In this interview with universalreporters247.com Umar Duhu a pioneer National Vice Chairman North East and an APC Chieftain from Adamawa, has debunked allegations of forgery made against him that he forged documents nominating him for the APC North-East vice Chairmanship position. According to Duhu he said Mustapha and his group lied, asking Mustapha to produce documents that nominated him as North-East Vice Chairman of the party, he also accused the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni as the cause of the whole crisis whom he said he is the only one that is involved in shady deal.
In their letter they said that the undersigned in your own letter has said they never hold any extra ordinary meeting regarding replacement of National Vice Chairman North-East.
Where did they undersigned said so, what meeting did they said so, or that they were not part of that meeting. If there was no meeting how can I just go and meet governors and collect their signatures, Governors are people of excellence, so you cannot say governors will just be coerced into signing a document without their knowledge. Let me tell you meetings of political parties, like you now, you can do media meetings in various ways, agreements are either implied on writing, so meeting are also done electronically, or physically, if there is a coordination between them when they have a leader as a chairman, that’s the Governor of Borno State as the leader of the Northern Governors forum, so it is the coordination within which they talk to themselves that forms the level of what is called a meeting. So meeting must necessarily be assembling people in one place, the nature of security situations in our country has become so cumbersome that is hard for you to get people in one place at the same time. Based on that there was a coordinated meeting between the governors and these leaders that endorsed the documents, how it was done is not their business, because no NEC or NWC member was part of the meeting. They will not tell you how the meeting was conducted or how it was conducted, that is not their business, but if anyone from those signatories come out to say that he was coerced, or there was no meeting for him to have endorsed, then that is where what they are saying will now be true, because this people that are talking are not part of the meeting neither were they signatories to the documents, so what gives them the locus standing to even challenge the propriety of the meeting.
So the issue of purported forgery does not arise.
How can it arise, I was the pioneer national vice chairman of this party, I formed this party Bauchi state, Taraba State, and Gombe State as well as Adamawa State my home State. So, when I was forming this party where were they? It was the structure I laid that produced them that as National officers of these party. At the 2014 convention I was elected unanimously but because there was friction that time between the leaders of the party, I was assumed to be loyal to Sheriff Group, so based on that, I and the former pioneer secretary were excluded. I won squarely but they refused to announce my name and gave it to Babachir Lawal because they said Buhari begged them to allow Babachir because he was vying for presidency and I said so be it. I though within the line of about three years that something must have come out significantly to assuage or compensate me for being and ardent party man accepting that I won election yet I accepted to give my victory to somebody else. Beside my principal they were alleging that I was so loyal to him decamped to PDP. I didn’t go with him, I remained in the APC, what loyalty do they want more than that. So, I am surprised that somebody will just come out and say I the pioneer National Vice Chairman forged a document of the party. Okay, in latter days ANPP, I remember I am entitled to write ANPP on any letter I have to write, because I was a pioneer national chairman, it only carries North-East, there is no address in Bauchi, in this case whether that office is in Yola, Damaturu, Maiduguri, is not their business, the letter doesn’t carry Bauchi address.
But is Bauchi the Zonal Headquarters of the North-East Zone of the APC
That is the assumed headquarters but nobody operated from Bauchi, when I was National Vice Chairman I didn’t operate from Bauchi, when Babachir was in office he didn’t operate from Bauchi. Nobody can tell me this is a zonal office belonging to APC in Bauchi. What I knew from ANPP days when we were in ANPP, we used to have zonal office in Yobe, but because Yobe is at the edge of the country we know said we will bring it to Bauchi, So ANPP was in Bauchi, but when we came to APC as a merged group, that office never operated. So it is not their business to say where the headquarters will be. There was no meeting to my knowledge that says the headquarters is in Bauchi. They are assuming that it is where supposed to be.
So, the claim of one Mustapha that he is the nominated vice chairman for the party North-East is not true then.
Where is his endorsement like my own, which I sent to you, let him show us the endorsement. You have to be nominated by some people, you saw all the people that nominated me, who now nominated Mustapha. Let them bring the document that nominated Mustapha let me see. I challenge to bring the document out as am talking to you now; nobody has been able to bring the document out. I went to National Secretariat, the National secretariat, National Working Committee members said they are not party to it. It is only the National Secretary is involved in this shady deal, he is the only one involved. And he is the one that called these three people and wrote this purported letter. So that is it.
