State chairmen of the All Progressives Congress and some national officers have registered their disappointment with the national leadership of the party over the inability of @mbuhari to reward party members.The party officials lamented that members, who worked for APC’s victory in the 2015 general elections, have been neglected almost two years after the polls.
The state chairmen and national officers, under the aegis of Non-National Working Committee members, in their separate communications to the APC leadership and President Buhari, also decried the delay by the party in filling vacant positions in the state executives across the country.
It was gathered that the 36 state chairmen of the APC and their Federal Capital Territory counterpart made their position known during a meeting with the party’s NWC in Abuja on Tuesday.The forum of non-NWC, on its part, registered its displeasure in a letter signed by National Ex-officio and coordinator of the forum, Hon. Omolaoye Akintola.
The forum argued that its members, who worked assiduously for the success of the party during the 2015 presidential election, had been neglected and marginalised in decision-making in the party.The national officers also decried the exclusion of a sizeable number of federating states from the scheme of things within the party as many states are presently not represented in the NWC.
The forum, in the letter copied to the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; former Interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande; National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governors Abubakar Yari (Zamfara) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo) as well as the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, among others, called on President Buhari to take interest in the affairs of the party before it was too late.The letter read in part, “We, therefore, deemed it necessary putting this letter across to Your Excellency, President Buhari, for your timely actions to save our great party from preventable, avoidable and unnecessary intra-party/in-house cracks that the present situation might generate.
“We wish to state that should things be allowed to continue in this manner, it will affect the party in the future and give room to NWC to completely neglect other NEC (National Executive Committee) members in the forthcoming appointments into boards and parastatals of government that were aimed to empower and keep the welfare of the party officials and others committed members at various levels.
“We all worked hard towards the success of our party during elections and we are still doing the best we can (though no motivation) to sustain the tempo.“We, therefore, call for equal and adequate reward by way of appointments as chairmen and members of boards and parastatals.
“We also submit that the welfare of other members be given priority as once opined and observed by the President, where he observed during our last NEC meeting that the welfare of party officials is paramount because of the sacrifice they made and the risk in not doing so.”
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who confirmed the displeasure expressed by the state chairmen, said, “The issue the chairmen raised was the issue of reward for party members.
“They expressed concern that the party members have not been properly rewarded. So, when we meet with the governors, we will discuss that by setting up a committee to look into their complaints.”
He explained that the committee would be made up of two chairmen from each of the six geopolitical zones.
The party, however, told journalists that a committee would be constituted after a meeting of the NWC with APC governors to resolve the issues raised.
The meeting, according to him, would on Wednesday.
On the meeting with the state party chairmen, Abdullahi said it was meant to appraise the party and the on-going membership registration.He also acknowledged that the need to replace some party officials, who have left for one reason or the other, was equally discussed at the meeting.
“We met with all state chairmen of our party across the 36 states of the federation and FCT. One of the key issues we discussed was the state congresses. We need to fill vacant positions in the state executives across the country.“Vacancies that resulted after some people have been appointed, died, resigned or gone to another party. We also discussed the details of how and when these congresses would be held and modalities for these congresses. “Another issue we discussed was the issue of membership registration and issue of sustainable platform for party funding across the country.”
Meanwhile, five members of the APC NWC are among party members jostling for the governorship tickets of the party in their respective states.
It was learnt that the NWC members aspiring to govern their states include the Deputy National Chairman (South), Engr. Segun Oni (Ekiti); National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni (Yobe); the National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu (Anambra), National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi (Kwara) and National Youth Leader, Hon. Ibrahim Dasuki Jalo (Gombe).While the governorship election in Anambra and Ekiti states will hold this year and 2018, respectively, the other three will hold in 2019.
Anambra State is currently governed by the All Progressive Grand Alliance; Ekiti and Gombe states are governed by the Peoples Democratic Party, while Kwara and Yobe states are under APC control.Moghalu, a former national secretary of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party and its governorship candidate in the 2007 elections, is expected to battle for the APC governorship ticket in Anambra State with the likes of Senator Andy Uba, Dr. Chike Obidigbo, Chief Ifeanyi Ubah and others.
In Ekiti, where the governorship election is expected to hold next year, the APC Deputy National Chairman and former governor of Ekiti State, Oni, will contest the party’s governorship ticket with other party chieftains.
Already, about 36 aspirants have indicated interest to contest for the APC governorship ticket in Ekiti State.In Kwara State, where the governorship election will hold in 2019, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi, will have to surmount the hurdle posed by two members of the House Representatives from the state, Zakari Mohammed and Razaq Atunwa, and former national secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje.
In Gombe, the APC National Youth Leader, Jalo, who is a son in-law to a former governor of the state, Senator Danjuma Goje, will contest the governorship ticket with Inuwa Muhammad Yahaya, Abubakar Habu Mu’azu, Abdullahi Idris Umar and Farouk Bamusa.
The national secretary, Buni, is contesting for the governorship seat in Yobe State.
According to a source at the National Headquarters of APC in Abuja, the respective governorship ambitions of the NWC members, is partly responsible for the row between them and their state governors.The party source, who preferred anonymity, said, “For some governors, the NWC members should be relieved of their duties, so that they could go and pursue their governorship ambitions.”