrificed because of his issue with the party leadership. The same leadership directed party members to vote for PDP candidate just to punish Kofa for not respecting the party. Now, the gentleman agreement with the PDP man to return to APC after winning the election has not been fulfilled as I speak with you. The young man is still in the PDP and very loyal to the Kwanwasiyya movement. So, when they actually want to accuse me of anti-party, they should first check their own activities,” Kwamander insisted.

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On his part, Mairiga noted that there has been no APC leadership in Kano since the tenure of Abdullahi Abbas ended more than a year ago. In a chat with The Guardian, Mairiga opined that APC in Kano only existed under the auspices of Governor Ganduje who determines who says what and who should not do what. He said he decided to create APC ‘Maijama’a’ because of the resolve of marginalised members to find solution to their plight.

According to Mairiga, “If you recall, when we decided to create our own faction because of the atrocity in the party, it was to protest the injustice where party members will be denied the right to vote, where members cannot say the Governor is wrong. Our intention in APC Maijama’a was to ensure justice is restored and dispensed. Many of us who joined APC from APP, ACN and CPC are being sidelined and marginalized.

“We have also seen some elements in the party who are planning to divide the party because of the wrong activities in the party. Although our interest is different because we know they have been wining and dining with the government all the while. But simply because their interest is being tempered with now, they are saying no to APC. We don’t have a problem with them but what we are saying is that members’ interest must be respected. For peace to reign in APC, the stakeholders at the national level must rise to the challenge and ensure proper reconciliation is carried out.

“Our concern is, there is no leadership in Kano APC because it is a one-man show. The chairman, Abdullahi Abbass Sanusi is controlling and determining the fate of all members under the directive of the state government. That is why we are prepared and ready to take our destiny in our hands. We would fight the party leadership and the interest of the government,” Mairiga lamented.

However, the leadership has claimed that all is well within the party. In an interview with The Guardian, state secretary of the party, Alh. Zakari Sarina declared the party is presently enjoying relative peace while preparing for its convention.

“Well, I am just hearing it that some people are threatening to break or split the party but as far as the leadership is concerned, we have no challenge. I think if there is any crisis, I should be in the know. Presently, the party leadership is busy preparing for it convention,” Sarina disclosed.

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Although the APC national special reconciliation committee is yet to intervene in the raging crisis in Kano APC, Sarina maintained that there is no need for the visit of any reconciliation committee in Kano since the party was enjoying relative peace.

“We have not received any notice from the reconciliation committee of coming to Kano and I don’t think there is need for that anyway because there is no crisis. I think the committee is busy with other states where there are serious challenges but definitely not Kano. We have relative peace here in Kano. If the committee is noticed in Kano, it is either they are on transit or they need to sleep over and continue their journey next day.”

Efforts to speak with Special Adviser to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje on political matters, Alh. Mustafa Hamza Buhari on the position of the Governor on the development was not successful. The Governor’s aide did not respond to calls and text messages.

However, political observers in the state believe the wrangling in the ruling APC is not unconnected with the 2023 governorship contest in Kano. This, perhaps, explains why party chairman, Abdullahi recently declared the activities of overzealous aspirants as illegal and unauthorised, noting that such moves were a distraction to government.

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