Al-Hassan faction in limbo as Taraba State APC leadership crisis festers

Jalingo 19 September, 2018   | 

Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha AlhassanSigns that the leadership crisis threatening the Taraba State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has become intractable emerged when the faction loyal to the Minister of Women Affairs, Senator Aisha Jumai Al-Hassan, vowed not to recognize the Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi faction.

The APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole recently inaugurated the El-Sudi-led State Working Committee of the party, indication that there was no end in sight for the wrangling.

When the national leadership of the party led by Oshiomole waded into the crisis many party members believed that the matter would be resolved amicably and the factions harmonized.That was shortly after the cold war between the two factions led to the take over of the party’s secretariat by security operatives, during which the faction loyal to the minister was disowned by the National Working Committee (NWC).

But for the timely intervention of heavily armed security personnel, who immediately barricaded the party secretariat thereby preventing any of the faction from accessing the building, activities of thugs from the various factions of the party would have led to massive blood letting in Jalingo, the state capital.

The internal upheavals came into the fore immediately after the immediate past national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, decided to extend the olive branch to the state executive believed to have been put in place by the Mama Taraba.

However, the Oshiomhole-led NWC sidetracked the minister’s faction and went ahead to inaugurate the Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi faction as the authentic state executive of the party.

Worried by the ugly development, which some members see as a ploy to further frustrate the minister from actualizing her dreams of clinching the governorship ticket, the sacked executive led by Alhaji Abdulmumuni Vaki, vowed not to recognize the newly inaugurated state executive led by El-Sudi.aki, who said he remains the “authentic chairman of the party”, reiterated that he was not aware of his purported removal as nobody ever officially informed him of the development.

Wondering why Oshiomhole should embarked on such acts, which he said were capable of “bringing down the party,” Vaki said his alleged removal from office “has not been communicated to me, and as far as I am concerned, I am the APC chairman in Taraba State.”

The spurned factional chairman said: “I heard that the national chairman of our party has sworn in another chairman for Taraba State, but as far as I am concerned, I still remain the chairman of the APC in the state and nobody can remove me, because I was duly elected.”

Oshiomhole’s wrong move

The embattled factional chairman, who said he could not fathom the rationale behind the act, noted that “may be Oshiomhole’s style of leadership is to have two state chairmen of the party in every state of the country as a strategy of winning next year’s election.

Insisting that he remains the authentic chairman, Vaki added: “I was duly elected and sworn in as chairman and I attended the National Executive Council meeting of the party convened by the present APC national chairman and the decisions of the party was taken in his presence. In fact, I attended the national convention and voted him into office as national chairman.”

He contended that by his action, Oshiomhole “has contradicted himself, (because) if today the national chairman is saying that I am illegally inaugurated as chairman, then the entire National Working Committee of the party, which I voted into office are also illegal.”

While urging his group, made up of the minister and other ranking party members to remain calm and law abiding, Vaki vowed to follow all available lawful paths to pursue the issue to a logical conclusion.

However, on his own part, the newly inaugurated chairman, El-Sudi, who said he would not want to trade words, called the minister’s faction to join hands with the new party executive for electoral victory.

El-Sudi, who spoke extensively with The Guardian over the telephone, said his executive would not only provide level play-ground for all aspirants seeking for elective positions on the platform of the party, but would also go extra miles to ensure the “emergence of credible candidates.”

He expressed the belief that the party has all the needed “potentials” to emerge victorious in the forthcoming general election and pleaded with the minister’s faction to sincerely accept the olive branch extended to it, stressing, “we are going to carry every member of the party along.”

Defection threat

With the ongoing attempts to heal the rift, there is fear that some of the affected members of the party may eventually end up pitching tents with the opposition political parties in the state.

And being aware of the possibility of massive defections, El-Saudi, who passionately urged the members not to defect, assured of the readiness of the leadership to operate an open door policy.

While observing, “Taraba State is underdeveloped,” El Sudi called on Tarabans to put aside their religious, ethnic and political differences and Join APC “to ensure we effect the much needed change in the forthcoming general election.”

Spokesman of the El-Sudi executive, Aaron Artimas, said the party would work tirelessly round the clock to unite members of the party before the elections adding that the factional chairman does not need official information.

“Nobody needs to communicate him (Vaki), because the office was vacant in the first place. You cannot write to a ghost,” Artimas declared.

Although some observers hold the view that El-Sudi and his executive members have all the needed charisma to create history in the forthcoming elections, there is need for the new executive to collaborate with the NWC to ensure genuine reconciliation among party members to make progress.

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