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Sokoto APC battle: Wamakko, Bafarawa go for broke

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In the last one month, particularly since the merger of five of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to the All Progressive Congress (APC), peace appears to have gone on sabbatical in the Sokoto and Kano State chapters of APC. Members of the party in Sokoto made up of supporters of Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, and former Governor Attahiru Bafarawa, are battling for the control of the state APC structure, even as members of the party in the state are yet to be registered. However, the pendulum appears likely to swing in the direction of the state governor, if the latest developments in the state are anything to go by.

The APC in Sokoto currently has three state party headquarters. The secretariats are run by three factions battling for the control of the state structure of the party. The factions are: members of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), led by the immediate past state chairman of the party, Alhaji Yahaya Tureta; The faction is peopled by members of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), led by its immediate past state chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Kantoma; and former members of the PDP who defected to APC alongside Governor Wamakko.

The secretariat of the faction belonging to the defunct CPC members is situated along Lanzu Road, Buzaye Area in the state capital, while that faction of the former ANPP members recently rehabilitated a structure along Gusau Road belonging to Bafarawa. The Wamakko faction turned the state PDP headquarters located along Sultan Abubakar Road into the new headquarters of the APC.

The members of the defunct CPC and ANPP, two out of the three factions, are comfortable with the former governor. The three party offices are wearing new looks and have been adorned with APC paraphernalia- flags, party colours and symbol.

In a report aired on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Hausa Service and monitored in the state capital, the representatives of the three factions owned up to having their separate headquarters. They and they could not agree on the faction that is supposed to control the state APC structure.

The immediate past state treasurer of PDP, Alhaji Muktar Maigona, who represented the Wamakko faction, insisted that the governor’s was empowered by the constitution of the party to serve as the state leader. The two other factions represented by Kantoma and Anas Dan’Nayaba, said they were not even aware that Wamakko joined the APC. They insisted that the original members of APC in the state, who belonged to the three legacy parties that melted to form party, namely ANPP, CPC and ACN, were the ones that were supposed to produce the state leader of the APC.

Upon his return to the state from Saudi Arabia, where he observed lesser hajj (umrah), Governor Wamakko, while addressing a crowd of supporters at the Sokoto Government House on Friday,

December 20, 2013, charged members of the party to gird their loins in preparation for the registration of APC members as announced by the party’s national leadership , to begin in January.

He stressed that.“for now, nobody is a registered APC member in Sokoto State. The governor noted that the kind of politics that members of the party were expected to play was one devoid of rancour.

“It is our hope that all those to be registered in our new party will play politics of progress and development, rather than politics of hatred and destruction,” he said, adding that the doors of the APC were open to all wishing to play their part to further develop Sokoto in particular and Nigeria in general.

But in the wake of these happenings, the old Sokoto PDP secretariat was also given a facelift and news doing rounds in the state has it that state leaders of the party were planning a grandiose occasion for the re-opening of the state PDP headquarters soon.

Addressing APC supporters in Adamawa on Sunday, one of the national leaders of the party, General Muhammadu Buhari, said the national leadership of the APC would not intrude into the raging crisis in by the party in Sokoto and Kano states. He said the state leaders of the party were to solve such problems.

The deputy national chairman of the caretaker committee, Honourable Aminu Bello Masari, was recently quoted after a meeting in Lagos that the constitution of the APC stated clearly that an APC governor is the leader of the party in his state.

True to the pronouncement of Buhari, recent developments within the Sokoto APC have shown that one way or the other, an auto-solution to the crisis in the party may have evolved.

In addition, Governor Wamakko has been working round the clock to find a way around the crisis through a series of stakeholders meeting with five representatives from each of the legacy parties in the state. Perhaps as a dividend of Wamakko’s peace initiative, the CPC faction of APC held a meeting, where they welcomed the state governor into the party.

CPC’s candidate for Illela/Gwadabawa Federal Constituency in the 2011 general election, Ibrahim Adamu Doki who was at the meeting told Nigerian Tribune that the Tureta-led faction had resolved to abide by the directives of the national headquarters of the APC. Said he, “Governor Wamakko is welcome into our fold. But, we want him to appreciate the fact that our merger is like asset-sharing. We want the party to give our faction all that is due to us in terms of party offices and candidates.”

He said the meeting stressed the need for members in the faction to take full advantage of the membership registration of the party, so as to ensure the emergence of Buhari as the party’s candidate in the 2015 presidential election.

In a telephone interview with Nigerian Tribune, Kantoma who is believed to become the core sopporters of Bafarawa, emphasised that the position of his faction had not changed. He said the members of APC, who formed the party by sacrificing their former parties, were bonefide members of the party and as such their leader- Bafarawa- should serve as the state leader of the party. According to him, since members of the three legacy parties (ACN, ANPP and CPC) that dissolved into APC had become automatic members of the new party with or without the fresh registration scheduled to hold in January.

On Masari’s pronouncement that an APC governor should serve as the leader of the party in his state, Kantoma said an individual would not dictate to its other members how they should conduct themselves. He maintained that such unilateral view was responsible for the marginal performance of CPC in the last general elections. According to him, “APC’s constitution says an APC governor is the leader of the party and this refers to a governor who was elected on the platform of any of the three legacy parties and this is quite different from a defecting governor.”

