SAMUEL A. AJAYI writes on the leadership crisis rocking the Kogi state chapter of the APC and warns of dire consequences this may have on the party in future elections if not checked
Without doubt, the Kogi state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is embroiled in leadership tussle which its national leadership must strive to resolve if the party is to make any impact in the state. At the moment, selfishness, arrogance, nepotism and insincerity have become major indices of the leadership crisis that has engulfed the party.
Beyond the trauma experienced by the party on its road to registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), APC gladiators/ aspiring governors , recent registration exercise by the party vis-à-vis its upcoming congresses, have all combined to create fresh intrigues and manipulations that may rock the good boat of APC in the state.
It would be recalled that the party’s registration exercise was greeted with jubilation, especially in the Kogi Central and West Senatorial districts. Consequently, some doubting Thomases have since joined and are working assiduously for the party. Following this, various gladiators have emerged from the three senatorial districts with the East, as usual strongly indicating its interest to grab the real essence of power.
For discerning observers, some notables have emerged to establish their stronghold on the party in the guise of godfatherism. The list include; Prince Abubakar Audu, James Ocholi (SAN) and Maiyanga all from the East. From the Central are; Prof Y. O Aliu, Senator S. Ohize, Senator M.S. Ohiare, Alhaji Abdulazeez Obini, Prince Emman Omadivi, Maj. Hitler Aliu, Mal. S.O. Ibrahim, Sufiyanu Atta and a host of others, while Hon Dino Melaye and Yusuf and others yet to emerge are from the West.
Taking a look at their rating, it is clear that Audu has automatically become a leader because of his status as former governor, while Ocholi, a former CPC gubernatorial aspirant, also shows and exerts some level of influence as the interim deputy national legal adviser. Both of them have been locking horns to either become the leader or governor.
It is however believed that all other top party shots from the two senatorial districts may have quietly submitted and queued up behind the duos of Abubakar and Ocholi. It should be noted that Aliu is believed to be interested only in the welfare of his people and not position while Ohiare and Melaye are said to be gunning for Senate in their various zones.. As they desire this, Ohiare, who declared for APC even before it was formally registered, has surreptitiously indicated his interest to lead the zone.
The party’s crisis was greatly manifested during the registration exercise in the state, which many believed was badly conducted. While the Kogi East was accused of multiple registrations, it was alleged that the Ohiare group completed the bulk of these registration forms in their rooms in the central senatorial district. And in the Kogi West, the exercise was said to be fairly okay. At the end of it all, about 49,000 was recorded for Central, 47,000 for West and 111,000 for East.
Analysts are of the view that the ‘propped up’ figure from the East is a hidden agenda allegedly designed to perpetually enslave the two other senatorial districts. The implication therefore, it is contended, is to give the East the opportunity of permanently producing the governor for the state. It is hoped that the ongoing confab will redress this trend.
One unassailable fact is that there exists betrayal, mutual mistrust and evil machinations among the three senatorial districts. But unknown to the two other senatorial districts, there are some external forces that had penetrated their ranks to destabilize them with a view to permanently making them slaves perpetually in the political arrangement of the state. It is believed that some of these forces are moles allegedly fronting for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).
With all these inadequacies in place, it is trite that the oncoming party congresses is handled with caution, as some of these leaders have single-handedly compiled a list of delegates across the wards in the Central district, a decision that does not go well with some four other groups who have come together to work for the party. In the East, a coalition of groups being sponsored by some top party leaders, are already in sharp disagreement. The general clamour is that the congresses must be done in the open except where consensus is reached, else the party might not get to the promised land.
At this point, a quick look at the aspiring governors on the party’s platform suffices;
With his boss, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in APC, grapevine has it that in no distant time, he will come out to declare his intent. He is from Central Senatorial District.
Isa Jibrin Echocho(East)
There are stories making the round of his planned defection to APC to try the governorship slot which he lost in PDP. He belongs to East axis.
Emman O. Omadivi(Central)
An advertising and public relations expert and a political consultant, Omadivi joined APC at the point of its registration by INEC. Watchers believe that he is going to join the race sooner or later
James Ocholi, SAN(East)
There is no doubt that he is bent on picking the ticket of the party come 2016. He is from the East and an arch rival of Prince Audu.
It is believed that having taken several failed shots at the top job in the state, the former governor may have made up his mind to sponsor a candidate. It is argued that going by his present status as former governor, he should be contented with being the party’s leader in the state.
From Kogi West axis, none has really shown serious interest in the job.
From the foregoing, except carefully and selflessly handled, the APC might undo itself in Kogi state and consequently lose the governorship and other elective offices at both the state and federal levels . This is one area that should urgently be looked into to avert mass defection. To remedy this therefore, the governorship slot should be rotated among the three senatorial zones and all existing political squabbles and disagreements among leaders should be resolved. The party’s registration exercise should be revisited while imposition of candidates in all elections should be discouraged by the party. This, certainly, is the best way out, as ‘a word is enough for the wise’ just as ‘a stitch in time saves nine’.