Former Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, faced his first acid test as National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress on Thursday as Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, and his Cross Rivers State counterpart, Bassey Otu, kicked against the announcement of Dr. Mary Alile Idele and Duro Meseko as National Woman Leader and Deputy National Publicity Secretary, respectively.
Nigerian Tribune checks revealed that the Cross Rivers State Governor was miffed that rather than retain the seat of National Woman Leader vacated by Dr Beta Edu in Cross Rivers State,
Ganduje caved into pressure from the former National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and gave the slot to Edo State.
Yahaya Bello, who stormed the party national secretariat as early as 8 a.m. to halt the inauguration of the new national officers, was angry that Ganduje allowed a member of the House of Representatives representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, James Abiodun Faleke, to give the slot of Deputy National Publicity Secretary, meant for Kogi State, to the latter loyalist, Duro Meseko.
A few hours after the Kogi state governor’s arrival, certain federal lawmakers from the state stormed the APC national secretariat to solidarize with him.
Ganduje and the party’s national secretary, Senator Ajibola Basiru, were nowhere near the party’s national secretariat located at the sprawling Blantyre Street, Wuse, Abuja.
Apart from Duro Meseko, the Kogi state governor also rejected the announcement of another chieftain from his home state, Ikani Shuaibu Okolo, as Zonal Organising Secretary.
Checks revealed that Kogi State APC Chairman Abdullahi Bello, in a petition addressed to the former Kano state governor and Chairman of the APC, said “The State Chapter ratified Hon. Yahaya Ade Ismail as the new Deputy National Publicity Secretary and Hon. Isiaka Musa as the Zonal Organising Secretary for North Central.
And in line with the provisions of our constitution, the ratified replacements to the National Working Committee were through the North Central Zonal Chairman of the Party.”
“To our dismay, the National Working Committee came up with strange names that didn’t pass through the State Chapter nor the North Central Zone of the party and purportedly went ahead to ratify them, citing “Presidency interest” as the rationale for their action.
We strongly reject the action, as we will not be parties to the blatant and flagrant violation of our party’s constitution.
“Our belief in Mr President as a man who respects the Constitution of our party and a man who believes in due process is unshaken in the face of the current confusion foisted on the party by people dropping the name of the President to achieve their selfish aims.”
Members of the APC Cross Rivers State chapter also staged protests at the party’s national secretariat.
Led by Bukkie Okaigbe, the party faithful expressed disaffection over the APC NWC decision to give the slot to Edo State.
They also accused the Ganduje-led NWC of dropping the name of President Bola Tinubu to justify their action.
She said, “The reason we are protesting here today is very clear. It is about the position of national women’s leader that Betta Edu left, and by the grace of God, she is now the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs.
“According to the party constitution, we are supposed to continue with the slot because it is an elective post. Right now, we don’t know what is happening at the party.
Feelers have it that they have chosen somebody else from another state to replace our nominee. So we are here to pass on the message that our people from Cross River cannot be intimidated.
“As you know, Cross River is arguably the only APC state in the South-South and one of the states that delivered Asiwaju.
“We are therefore pleading with the party to do the right thing. If they have to replace anybody, it has to be from Cross River.
As we speak, there are so many women who are on their way to Abuja to continue the protest. So we don’t want anything to come between the Renewed Hope government and Cross River.”
The Chairman of Cross River APC, Adolphus Ogar, was also sighted at the party secretariat.
The Kogi state governor left the party national secretariat in the evening with some of his loyalists as the party national chairman refused to show up for the scheduled inauguration.
A Party source told the Nigerian Tribune that Governor Bello and his entourage drove to Ganduje’s residence.
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