The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday denied the existence of the breakaway Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), warning members of the group could face punitive measures.
“While we shall continue to monitor developments in this respect, we will not hesitate to take lawful actions to defend the unity of our party and protect the sanctity of its identity.
We are currently reviewing the action of this so-called faction, in order to determine if any aspect of the party’s constitution has been breached with the connivance of any of our members,” the APC said.
In a statement, the party’s spokesman, Bolaji Ahmed, accused the group of trying to create a false impression that the APC is factionalised.
“The All Progressives Congress wishes to affirm that there is no faction in our party and declares the action by these individuals as mischievous and ill-advised,” he said.
He said: “Having failed to scuttle the national convention as was their original plan, they have now resorted to this subterfuge as a way of achieving the pre-determined end of causing confusion.
“As a matter of fact, we doubt that these individuals parading as leaders of the so- called faction are actual members of our party. We are currently investigating their true membership status within the party.”
But APC chieftain and chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Abdulaziz Yari, sounded conciliatory, expressing confidence a truce would be reached between both parties.
Following a meeting at the Presidential Villa on the deadlocked deliberations of the Federal Allocation Accounts Committee (FAAC), Yari told reporters that although he was worried about the development, it was something the party could handle.
Urging both sides to be calm, he said: “You know that with the approach of election, you will expect this kind of thing.
You will expect crisis left, right and centre, especially in a party with an overwhelming majority, because of political interests. The most important thing is that with the emergence of new leadership everything will be resolved. Therefore, no panic.”
This came as House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara met with APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole yesterday at the National Assembly Complex, urging the party to ensure justice.
The speaker, who has been linked with the formation of R-APC, stressed that while the APC might be imperfect, justice is non-negotiable.
“Our only expectation is the issue of justice. And justice is indivisible.
What is justice to the executive should be justice to the legislature and it should be justice to the judiciary,” adding: “Once we are able to get these things in their proper perspectives, to some extent, we will be able to silence the voices of dissent within the party.”
He expressed optimism the Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee would tackle the challenges confronting the party.
Oshiomhole said he would count on the lawmakers to reposition the APC ahead of the 2019 polls, noting: “Every person matters in our party because all members voluntarily moved from various political platforms and dissolved those platforms in order to give birth to the All Progressive Congress.”
Also, a faction of the Ondo State APC yesterday declared it was not part of R-APC.
The chairman Idowu Otetubi and secretary Gani Mohammed in a statement said a lawsuit challenging the emergence of the Ade Adetimehin-led executive in the state restrains them.
R-APC had listed Otetubi as its state chairman in Ondo State due to his emergence at a controversial congress, which also produced Mohammed as secretary.
Otetubi said: “I am not part of R-APC at all. I was not consulted.
I did not attend any meeting or press conference, I believe in the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole and I believe he has a very strong character to correct the injustices in the last APC congresses in the states.
“I, therefore, dissociate and disclaim myself from the purported R-APC.
I pledge my unalloyed support for the president and APC and therefore appeal to all our members to remain calm and steadfast in building a strong, virile and positively positioned APC, as we prepare for the 2019 general elections.”
The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), meanwhile, welcomed the emergence of R-APC, urging the group to focus on rescuing Nigeria from the ruling APC.
Chairman Dan Orbih said: “We are gladdened to know that democratic and progressive elements have come together to join forces with concerned Nigerians to rescue the country.
Edo PDP looks forward to your positive contributions to the development and nurturing of a healthy political space, overflowing with love and respect for one another.”
He added: “To our brother, Adams Oshiomhole, the factional chairman of APC, it is time to embrace the Inevitable change in the leadership of your party and submit fully to the leadership of Alhaji Buba Galadima, to save your party from disintegration.”