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Inside APC’s endless crisis in Gombe
In less than six months, the Gombe State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has tasted two different sets of temporary party officials. No thanks to ‘irreconcilable differences’ among key political figures in the state, including a former governor of the state, Senator Danjuma Goje and a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Senator Usman Bayero Nafada.
When the APC national leadership spearheaded the first leadership change on August 31, 2016, it cited the irreconcilable differences in the top hierarchy of the state chapter of the party, which led to the factionalisation as informed by the testimonies of members of the State Executive Committee (SEC).
A release signed by the National Secretary of the party, Mai Mala Buni, accepted the resignation of Mr Karu Ishaya and Mr Sallau Manu Pindiga as state deputy chairman and state secretary respectively.
The party also relieved Barr. Muhammad Magaji Doho and Barr. Dauda Manu as state chairman and state legal adviser respectively.
Following the two decisions which took effect from August 31, 2016, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) approved the choice of Lawan Shetima, as state chairman; Capt. Bala Jibrin, state deputy chairman; Alh. Sule Yakubu, state secretary and Barr. Joseph William, state legal adviser to oversee the affairs of the party for a three-month renewable period.
The APC Deputy National Chairman, North, Senator Lawal Shuaibu, who inaugurated the caretaker officers on behalf of the NWC on Friday, September 2, 2016, told them to ensure the streamlining of all parallel offices and shutting down of illegal party offices that exist at ward, local government and at state levels and reinstall what it had in the records at the national secretariat.
Shuaibu enjoined them to take stock of all officers of the party to ensure they are in tandem with the outcome of the nationwide congresses held in 2014, except those who either resigned or were relieved of the offices, using the authentic list given to them by the national secretariat.
He also implored them to consult with all stakeholders and other opinion leaders of the party in the state to obtain “meaningful” advice that would improve the fortunes of the party and restore peace and unity.
But despite this advice, the irreconcilable differences seem not to have disappeared as the party cited similar reason for the constitution of fresh interim officials for Gombe APC during the inauguration of the committee on February 20, 2017.
The APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Sen. Shuaibu, who also performed the inauguration ceremony, attributed the decision to reconstitute the Gombe State Caretaker Working Committee to “irreconcilable differences” among the former interim party officials.
Sen. Shuaibu, who gave the reasons while inaugurating the newly constituted four-member caretaker committee, led by Idi Barde Gubana, at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, said the party asked the first committee to step aside when it was clear that they could not achieve any form of reconciliation due to “personal differences”.
“We have had a lot of challenges running the party in Gombe State. We constituted a caretaker committee which did a wonderful job; but along the line, we observed some irreconcilable differences among the members.
“Observing that there was no way they could reconcile themselves, we decided to ask them to step aside.
“The caretaker committee basically is not there to do any other thing except what the national headquarters has asked them to do on the basis of resolutions reached with the stakeholders of Gombe during its meeting with the NWC. Any other thing should be left for the NWC to handle.
“We can handle every challenge if we have the cooperation of the stakeholders. The newly constituted caretaker committee has a mission, a mandate and they are only expected to discharge their mandate not any other thing,” he said.
On February 17, the APC NWC reconstituted a four-member caretaker committee to fill the vacancies.
The NWC, in a release through its National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, said the party took the action in the exercise of its powers under Article 13.4 (xvi & xvii) of the APC Constitution after the tenure expiration of the Gombe State Caretaker Working Committee (APC).
The newly constituted caretaker committee includes Hon. Idi Barde Gubana as state chairman; Alh. Sani Haruna as state deputy chairman; Bello Kasimu Maigari as state secretary and Barr. Bichi Obadia as state legal secretary.
The caretaker will be for an initial renewable period of three months commencing from February 17, 2017 unless otherwise terminated by the NWC.
It could be recalled that the caretaker officials have been submitting monthly reports and receiving directives from the national secretariat.
Before the latest decision, the former state caretaker committee chairman, Alhaji Shettima, appointed by the APC NWC to resolve the crisis, had been appointed as a commissioner in Yobe State. The development prompted his deputy to take over the mantle of leadership before they were finally asked to step aside for new interim officials.