The All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, disowned the newly launched Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), affirming that there was no faction in the ruling party.
A splinter group, comprising aggrieved members of the APC, had, on Wednesday, announced a breakaway from the ruling party at a press conference held in Abuja.
The group has President Muhammadu Buhari’s associate, Alhaji Buba Galadima, as its National Chairman as well as full compliments of other officers at both the national and state levels. National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has dismissed Galadima as a “bread and butter” politician.
National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, described the action of the group as mischievous and ill-advised. By their actions, Abdullahi said, the group has created the erroneous impression that the APC had become factionalised.
He alleges that the new group had planned to scuttle the recent National Convention of the party, but failed and had, therefore, resorted to “subterfuge” as a way of achieving the pre-determined end of causing confusion in the party.
“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.
“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.
“For those members who have genuine grievances, we want to assure them of the commitment of the new leadership of the party to address those grievances as quickly as possible in a manner that ensures that justice is done to all,” Abdullahi said.
Galadima had stated that the R-APC is made up of all the progressive forces in APC, as well as leading members of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Leader of nPDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, who was present at the briefing, announced the collapse of the group into R-APC. Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Yakubu Dogara, has said that the APC could only silence the voices of dissent and opposition by enthroning justice and equity in the party.
Dogara spoke yesterday at a meeting between the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives and members of the newly elected National Working Committee (NWC) of the party led by Oshiomhole at the National Assembly.
The Speaker noted that although there was no human endeavour that was perfect, the expectation of the APC lawmakers was that the leadership of the party will do justice to everyone.“In every family, whether it is a nuclear, extended or an organization, there is bound to be problem and that is because we humans that are running those institutions are not perfect ourselves. So we don’t expect perfection from any quarters.
“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.
“What is justice to the President and the Vice President should be justice to the governor and it has to be justice for the members of the National Assembly, because you can’t divide justice.
Once you begin to divide justice, you don’t have justice and 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 said.
Dogara expressed optimism about the ability and capacity of the new leadership of the APC to tackle the challenges confronting the party.
On his part, Oshiomhole told the lawmakers that “every person matters in our party because all party members voluntarily moved from various political platforms, and dissolved those platforms in order to give birth to the APC.” Fielding questions from journalists after the meeting, Oshiomhole denied that there is a faction in the party. According to him, “There is no break. Forget one Galadima. He has right not to be happy.
You know those who are in politics for bread and butter that is their problem. I mean within the executive and the two arms of the National Assembly, we have important party leaders, not those who are being sponsored by mercenaries, by those who think that our national convention will not hold.
“Before the convention, there were stories that people were going to walk out of the convention, that people will boycott the convention. If after two weeks of wriggling in pain for disappointment, you find people who are hired, they are free to be so hired. We are going to put away all our differences.
There are worries and there are hopes. There is no break away, I don’t know about Galadima.” Continuing, Oshiomhole explained that: “I have tremendous support with members of the National Assembly and with their support and other stakeholders across the country; I emerged as the National Chairman of our party. We had a very robust conversation.
“We expect total commitment to our party to deepen internal democracy to eliminate any attempts to impose anybody. We reassure everyone that we are committed to justice.
“Much more important is to discuss issues as it affects all members of our party and members of House of Representatives, and issues as it affects the executive and the legislature.
I talk as the National Chairman and I hope to deliver on any promise I have made.”
Also, Deputy National Chairmen (South) of the R-APC, Chief Sam Nkire,said that the APC is the architect of its present misfortune and, therefore, should stew in its own blood. Nkire, in a statement released in Abuja, said that poor reward system, high-handedness and undemocratic habits were some of the reasons why members would continue to leave the party in droves, if there was no change.
According to him, the poor treatment meted out to him by the “powers that be” in the party he joined at inception, invested in and helped achieve electoral success, evokes pity, especially among the people of the South-East geo-political zone.
The Abia State born political stalwart predicted that it would not be long before the time bomb finally explodes in the faces of those who believe that “all is fair in politics as in war.” Nkire also expressed doubts that Oshiomhole’s medicine would be able to heal the wounds inflicted on the bodies and souls of millions of the once committed members of the APC.