The recent formation of the rAPC, a splinter group within the All Progressives Congress (APC), has attracted mixed reactions.
In this interview, Secretary of the Plateau State chapter of the party, Barrister Bashir Musa Sati, accuses members of the rAPC of operating an illegal political party.
MUHAMMAD TANKO SHITTU reports.
The APC is now said to be factionalised at the national level, what is the situation here in Plateau State? Those involved with the rAPC are mainly Abuja-based politicians, who have no contingent plans other than to create confusion for selfish reasons.
They are seeking for opportunities to cause confusion and factionalise the APC.
Notwithstanding their desperate attempt, the APC is still one indivisible party, so the ‘r,or b, or c,’ or whatever name they have given to themselves is mere a nomenclature and they are just there on their own.
Plateau people are law abiding and if there is one state that practices democracy in Nigeria we are one.
In Plateau State, we don’t have any division in the APC.
We are united under the leadership Governor Simon Lalong, and able chairmanship of Honourable Latep Dabang.
As far as we are concerned, members of the acclaimed ‘rAPC,’ are the gathering of an illegal group.
They are persons working on illegality, because they are not recognized by the law, they are not recognized by the INEC.
I understand they have gone, which good but what locus standi do they have to go to court? What justification do they have to demand nullification of the states and national executives of the APC, whose congresses and convention were monitored by the electoral umpire itself? We cannot be distracted by them; they are attention seekers and they are renegades.
The state PDP has joined its national leadership to protest against alleged use of the Police to intimidate Ekiti electorate during Saturday’s governorship election, what is your take on this? This is one area many Nigerians especially the journalists do not quite get right.
The common understanding is that once a government is in power all the security apparatus are directly answerable to that government.
But this is not true, the police have their laws, they have the Police Act.
Any violation of the Police Act is a violation of the law of the land.
This applies to all, including the President if he violates the Police Act, he will be charged for the violation of the law because the Police Act is recognized by the Nigerian constitution.
The Police have gone out to perform their primary duties of protecting lives and properties of People in Ekiti State as directed by the Inspector General of Police.
The police personnel were not directed by the APC.
It is wrong for people to believe that simply because we have an APC-led federal government the IGP is answerable to the APC.
This is not correct.
The Police must have noted palpable tension in the State and so saw the need to provide adequate man power to ensure that havoc was not wrecked on the people as well as ensure that our democratic principles were sustained.
It is sad that rather than appreciate their efforts some people chose to complain and assume that the Police are not proactive.
If the Police did not take precaution and eventually the untoward happened it is still the people that will accused the Police of not being up and doing in their responsibilities.
Remember that Governor Ayodele Fasyose, is fully under the protection of the Police, in his house, in his office and even on the street, so what he has said against the police are just the fragment of his imagination.
Acting an ugly scene just to give the Police a bad name is most unfortunate.
It is a shame for him as a leader and governor to resort to such act meant only to cause confusion.
I think there is no point for the PDP state chapter to join the protest.
The charade should have ended at the national level of the party.
What is the position of the state APC as regards the recent impeachment of the Speaker of the State House of Assembly? Impeachment in the legislature is not a new thing.
Primarily, the legislature has the responsibility to look into the performances of its members, question them and if found wanting remove any member to pave for a more competent member to assume that duty.
Of course, Rt.
Peter Azi is not the first Speaker that has being impeached and he will not be the last in the history of democracy in Plateau State and Nigeria in general.
I want to believe that the legislators have done what they felt was the thing to do.
Whether their reasons were genuine or not only the members know better.
Does that speak well for the party and Lalong’s ledgovernment? We have to understand the concept of democracy which we are practicing.
It allows for separation of powers.
The party is the supreme body that produces the legislature and the executives, so in a situation where the legislators feel that within its legislative powers the right thing is being done or they decided to take decisions, I think the party cannot force them to do otherwise.
In the light of this, we have to allow them to uphold and strengthened the tenet of its democratic principles and as such maintain its rightful positions.
At times if issues come to us we normally offer advice and let the House to take the final decision.
When the issue of the impeachment cropped up there was no room for consultations and negotiations.
The circumstances that warranted the action of the House did not create room for recourse to the party.
We were unable to do anything, we have had situations in other houses of Assemblies, were not been able to resolves their issue within the ambit of law, and had resorted to exchange of blows.
But ours was done within the confine of the legislative rights, even though not too appreciable but it better than throwing ourselves in public ridicule.
The state government, led by Governor Simon Lalong, being a grassroots politician understands the concept of separation of powers, in fact even the French philosopher who propounded the theory I think he understand the concept better than Lalong.
The Governor did not stop at the theoretical aspects, being a former Speaker himself and lawyer he is acquainted with the processes at the judiciary, simple allow the due process to take its course.
The issue therefore did not pose any challenge to him.
What impact do you think the new Speaker, Rt.
Joshua Madaki, will make on the House? The new Speaker was the legal advice of the APC, before he became a legislator and he was able to advice and directs the party appropriately.
So I want to believe that he has also the prerequisite it takes to be a very good Speaker, and it is not only about APC or PDP but it is about the People of Plateau State.
An elder statesman a Politician Alhaji Sale Hassan, has just passed on, how would you described him? Late Sale Hassan was my father, he and my father were very closed friends, they were in politics together.
Therefore, I am a member of the family.
We lost have lost a great nationalist, a man of high principle, a leader that has left a vacuum that can hardly be filled by present crops of politicians.
He was a leader that stood by his words, who led by example and he was leader for all irrespective of tribe or religious differences, and may God grant him Aljannatil Firdaus.