The Oasis Reporters
March 22, 2018
It has not been too well with the All Progressive Congress, the governing party at the Federal as well as in our Kaduna State but particularly in Kaduna State. It is common knowledge that the voting population in Kaduna State was massively duped when too early in the day, a candidate’s hand was raised by the presidential candidate of the APC in Gen Muhammadu Buhari thus foisting on the State someone who eventually emerged the gubernatorial candidate of the APC in Kaduna State.
Something else happened, the State Chairman of the APC in Arc Barnabas Bala Bantex was drafted as the running mate in the gubernatorial election. Vacating the Chairmanship position by him naturally created a vacancy which to date has not been filled. The gubernatorial candidate and his deputy did go on to win the election and have been governor and deputy for the better part of 3 and half years.
At the top of every political arrangement particularly in governance deputies are always provided for, so that there is continuity or a smooth transition peradventure something happens and the boss is unable to continue in office.
Records available show clearly that Danladi Wada was deputy Chairman of the APC in the State. It is fair and sensible to assume that with Arc Barnabas Bala Bantex gone as party Chairman, the deputy in Danladi Wada very naturally is the acting Chairman of the APC in Kaduna State but not so as the Governor had something up his sleeves. No immediate action was taken to elect a new party Chairman rather a certain character by the name of Idris Shuaibu Lauje from only God knows where has been masquerading as acting Chairman of the APC Kaduna State. This character surreptitiously has all along been enjoying the support of the State governor and government. All this while, has the government of Kaduna State or the APC at the National level made any definitive clarification regarding the fate of Danladi Wada?
Records held at the APC national party headquarters as already stated above have Danladi Wada as deputy Chairman but the impostor in Idris Shuaibu Lauje has continued to parade himself as acting Chairman supported by the executive arm of government in the State. Informing this State of affairs is the desire to make the State branch of the party an appendage of the State governor. It is clearly evident that the governor of Kaduna State cannot tolerate anyone with ideas of his own which is why the impostor in Shuaibu Lauje has provided convenient appendages and which is why the APC in Kaduna State has become a divided house.
The way things stand in Kaduna State, the governor is synonymous with the party. This way, there is no way the APC can make progress in the State with a dictator not a democrat in charge. This is the simplest of reasons why the frontiers of the party have contracted and wranglings within the party have been increasing causing some members to migrate to some other political platforms.
It must be stated very clearly that the National executives of the party are complicit in the fate that has befallen the APC in Kaduna State to the extent that they have been lethargic about performing their duties or at best siding with a faction of the party. It is the failure to act promptly to written complaints forwarded to the National headquarters of the party which subsequently led to the extra judicial demolition of No 11b Sambo Road, the APC State Headquarters. The illegal demolition of ,No 11b Sambo and the fallout eventually informed the despatch of the Segun Oni fact-finding committee.
Irked by the number of crises within the APC particularly within the State chapters evident by some party members actually migrating or threatening to migrate, the President tasked Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu with the responsibility of stitching together and to reconcile the aggrieved parties.
As the Asiwaju team is being expected in Kaduna State, the already simmering crises escalated with the pulling down of No 11b Sambo Road under the very flimsy excuse of non payment of ground rents. The exercise was clearly a display of executive madness directed at perceived opponents within the APC both real and imagined. That such a display of executive lawlessness was executed even when an ombudsman was being expected is simply the handiwork of desperate individuals. It amounts also to an insult at the highest level on both the President and the party executives. The pulling down of No 11b Sambo Road took the crises within the APC in Kaduna to a different and more worrying level prompting the despatch of the Segun Oni 3 man fact-finding committee.
The Committee’s terms of reference to the best of my knowledge were not made public. Fact finding is very serious business as whatever information is produced from the heap of garbage will help in reconciling the parties to the conflict. The Committee arrived Kaduna on 25 February, 2018, having earlier issued an itinerary which was eventually not followed. A large group of party faithfuls and sympathizers had waited for hours for the arrival of the team but when it began to appear as if the team would not visit, a Press briefing by Distinguished Senator Shehu Sani took place at about 1700 hours so that personalities who traveled from Abuja and other places could go back.
