…Ganduje insists he will never reconcile with Kwankwaso
…Amaechi rules out reconciliation with Magnus Abe
…Melaye insists affliction will not rise again in Kogi
By Ayo Fadimu
The All Progressives Congress (APC) reconciliation committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari and headed by National leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is heading for the rock as many gladiators in the feuding Tinubu’s committee was set up to solve have maintained hard line position, vowing not to reconcile with their opponents.
President Buhari had appointed Tinubu to reconcile warring camps in the party but as the final race to the 2019 presidential election appears in the horizon, governors and party leaders currently controlling the party structures in various States are unwilling to lose their tight grips on the party machinery in the state.
“The main issue of all these fights is who controls the party executives in the state. It’s the person who controls the party executives that controls the delegates and ultimately decide who gets the party ticket in the State” a party chieftain told Nigerian NewsDirect
“The President set up the committee a little too late, when the State chapters have already conducted the party congresses, it will be very difficult to resolve now and I foresee so many litigations here and there because many party members who are already in the party executives may approach the court if they are forced to leave their positions as a baton for reconciliation” the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Timi Frank said
Almost all the state chapters of APC are in a turmoil. In Oyo State, it’s the governor, Abiola Ajimobi and Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shitttu over the latter’s governorship ambition. In Osun, it’s between Governor Rauf Aregbesola and the Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Sulaimon Lasun, also over governorship ticket. In Ogun State, it’s between Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Lagos West Senator, Senator Solomon Adeola, also over governorship ticket.
It is the same governorship ticket that is causing problems in Kaduna, Rivers, Kano, Kogi, Ekiti and Borno among others.
In the meantime, Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje has vowed that he won’t have anything to do with his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Ganduje insisted that all avenues of reconciliation with the ex-governor have been ruled out. He said he was completely disillusioned by the attacks against his leadership at the inception of his government.
He said, “We have had enough of such a vendetta, which had been raging with no end in sight. We have parted ways with Kwankwasiyya forever.
“They have erroneously believed and have been telling people that we are on the road to losing our seat in the 2019 general election. I find such a permutation laughable and a mere rantings of a wounded lion.”
Similarly in Rivers State, the Minister of Transportation and the leader of APC in the state, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has insisted that he will not support the governorship ambition of the lawmaker representing Rivers South-East, Senator Magnus Abe. The minister spoke on Saturday during a meeting with the Ikwerre Chiefs and Elders’ Forum.
Amaechi said ”There is no fight in the APC. I am not in any way stopping Abe from running for the governorship (position), but what I know is that I will not support him. Abe is daring me; an Ikwerre son. He is abusing me every day. I will ensure I use Ikwerre vote on him,” he said.
He added that his Ikwerre ethnic group had 1.1 million votes out of the 2.5 million eligible voters in the state.
Meanwhile, Abe has said the people of the state reserve the right to determine who their leaders will be, stressing that the state must come first.
On another front, the Senator, representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has described Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello as a governor suffering from verbal diarrhoea and prayed that affliction of his nature will not rise again in Kogi State.
Melaye made this statement while apologising to the Catholic Church and Christians in general for Governor Yahaya Bello’s attack on Catholic Bishops.
He said, “I apologise to the Catholic Church and the Christian community for the verbal diarrhoea of the Governor of Kogi State.
“It is more obvious than ever that he needs some ‘equational’ balances at his end. This affliction on Nigeria shall not arise a second time.”
In the meantime, Comrade Timi Frank has called on all members and political leaders within the ruling party to support the appointment of Tinubu, to reconcile all the aggrieved members of the party.
He, however, expressed concern over the possibility of the exercise turning out a success and whether the efforts will not be in futility having taken a long time for the presidency to listen to his calls, saying “Asiwaju Tinubu cannot do magic because it’s already late.” In a statement on Sunday in Abuja, Frank congratulated the APC national leader for his new role and prayed God to grant him (Tinubu) the needed wisdom to carry out the assignment, adding that “though I know that it is too late.
“If they had listened to me much earlier, when I was the only voice in the wilderness and appoint someone like this same Tinubu a year ago, may be the like of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wouldn’t have left the ruling party.
“There is no doubt that Jagaban is the right person to do this job of reconciliation. But unfortunately, the former Lagos state governor cannot do magic because it’s already late and nothing will come out of it. Although some people might not like this truth, butI will continue to say it” Frank added.
“It is glaring that all what Tinubu is expected to repair now was caused by the National Chairman Chief John Oyegun’s indecision, which I loudly spoke about. When I demanded his resignation, some people felt I was sponsored. But thank God that today, I have been vindicated because all eyes can see clearly what Chief Oyegun’s style of leadership has done to the ruling party. At this level, if care is not taken, APC might soon become history.
“I don’t know how the national leader will go about this reconciliation task. But I pray that God will give him the necessary wisdom. To be frank, I don’t know how he will succeed in reconciling the like of Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Governor Umar Ganduje in Kano, Senator Shehu Sani and Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna, Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Governor Mohammed Abubakar in Bauchi, Rotimi Ameachi and Sen. Magnus Abe in Rivers state, Senator Dino Melaye and Governor Yahaya Bello in Kogi state, former governor of Edo state Adams Oshiomohle and Chief John Oyegun in Edo, Crisis in Ondo, Lagos, Gombe, Bayelsa, Cross River, Osun, Ekiti, Jigawa, Niger, Delta states and so on?”
While calling on all members of the APC and the working committee to support the party’s national leader in his efforts to reposition the party, Frank said: “the crisis rocking the party was not caused by Tinubu, but ineptitude of Chief John Oyegun-led NWC.
“For those who are not comfortable with Tinubu’s appointment, they should know that Tinubu wasn’t the national chairman. Oyegun has been the major problem of APC, who led the party to this dilapidated state which Tinubu is about to repair. But it is unfortunate that the crisis rocking the party across board has gone out of hand.” Frank lamented.
However, the home base of Tinubu in Lagos believes he is up to the task and the party (APC) in the state vowed to support Tinubu in reconciling the aggrieved members of the party.
In a statement in Lagos by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Joe Igbokwe, the party noted that Asiwaju Tinubu is the right man to reconcile aggrieved members, given his deep knowledge of party politics, experience, goodwill and humongous capacity in politics.
The statement said: “We know our leader very well; we know what he is capable of doing. We know his deep background and we know he will not fail in this Herculean task, even at a time like this.
“Make no mistake about it: a lot of work needs to be done, knowing Nigeria’s diverse nature, cultures, religions, tribes or tongues. But we have no doubt in our minds that Asiwaju BAT we all know will not disappoint Nigerians.
“We, therefore, urge all APC leaders and followers across Nigeria to cooperate with Asiwaju and his team and give the necessary support and encouragement to lead, consult, reconcile and restore confidence, even as they set the machinery in motion to do the needful.
“The committed spirit and the desire to set aside personal gains, personal differences and ambitions we saw among the legacy parties during the formative stages of APC before 2015 elections must be revisited and reactivated if Asiwaju’s team must succeed.”