Why will a National Secretary go against the decision of the National leadership of the party?
That is what I am saying, the matter is before the working committee of the party, I have been asked to pipe down, that they are going to look into the matter. That they are going deal with the matter as far as they as concerned the issue of National Vice Chairman is a not a national secretariat issue, that it is a zonal issue. My document was signed in January, when I brought the letter they said I should hold on with my letter, it is not a National issue, it is a zonal issue, and that if I leave it there it might disappear. The deputy National Chairman North told me that the Zonal meeting will be convened in Bauchi so that my letter will be ratified and there is any other person that has any nomination or objection to it, let the democratic tenets takes its principle, that was what I was waiting for until two days to Ramadan period, I just saw a letter on social media that Mustapha has been nominated as the National Vice Chairman North-East of the APC and approved as the substantive National Vice Chairman and the letter the so purported, in the letter it was carefully crafted, they said they are from Adamawa my state, my Governor has signed for me, but my state Chairman has not signed for me because he doesn’t like me and I have no business in that because five other state chairmen has signed for me, so it is enough for me. My Speaker House of Assembly has signed on behalf of the party, because the party chairman in Adamawa State is not a party chairman, they were just an interim Committee, because the State Chairman has been elected Senator in the person of Binta Masi, the secretary has been appointed PPS to the Governor, the deputy Chairman died, so there was a vacuum, just that the secretary went and coopted a local government Chairman when there are State executives and the rule says if all of these people are not around, any member standing from the executive should take the position of the National Chairman of the party until a congress or convention is done, but he went ahead and brought a local government Chairman and hand over the party to him, so because he thought nobody has raised eyebrows on it, he thinks this one will also be like that, is not possible. We have to go by the rules of the party and I will stand not only about my case but that the State Executives should be convened properly. So when he said he was not going to sign I didn’t bother myself because he is loyal to the people, the former SGF. So the letter was crafted that he the interim management committee chairman and his secretary with put my Governor as the persons that signed and nominated Mustapha Salihu that his confirmation should be done at a mini convention. What mini convention means is that either state or zonal, anything national is national; there is no mini in national, so you have to look at the word. The secretary went ahead and jumped the gun and said he has approved his nomination as the vice chairman and that he should take over the position of the office until it is ratified at the convention which is not supposed to be so. So, what we are challenging is that they process is wrong, adopting Mustapha is wrong, accepting him is wrong, if Mustapha is nominated by some other people either by the one who nominated, we should go to the Zonal conventional and slugged it out and whoever wins, let it become so, that is what I am waiting for. If I am defeated there I will congratulate Mustapha because I am a party man and if all these people that signed for me and said they are withdrawing their signature, as it is they cannot even withdraw now, because the matter is in contest. But if anybody has also signed for me and also signed for Mustapha that person must be excluded from the endorsement, because the person cannot sign for and also signed for Mustapha, it is not possible. So what is supposed to be done is that the working committee should exclude that signature and look at it and say okay who the other signatories that signed it are. Nobody from all this people that signed for me has called me and said sorry this thing happened, I withdrew my signature or I am withdrawing my signature. Instead they said they are standing by their signature.
With what you explained now, It is obvious that Mustapha and his group were wrong by saying that you forged the document, so where is the forgery.
That is it, where is the forgery in question, as speculated by them. If there is any forgery, let them put the forgery forward. I am ready to answer for forgery. Forgery is a criminal case.
What is the next line of action that you are waiting for now.
I am waiting for National Working committee to act appropriately and anytime they are going to meet a decision will be taken and I also call on them to use their good office to ensure that the person so involved must be prosecuted, because there is no way somebody will work on behalf of them, we learnt that so many waters has passed under the bridge, but that is not my problem, I don’t want to even know how much water that has passed under the bridge. But definitely from the foregoing, I understand something must have happened, because there is no where you will say three people has signed and when I have about forty people who have signed for me and you say my own is useless, it can’t be so.