Tug of war, hot exchange, claims and counterclaims continued, yesterday, between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the splinter Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC).
While the leadership of the APC denied existence of a faction, the R-APC blamed the ruling party for the crisis.
Crisis in the ruling party festered when some former stalwarts comprising aggrieved members, on Wednesday, unveiled the R-APC and unfolded its new national executive, having alleged marginalisation and persecution by the leadership of ruling the party.
Its National Chairman, Alhaji Buba Galadima said the members were compelled to move out because the APC had derailed from its original plans and vision.
He confirmed that the new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) teamed up with other forces who formed R-APC.
Corroborating Galadima, yesterday, Deputy National Chairman (South) of the R- APC, Chief Sam Nkire, said the APC has itself to blame for its “present misfortune.” The APC, he insisted, is stewing in its blood.
Chief Nkire, in a statement in Abuja identified poor reward system, high-handedness and undemocratic habits as some of the reasons members would continue to leave the APC in droves.
He claimed that the poor treatment meted out on him by the “powers that be” in the party he joined at inception, invested in and helped achieve electoral success, evoked pity by Nigerians, especially the people of the Southeast and Igbos in general.
The Abia State-born political stalwart predicted that it would not be long before the time-bomb finally explode in the faces of those who believe that “all is fair in politics as in war.”
Chief Nkire doubted if Adams Oshiomhole’s medicine would be able to heal the wounds inflicted on the bodies and souls of millions of the once committed party members of the APC.
However, the national leadership of the ruling party, in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said it was investigating the true membership status of the so-called faction members.
Reacting formally to the emergence of a faction, the APC in the statement said: “On Wednesday, July 4, 2018, a group of individuals announced itself as ‘Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC)’ at a press conference held in Abuja. By their actions, this group has attempted to create the impression that our party is factionalised. This is not true.
“The APC wishes to affirm that there is no faction in our party and declares the action by these individuals as mischievous and ill-advised.
“Having failed to scuttle the National Convention as was their original plan, they now resort 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.”
He assured those members who have genuine grievances that the new leadership of the party would addressed them as quickly as possible in a manner that would ensure justice is done to all.
Notwithstanding the stand-off, Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, expressed confidence in the new leadership of the APC to resolve the issues that led to the pull out by a faction.
Yari, who doubles as chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) told State House Correspondents that there was no panic over the emergence of the R-APC.
Yari said after he and two other APC governors – Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi) and Abubkar Badaru (Jigawa) – met with President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari over the deadlock of the Federal Allocation Accounts Committee, expressed confidence that the crack in the APC was something the party leadership could resolve.
Kyari led the governors to the president’s office. At noon, Kyari led the governors out of the meeting but they declined to take questions from State House Correspondents.
When asked if the meeting was about the R-APC, Yari replied: “It was a private business. It had nothing to do with the APC.”
However, he later responded to questions, saying the party was in a position to resolve the crisis
“I think that at that level, the party is in the best position to answer this question. Though I am one of the pillars of APC, if I comment on that I won’t be fair to the leadership of the party. So the party will handle that.
“Of course, I am worried but it is something the party will handle. 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 interest.
“The most important thing is that with the emergence of new leadership everything will be resolved. So, therefore, no panic.”