Bello Kawule Dasin
The long unresolved crisis eating up the fabric of Adamawa All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken another different dimension; in recent time major stakeholders seem to be at serious loggerheads without recourse to peace as 2019 general elections draw nearer.
The crisis began at the earlier stage of Senator Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla Bindow’s administration, where he was accused of diverting his allegiance to Atiku Abubakar who fought him against becoming Governor of the state. The change of loyalty of Bindow, hurts the likes of Murtala Nyako, Babachir David Lawal, Marcus Gunduri, Senator Abdulaziz Nyako, Senator Moallayidi and all other loyalists of Murtala Nyako who felt the sacrifices they did to bring him to power has been abused by Bindow by switching allegiance to Atiku Abubakar and to them removing him from Office is the best noble cause they need to do for the people of Adamawa state.
The nosediving of the party in Adamawa is clearly, a faction of the party senior members and stakeholders held a meeting at Lelewal hotel in Yola and vowed to be at parallel to the government of Bindow now and even in 2019.
The squabbles of the crisis deepened further when the State party organized a stakeholders meeting at the banquet hall, in Government House where prominent members of the party were in attendance. Those in attendance were, the Governor of the state, Sen. Muhammadu Umaru Jibrilla, SGF Boss Mustapha, Northeast National Vice Chairman of APC, Mustapha Salisu, Former SGF, Babachir David Lawal.
Others were, Senator Silas Zwingina, Senator Binta Garba, Senator Moallahyidi, Marcus Gunduri, Modibbo Dahiru, Aishatu Ahmed Binani, Gen Aliyu Kama ((rtd), former acting Governor James Barka, Seven house of Reps members, all Government political appointees, all 25 lawmakers of the house of assembly, all party leaders from state, LGAs to Ward level, All commissioners and other party stalwarts and officials in the State.
Murtala Nyako, Abdulaziz Nyako, Nuhu Ribadu and Buba Marwa were among stakeholders that did not attend the meeting. However, Ribadu and Marwa send in their apology and representatives respectively.
While at the meeting on Monday, 30th April Senator Jibrilla Bindow, Boss Mustapha and Mustapha gave a central message of party Unity, calling on all party members to desist from any kind of activities that will divide the state APC and also desist from having any primordial sentiments the message also continued with a call on party faithful to unite for a common purpose as they head for party’s ward Congresses come 5th May 2018.
However, the crisis began former SGF, Mr. Babachir David Lawal was almost denied from speaking until he threatened to organize a world press conference and a microphone was finally handed over to him after the governor might have been given his speech.
Amidst a rowdy meeting, David said Monday stakeholders meeting did not in any way represent the Stakeholders meeting which it was tagged but rather a ” choreography” and a stage-managed meeting where only selected number of Governor’s officials were allowed to speak and such it cannot be said to be stakeholders meeting.
He criticized the meeting for not discussing the issue of zoning ahead of the congresses, raising salient points especially concerning how to conduct a free and fairs Congress in all the 226 wards comprising the state.
Babachir emphasized that the APC constitution promotes zoning of positions particularly in diverse states like Adamawa and wonder why the issue was not discussed before.
”This is not a stakeholder’s meeting; a stakeholder’s meeting should allow everybody to say his or her mind on any bothering issue that can help the party to grow and for a better Congress.”
“This is not a stakeholder’s meeting and should not be one way traffic, this is the first time I went to a meeting and the voice of the party chairman is not heard, this is the first party meeting I have attended in which the party leader role was played by government officials.
“This is the first political meeting I have attended and the role of the party leader being done by someone else, however in a choreography meeting like this, Key issues have to be addressed
He said rather sponsored thugs were ranting all sort of noise to distract him from talking.
The Climax of The Crisis
While still on the podium the national anthem was sung and the meeting came was closed by the MC, Abdulraham Abba Jimeta who is the Chief of staff of the Government House.
In a state of annoyance, Lawal alongside Engr. Marcus Gunduri, Senator Moallayidi went and organized a press conference in his house in Yola discrediting the meeting, adjudging that it was a government official meeting not stakeholders meeting.
At the conference, he revealed that there are plans by Governor Bindow to conduct illegal congresses and threatened to only support Buhari to emerge as President for a second term and not Governor Bindow.
The Looming dangers
It appears the APC party may not make it in the forthcoming 2019 general elections as there are factions, attacks, and counter-attacks and no side ready to shift wanting to shift grows for the sake of other parties to unite for the common interest of the party.
In one of the press conference organized by the government faction, Prof Jonathan Zwingina who was the lead Speaker opined that the Governor remains the Leader of the party and that free and fair Congresses must be conducted. Binta Garba, the senator representing the northern people of the state, accused Lawal of fueling up religion politics, as she gave an account of the genesis the crisis which she said is dated back to 2016 during a meeting in Abuja who stood his ground to bring the current State Chairman of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Bilal.
She demanded an answer to why is that it is now that Lawal is talking about zoning formula? After all, he brought the same Bilal to be the current chairman. Is it now that he knows of zoning?
The internal political wrangling among APC party members APC Adamawa probably may never be resolved as even setting up of reconciliation committees to meet aggrieved members could not achieve more desired results.
The Congresses results and those emerge elected delegates will open an entirely new chapter in the party in the state, that will also show that faction that will hold the grip (power) of the party before and after the general elections.
The creation of factions in the party is a bad omen to the entire party; this can make them lose the 2019 elections if they fail to unite for the interest of the party. It is clearly seen that the crisis is widening up bigger and bigger which may be an opportunity for the opposition party to take over the state from the ruling party.
Bello Kawule Dasin
Writes from Dasin in Fufure LGA, Adamawa state