The National Vice Chairman, North East zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Dr. Umar Duhu recently hosted journalists in Yola, Adamawa state during which he said the pary is not in any way bothered by the defection of the ‘big names’. He also clears the air on the alleged feud between two chieftains of the party; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Ali Modu Sherrif. IBRAHIM ABDUL’AZIZ reports
Alleged feud between former Governors Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Ali Modu Sherrif, both APC chieftains
I also read that on the social media but I was an eye witness to what happened. The development was a normal thing in party politics. There must be disagreements and at the end of the day, we have to reach a consensus. What happened was about the procedure of how to conduct the forthcoming congresses and National Convention of the party. Initially, the proposal was that the national body will spearhead the overall activities culminating in the convention.
So, at the end of the day, after lengthy discussions, we later agreed that national convention committee should be saddled with the responsibility of conduct of the national convention but the congresses should be overseen by the national chairman as the chairman of the committee and the national secretary with other members. So, this is to say the party has taken shape and the issue of people casting aspersions and suspecting that the party will not be fair to everybody has been eliminated and I can tell you the relationship between Sheriff and Tinubu is blossoming as usual. They are bosom friends and partners in progress.
What Sheriff did was to advise that the right thing must be done and this is what democrats want in Nigeria. The era of impunity in party politics has been eliminated in APC, we want the right things to be done and the electable person is so elected at particular fora so that the party will have leaders that have been chosen by the membership and followership of the party.
On defection of Shekarau,, Bafarawa, Marwa and others.
Like the national publicity secretary of the party once said, if you go towards the end of the year, you will take stock of your investment. There will be profit after tax and that profit is what you will take to your account as genuine income. So, the movement of Bafarawa, Shekarau and others out of the party will not affect its winning chances significantly because the party is not about big names but it was structured in such a way that the commoners take precedence over everybody in the party. The party is structured in such a way that its leadership comes from bottom to top not from top to bottom as obtained in other political parties. I can tell you with every confidence that their movement has no impact whatsoever on the party. This is because we believe the common man will determine what becomes of the party in the forth coming election.
So I will tell you with certainty that the so-called big names can leave the party but in all fairness, the party will try to ensure that the local man determines what happens to the party. That is why we want to institutionalize leadership from grassroots to the last echelon of the party so that whatever happens, they have the say, they are the final judges and they will take decisions on how the party should be governed. It is an all inclusive structure whereby all members of the party must have a say in what happens to the party; how will the party be governed in each state and the federal level.
On PDP’s chances
What I will tell Nigerians is that it will be difficult at this point in time for anybody particularly in the North and South West to talk about PDP because PDP has failed this country, PDP has created insecurity, in the country, PDP has made life for the citizenry very difficult. It is only in PDP administration that the president who claims to be voted for by the people will go to a state, and journalists and local residents will be locked in their houses for hours without going about their businesses. They were barred from fending for their families.
I don’t know which kind of country we are in, are we under a civilian dictatorship or are we under a democratic set up? Even during the military regime, when I was young in school, when General Yakubu Gowon came to my state, we lined up on the streets and received the head of state but under democratic governance, a president will come to a state and the people will be asked to remain indoors.
He was also in Bauchi recently and the Bauchi people were asked to remain indoors for hours. It is unbecoming of the president but we shall see who will come to the north east and say let us vote for Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. That is the time we will tell them that enough is enough. It is either you go to the south south and vote him in his state or you should not come to the north and tell us to vote for Jonathan because he has not lived up to the expectation of Nigerians. He has conducted himself as a dictator;
He has conducted himself as one person that is living up to the peoples expectation . PDP or no PDP I don’t think anybody can come to the north and say lets vote for PDP particularly in the presidential election.
It will be so difficult and Nigerians will resist that with the last drop of their blood because if you look at the history of the revolution in Iran, the people came out in force, the military continued to shoot until such a time they felt they can no longer kill and maim people. Then , they dropped their arms and joined the people. Nigeria is moving towards that and the Arab spring will soon come to Nigeria, the locals will come out to the streets and say enough is enough and will be the revolutionary change for Nigeria.
Coming to Adamawa state, I could not understand why somebody like Marwa will like to pitch tent with the PDP, the party that he so denounced and came to CPC. It is very unfortunate and it tells you that the leadership we have is selfish and is not there to provide leadership for the people but what they can get for themselves and their families. So I can tell you we are not deterred by the movement but as a politician I know the number of people you have in your armoury will give you the strength that will make you to be comfortable of winning elections. Be that as it may, if they feel that is the best option for them because they are matured minds and they are people that can determine their future, they can take their destinies in their hands.
We were told that Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was removed from CBN because he exposed the theft of about S49b and this is the money they will use in buying our members and other northerners. They will also use the money to coerce the people into voting PDP. The unfortunate thing is that they feel confident to use that money safely to buy Nigerians. They can be financially empowered but this time around the people will give them a run for that money. But if Gundiri feels that he cannot pitch tent with APC in Adamawa state because he is trying to align with sentiments, I don’t know why Marwa will also do that. But it is not surprising that people like Marwa are taking such decisions because if you observe very closely, you will notice that Marwa’s political value has been diminishing over time. So, their exit won’t affect our party’s fortune in any form.
And another thing that is gratifying is that while people like Marwa are leaving APC, people like the former vice president Atiku Abubakar are coming into its fold which tells you that the party is growing from strength to strength and these are gladiators that we need in Adamawa state and Nigeria. These are people that many have confidence in:; they are industrious people who are employers of labour; people
that have provided succor to many common people; these are the people
that will add real value to our party.
Resolving internal hiccups in APC arising from the conduct of congresses leading to National Convention
I can tell you that there are no hiccups and even if there is any, it is normal in a democratic set up. People will always try to manoeuvre their ways to ensure that they have an edge over their colleagues who are in the same fold with them. APC came into being following the resolution of different political parties to jettison their initial political leanings, denounced their political affiliations and withdrew their parties’ registration before APC came on board. Definitely, he who pays the piper dictates the tune, so each group wants to exert influence over others.
But I can tell you that our rules are sacrosanct and everybody has to abide by them. And I want to tell you that any branch or state chapter of the party that constitutes an executive before the congresses is embarking on exercise in futility. The action is a nullity and unacceptable to the party. We have guidelines and our guidelines stipulate the time and days of the congresses and people that are going to contest will be allowed to take themselves to the electorates and members of the party at the polling booth , all registered members are going to cast their votes.
Anyone that feels he is popular should go to his constituency and show his popularity that is what APC is all about. It is about whom you are and what you can do to your constituency so that you can also project your constituency higher and higher and make sure you bring dividends of democracy and development to your constituency.No tags for this post.