However, investigation by Nigerian Tribune revealed that Governor Wamakko had since deployed his political machinery to woo some key supporters of the former governor to his camp. He has also been seeking ways to correct the sour relationship between him and his former boss, Bafarawa. One of the reconciliation strategies he adopted was meeting he had with five representatives from each of the parties in the Sokoto APC which comprised the three legacy parties.

Sources add that the governor is not just mending fences with his estranged leader; he is poised to build a broad-based coalition for APC in the state in the next election by extending invitation to members of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and the All Grand Progressive Alliance (APGA). The reliable sources confirmed that the national treasurer of the APC, Alhaji Usman Dan’Madamin Isa, was instrumental to the governor’s success in the convening of the meeting. Wamakko’s sagacity deployed with clinical finish was said to have fetched him Dan’Madami, a close ally in Bafarawa’s camp, by dispensing government patronage to him.

It was further learnt that Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi, who served as Secretary to Sokoto State Government (SSG) for eight years under Bafarawa and whom Bafarawa allegedly fielded as the state DPP governorship candidate in 2007 election, is now with Wamakko. In the same vein, the governor’s political savvy was said to have brought to his camp, Alhaji Chiso Dattijo, who served as deputy governor at the tail end of Bafarawa’s administration.

In the past few years, some Bafarawa’s bourgeoisie loyalists such as Alhaji Umarun Kwabo, Alhaji Sahabi Bojo Bodinga, Alhaji Sahabi Tungar Kwangi and Alhaji Tukur Alkali, have reportedly abandoned the former governor  for Wamakko for strategic purposes.

Responding to the alleged shift of loyalty to Wamakko by Dan’Madamin Isa and Dingyadi, spokesperson of the former governor, Alhaji Kantoma said Dingyadi did not follow the former governor to ACN as he chose to remain in the DPP. He said it would not be a surprise if an individual or two persons who were hitherto disciples of Bafarawa teamed up with Wamakko.

Pundits have expressed the belief that two facts are indisputable about the APC. One of the facts is that the party’s national leadership is conscious of the likely ripples the merger of the G5 Governors will cause in some states of the federation, hence the delay in the registration of members. And the second is that with the 2015 general elections about one year ahead, the party has an ample time to surmount the challenges arising from the merger by repositioning the APC to face the PDP clear and square. They, therefore, postulate that however difficult it might seem, Wamakko might slowly but surely win the battle.

er of the party. According to him, since members of the three legacy parties (ACN, ANPP and CPC) that dissolved into APC had become automatic members of the new party with or without the fresh registration scheduled to hold in January.

On Masari’s pronouncement that an APC governor should serve as the leader of the party in his state, Kantoma said an individual would not dictate to its other members how they should conduct themselves. He maintained that such unilateral view was responsible for the marginal performance of CPC in the last general elections. According to him, “APC’s constitution says an APC governor is the leader of the party and this refers to a governor who was elected on the platform of any of the three legacy parties and this is quite different from a defecting governor.”

However, investigation by Nigerian Tribune revealed that Governor Wamakko had since deployed his political machinery to woo some key supporters of the former governor to his camp. He has also been seeking ways to correct the sour relationship between him and his former boss, Bafarawa. One of the reconciliation strategies he adopted was meeting he had with five representatives from each of the parties in the Sokoto APC which comprised the three legacy parties.

Sources add that the governor is not just mending fences with his estranged leader; he is poised to build a broad-based coalition for APC in the state in the next election by extending invitation to members of the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) and the All Grand Progressive Alliance (APGA). The reliable sources confirmed that the national treasurer of the APC, Alhaji Usman Dan’Madamin Isa, was instrumental to the governor’s success in the convening of the meeting. Wamakko’s sagacity deployed with clinical finish was said to have fetched him Dan’Madami, a close ally in Bafarawa’s camp, by dispensing government patronage to him.

It was further learnt that Alhaji Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi, who served as Secretary to Sokoto State Government (SSG) for eight years under Bafarawa and whom Bafarawa allegedly fielded as the state DPP governorship candidate in 2007 election, is now with Wamakko. In the same vein, the governor’s political savvy was said to have brought to his camp, Alhaji Chiso Dattijo, who served as deputy governor at the tail end of Bafarawa’s administration.

In the past few years, some Bafarawa’s bourgeoisie loyalists such as Alhaji Umarun Kwabo, Alhaji Sahabi Bojo Bodinga, Alhaji Sahabi Tungar Kwangi and Alhaji Tukur Alkali, have reportedly abandoned the former governor  for Wamakko for strategic purposes.

Responding to the alleged shift of loyalty to Wamakko by Dan’Madamin Isa and Dingyadi, spokesperson of the former governor, Alhaji Kantoma said Dingyadi did not follow the former governor to ACN as he chose to remain in the DPP. He said it would not be a surprise if an individual or two persons who were hitherto disciples of Bafarawa teamed up with Wamakko.

Pundits have expressed the belief that two facts are indisputable about the APC. One of the facts is that the party’s national leadership is conscious of the likely ripples the merger of the G5 Governors will cause in some states of the federation, hence the delay in the registration of members. And the second is that with the 2015 general elections about one year ahead, the party has an ample time to surmount the challenges arising from the merger by repositioning the APC to face the PDP clear and square. They, therefore, postulate that however difficult it might seem, Wamakko might slowly but surely win the battle.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 December 2013 12:53

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