BREAKING!!! Parallel Congresses: Mass Defection Looms In APC As Fresh Crisis Tears Party Apart
There were strong indications that in states where parallel congresses were held, the All Progressives Congress (APC) would recognize executive councils supported by incumbent governors in the APC states.
A member of the party’s national caucus, who confided in one of our correspondents, also said in non-APC states, the party would recognise congresses endorsed by the highest political office holders in such states.
It was gathered that if the party’s stand was anything to go by, chieftains of the party including Senator Ibikunle Amosun, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbeola, and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, might lose out in the power tussle in their states.
Violence and protests rocked the APC congresses that were held across the country on Saturday with factions emerging in states including Lagos, Ogun, Kwara, Osun and Kano.
In Ogun State, a faction loyal to a former Governor of the state, Senator Amosun, which held its congress at the palace of Alake of Egbaland, elected Chief Derin Adebiyi as the chairman.
But another faction supported by the incumbent Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, held its congress at the MKO Abiola Stadium, where Chief Yemi Sanusi, emerged the chairman.
In Kano State, while Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s faction elected Abdullahi Abbas as chairman, while a rival group led by Senator Ibrahim Shekarau elected Haruna Zago to head the party.
The Lagos State APC congress, which was held at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena Stadium, was attended by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Cornelius Ojelade emerged as the consensus chairman at the congress, while a rival faction, Lagos4Lagos, at the Airport Hotel Ikeja, elected Sunday Ajayi from the Agege Local Government to lead the party.
In Osun State, parallel congresses were also held by groups loyal to the state Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola and his predecessor, Aregbesola.
In Kwara State, groups loyal to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and Minister of Information and Culture, Mohammed also elected different officers.
On Sunday, it was gathered in Abuja that in line with its tradition, the APC would accord recognition to the governors and in some cases, the highest political office holders from states where the party was not in power.
A member of the party’s national caucus, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, “so as not to jeopardise reconciliation efforts” said, “Why will a former governor want to challenge a sitting governor who we all know is the leader of the party in the state? It has been the practice to respect our sitting governors in such matters.”
This was in response to cases of parallel congresses in Ogun, Kwara, Enugu, and Kano states among others.
Besides APC-controlled states, parallel executive councils also emerged in some states not controlled by the party.
For example in Enugu State, a former Commissioner for Works, Mr Ugochukwu Agballah and an ex-Chairman of the party, Adolphus Udeh, emerged as chairmen at the parallel congresses held on Saturday.
While Agballah emerged from the faction of a former President of the Senate, Chief Ken Nnamani at a congress held at Destiny Event Centre, Enugu, Udeh emerged from the faction of the outgoing Caretaker Committee Chairman, Dr Ben Nwoye at a congress held at the party’s secretariat.
Agballa, after his election, said that his emergence as state chairman of the party signaled a new dawn for the APC in the state.
Ude on his part, stated, “I want to also commend in a special way the Dr Ben Nwoye-led executive and the Enugu state congress committee for conducting a free and fair election today.”
In Sokoto State, two factions also emerged. A congress, which was held at the party state secretariat, was attended by a former governor of Sokoto State and Senator representing Sokoto Central, Aliyu Wamakko; Senator Ibrahim Gobir, the Minister for Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, former Minister for Transport, Yusuf Suleiman, among others.
Isa Sadiq Acida was re-elected as the chairman at the congress while a splinter faction led by three-term federal legislator Abdullahi Balarabe Silame, produced Muhammad Daji as the chairman.
Parallel congresses: Mass defections loom, APC’s implosion inevitable, says Banire
On his part, a former Legal Adviser of the APC, Muiz Banire, on Sunday said mass defections were imminent in the party.
Banire hinted that the factions not recognised by the national leadership of the APC might be forced to exit the party.
Speaking on Sunday Politics, a current affairs programme on Channels Television which was monitored by one of our correspondents in Abuja, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria recalled predicting the present developments in the APC.
Banire said, “The implication is simple: that is factionalisation of the party all over. It started from the ward congresses, through the local government (area congresses) to the state (congresses). It is unlikely or unexpected that even at the national convention, you are likely to have the same thing. If you recall vividly some few months ago, I did predict it that it would happen. Certainly, the implosion, in my very strong view, is inevitable.”
According to him, most of the people that are already outside or declared to be outside by the party “will find their way elsewhere…to another platform. I think that will be the eventual consequence.”
Banire was asked to pick his choice among the six likely candidates of the APC for the 2023 presidential election, including a former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu; and the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).
The senior lawyer, however, tactically avoided speaking on Tinubu’s candidacy, saying that he might also run for President in the next election.
Banire, however, noted that it would neither be on the platform of the APC nor the Peoples Democratic Party.