As the National Reconciliation Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, intensifies efforts to ensure harmony in the party, the status of former Governor of Osun State and immediate past National Secretary of new Peoples Democratic Party, nPDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola is still unclear within the state chapter of the APC.
A tussle for the soul of the party in Kano between Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his predecessor, Ibrahim Shekarau is still raging.
This came as members of the G5 governors that defected to the APC from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said they did not join APC to become leaders.
Indeed, National Secretary of APC, Mr. Fidelis Tumza in a telephone interview with Vanguard, said that the on-going reconciliation effort in the party was proceeding despite minor hitches.
He said that Governor Kwankwaso and his predecessor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, were already working together as members of the same party.
“What we are trying to do now is to find a way of accommodating their followers within the leadership structure of the state chapter of the party,” he said.
In Benue State, a new faction of APC led by Baba Agan also emerged yesterday, accusing Senator George Akume of imposing unpopular officers on the party.
Agreeing that the status of Oyinlola in Osun was not clear, he denied reports in a section of the media that the party’s reconciliation efforts in Adamawa State had collapsed following Gen. Buba Marwa’s refusal to attend a meeting to which he was invited alongside incumbent Governor Murtala Nyako.
However, sources close to Gen. Marwa have dismissed Tumza’s statement that the recent reconciliation meeting in Adamawa ended smoothly. One source said that Gen. Marwa is not interested in holding any meeting with Governor Nyako for now.
Said the source: “Gen Marwa has dismissed the idea of holding any meeting with Governor Nyako as nonsense. He is actually waiting for the national leadership of the party to intervene and settle the matter.”
Dismissing the five PDP governors who defected to APC as political lightweights who have no followers in the APC, the source asked: “How do they think they can come from no-where to take over structures of the party which have been built over time?”
It would be recalled that APC had set up the reconciliation committee led by former National Chairman of nPDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, in a bid to ensure that internal rancour does not erupt within its ranks.
The committee has commenced the process of reconciling the warring parties in the five states, where the G-5 governors are locked in a supremacy battle with local leaders of the party.
It was learnt that as part of the party’s effort to harmonise its affairs in the affected states, the National leadership approved the inauguration of interim state executive committees.
The party, at its last meeting in Abuja, gave approval for all the zonal chairmen to immediately inaugurate the interim state executives and for them to commence mobilisation for new members. It also proposed a plan to hold the party’s congresses this month.
It was learnt that following a directive to the committee by the interim national executive of the party to commence action immediately after the Christmas holiday, the seven-man reconciliation committee has decided to also look into the protest letter submitted by some stakeholders in Kano
In Kano, the task of harmonizing APC executive was handed over to Governor Kwankwaso by stakeholder last week.
And what made the former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau look like a prisoner of war in the dirty political war in Kano played out last week following the massive endorsement of Kwankwaso as the undisputed leader by erstwhile loyalists of Shekarau.
The five governors who recently defected from the PDP to the APC have said that they did not go to the new party to become leaders in their respective states.
Rather, the governors said they took their decision in an altruistic move to provide Nigerians with a viable opposition platform that could check the current drift towards anarchy in the polity.
The governors, who spoke through their Adamawa counterpart, Murtala Nyako, explained that contrary to insinuations by the opposition, they moved over to the APC to join forces with other patriots to form a pan-Nigerian national platform that would serve as a veritable vehicle for the enthronement of genuine unity, peace and progress in Nigeria.
Nyako said in a statement made available to Vanguard by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Mr. Ahmad Sajoh, that at the time they moved to the APC they had other options, which they would have exploited if they were propelled by selfish interests.
Among the several options open to the five governors, were forming a new political party, joining any of the newly-formed parties or any of the existing political parties in Nigeria.
“But we opted to join the APC because it represents a broad-based coalition of democratic forces built on the ideals of progress and development,” Nyako said.
“Governor Murtala Nyako believes that it is only by the coming together of progressive forces that Nigeria will be saved from the grip of a cabal that has held the presidency captive and has continued to provide excuses for countless failures rather than advance ideas on the provision of dividends of democracy to the people of Nigeria.”
“This cabal has unwittingly reduced arguments about the future of Nigeria to non issue such as ethnicity and religious bigotry. Under such circumstances, the progress of the nation has stagnated, leadership focus has become clannish and mediocrity has taken over serious business of government.”
“These are the real challenges before all patriots and these are the motives behind the move by the G5 governors and all other patriotic forces in the National Assembly and other sections of the polity.
“Anyone who reads the statement issued by the PDP leadership on Sunday, January 5, 2014 should definitely appreciate the real dangers these unpatriotic forces want to unleash on the country.
The Governor said he had no political ambition other than to see that Nigeria is driven on the path of progress and economic prosperity.
“As a two-term Governor, I am constitutionally excluded from the next gubernatorial election, and I have already stated that I have no ambition to contest any other political office in 2015. All I am concerned with is to serve as a statesman who promotes the best interest of future generations of Nigerians,” Nyako said.