Those who had gathered had mostly left when eventually the Committee members arrived Ground Zero ( No 11b Sambo Road ). Distinguished Senator Uthman Suleiman Hunkuyi had to be called back and who eventually took the Committee members around the partially demolished party office. Segun Oni had while addressing those keeping vigil at Ground Zero on that day stated clearly that his committee was not tasked with the responsibility of passing judgement as to the crises within the State chapter of the APC and restated that his’s is simply a fact finding team.
Some interesting questions arising from the Oni fact-finding committee include most importantly if there is any goodwill in the philosophy which informed the setting up of the fact-finding committee in the first place. Another very important question is whether it was possible within the few hours the Committee was in Kaduna to rummage the garbage heap of crises that has bedevilled the APC in Kaduna State.
It is obvious by my personal assessment that the Committee was compromised from the onset when it visited the dictator governor in his fortress Sir Kashim Ibrahim House spending a good chunk of their limited time listening to junk briefing from the dictator. It is administratively alright for the Segun Oni team to pay a courtesy call on the governor but not to spend quality time listening to a jaundiced perspective of the wranglings in the APC. Facts do not come cheap in a troubled political environment as we are living in and so I thought that the Committee should have interacted directly with the various parties to the dispute. Am not sure if they did. If there are any facts the Committee left with, that will be to the extent that they visited Ground Zero as well as the demolished property belonging to the APC Northwest Chairman. How these facts will find relevance in the Asiwaju reconciliation enterprise, we have to wait and see.
Aside the briefings, the Segun Oni Committee may have obtained from the inner sanctums of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, a written presentation was forwarded to the Committee which is available courtesy of Premium Times. In the submission, the dictator did not sound as if he is a party to the crises but very much as a garrison commander of sort.
Let us now examine the contents of the submission. In the presentation, the dictator wrote that ” The APC must stop portraying itself as a party of anything goes and must take strong action to punish factionalization and indiscipline “.
I did pen down earlier in this post that our man speaks as if he is not a party to the crisis. The position taken by the dictator reminds me of that jaded English phrase “If you live in a glass house, you have no business throwing stones” . If anyone is deserving to be disciplined, something in me says it should be the dictator himself for imperiling the fortunes of the APC in the State.
The dictator asked the APC to apply appropriate sanctions against. members that have violated the provisions of Article 21 of its constitution. He further is asking the national headquarters to take consequential action to give final effect to disciplinary action taken by the State Chapter.
He sure does sound as someone sitting in judgement in his own case. He went on to narrate the efforts he allegedly took at reconciling aggrieved members without first outlining what issues were responsible for the crises within the party in the first place.
We must acknowledge that there were a number of vultures flying low ready for just any putrid flesh thrown in their direction. Perhaps this tiny measure obviously must be what he is referring to as reconciling the aggrieved party members. What the internal opposition within the APC is seeking is inclusiveness in decision making within the party.
The APC in Kaduna State became the first casualty of the administration in Sir Kashim Ibrahim House before the toll began to mount, thanks to the dictatorial policies of the Mallam. The Mallam just as the internal opposition is lamenting the attitude of levity by the national headquarters of the party for not being helpful to party discipline. He further accused the national party officials of exacerbating and fostering the space of rascality. In his view , every other person aside himself and his chosen few constitute all of the problems of the APC in the State.
A more worrying phenomenon is that after the visit of the fact-finding team, the dictator in an act of disregard to basic decency and justice ordered the bulldozers back to what remained of No 11b Sambo Road to complete the demolition even as the executives of the party were meeting in Abuja. The dictator of Kaduna is acting outside the law simply on account of the fact that he is revelling in immunity at least for now. It is clear from both his body language and antics that he places no premium in both the Segun Oni fact-finding committee or the Asiwaju reconciliation team still being expected to arrive the State.
Whatever is the thinking of the leadership of the APC headquarters as well as the presidency with regard the crises in the Kaduna Chapter of the party, they must now make a clear choice between either the voting population in Kaduna State and the dictator. Siding with the dictator against the voting population will be calamitous for the APC. It will not be fair to dismiss outrightly the reconciliation efforts without giving it a trial.
Only time will tell.
Written by Gora Dauda.
He writes from Kaduna, north west Nigeria.