There appears to be no end in sight to restore peace in the ruling All Progressives Congress as aggrieved members within party announced the formation of a bloc named Reformed-APC, on Wednesday, July 4, despite efforts to reunite the party behind President Muhammadu Buahri ahead of next general elections in 2019
By Olu Ojewale
THE gulf in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, appears to be getting wider. On Wednesday, July 4, the crisis in the party assumed a new dimension when a group of individuals within the party announced the formation of a new bloc named Reformed-APC, R-APC.
Buba Galadima, who is the former national secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, and an ally to President Muhammadu Buhari was named the new chairman of the group.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Galadima said that the decision to form the R-APC was informed by the realisation that more than three years after the formation of the APC and its promise to positively change Nigeria, the party has deviated from its core objectives and institutionalised the same vices the previous administration was punished for at the polls.
According to him, the recently concluded congress of the APC and its outcome were invalid because they violated the letter and spirit of the APC constitution.
Besides, Galadima said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC had in the past three years demonstrated incompetence and elevated nepotism to the level of statecraft.
He also accused the administration of intolerance for any form of dissent.
This, he said, was demonstrated in the various attempts to muscle aggrieved party members of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, bloc for making their grievances public.
According to Galadima, the R-APC remains the authentic party hence there is no need to seek fresh recognition from the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. He challenged anyone who had a different opinion to seek legal interpretation.
He charged: “The APC has run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people. It has rather imposed dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete abdication of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, infidelity to the rule of law and constitutionalism. It has failed to ensure the security and welfare of our people and elevated nepotism to an unacceptable height.
“The APC has failed to deliver on its key promises to the nation. There is no evidence of any political will to reverse the decline of our party, while leaders who have created these circumstances continue to behave as if Nigerians owe our party votes as a matter of right.
“The APC government has been a monumental disaster, even worse than the government it replaced. The political party that was a vehicle for enthroning the government was rendered powerless by manipulations and complete lack of due process in its operations.”
He said that the last straw was the congresses and the convention of the party held recently, where there were parallel congresses in 24 states.
As if that was not bad enough, Galadima also condemned the recently concluded national convention of the APC which produced Adams Oshiomhole as the national chairman, saying: “The so-called national convention of the APC was even worse. The national convention of the party was ridiculed with constitutional infirmities that were so glaring and obvious that no fair-minded person can claim that a legitimate and lawful executive emerged from that process.”
He said that the R-APC had constituted officers in all the wards, 774 local government areas, and all the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory.
He said the R-APC included all the progressive forces in the APC, including most of the leading members of the defunct nPDP, CPC, ANPP, ACN and others.
He added that R-APC would work with like-minded political parties and groups to offer Nigeria qualitative good governance in 2019.
According Galadima the R-APC has appointed national officers for the faction. They include Bala Muhd Gwagwarwa, national deputy chairman, North; Theo Nkire, national deputy chairman, South-East; Eko Olakunle, national vice-chairman, South-West; Hussaini Dambo, national vice-chairman, North-West; Mahmud Abubakar, national vice-chairman, North-Central; Godwin Akaan, deputy national secretary; Fatai Atanda, national secretary; and Kazeem Afegbua, national publicity secretary, among others.
At the unveiling of the R-APC, Kawu Baraje, the former national chairman of the nPDP, told journalists that the choice of Galadima to lead the group was informed by his incorruptibility.
He noted that Galadima’s outstanding leadership qualities and his commitment to the Nigerian project remained unblemished all through his public life.
He said: “Sometime last week, I made a press release on the nPDP when a lot of you were making enquiries about where we were going? What was going to be our next step, are we still talking to the government or the APC? I dropped a hint that before the end of the first week of July, where we are will be made known to Nigerians and today you have now seen where we are.”
He said further: “We knew the content of the manifesto that the APC was supposed to run and we stood for three years and came out when we waited for three years hoping for things to change and it never changed and we came out to say no…
“This is the struggle for the emancipation of our country to stop the bloodletting, rejuvenate the economy of this country, to ensure there are three square meals on the table of the average Nigerian.
“This is what we stand for, strengthening the system and not the individual.”
It was not clear at press time if Shehu Sani, a senator representing APC, Kaduna State, is a member of the group. But it is instructive to note that Sani had on Tuesday, July 3, told the press that aggrieved members of the APC in Kaduna State, would leave the party.
He said it was too late for Adams Oshiomhole as the new APC national chairman to reconcile them with the party.
The senator said: “I wish Adams has come earlier because like I said these grenades that were laid by the former chairman will explode in a matter of days.”