52 Senators, Reps, others to stand firm
APC: no faction
LEADERS WHO MAY GO
REPS WHO WILL STAY
The plot to cause a split in the All Progressives Congress(APC) has suffered a major setback, with some leaders of the party refusing to join the Reformed All Progressives Congress(R-APC).
Some bigwigs, who have opted to remain in APC, include former Governor Abdullahi Adamu; former Governor Aliyu Wammako; former Governor Danjuma Goje; former Governor Adamu Aliero; former Governor Kabiru Gaya; Governor Abdullahi Ganduje; Governor Yahaya Bello and Governor Jibrilla Bindow. There are several others.
Joining some of the APC chieftains, including those who were in new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), are over 184 Representatives and no fewer than 52 senators in the Parliamentary Support Group (PSG).
The APC leaders prefer to remain in the party to chart their own political path instead of teaming up with Senate President Bukola Saraki, House Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, some senators and members of the House to nurture the R-APC.
It was also learnt that the PSG leaders in the National Assembly met Wednesday evening to rally against the R-APC’s anti-President Muhammadu Buhari plot.
“Many APC members do not buy the idea of forming R-APC to “settle scores and promote self-aggrandisement,” a source said yesterday.
The source, who spoke in confidence, said the political outlook and permutations do not favour R-APC
The source said: “Unlike the case in 2014, there is a crack in the nPDP (now transformed into R-APC) and it does not have the number to cause any upset in the ruling APC. The factionalisation plot is dead on arrival because of sheer ambition.
“There was wholesale merger/ defection in 2014 by nPDP to APC but some of these leaders prefer to remain in APC. Ex-Governors Wammako, Goje, Aliero and Abdullahi Adamu, among others have distanced themselves from R-APC which is being promoted only by three leaders.
“Some APC leaders are also aware of the ultimate goal of R-APC leaders to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) if the terms of their current negotiation are acceptable. They cannot understand why they will be in R-APC (a transit camp) today and hop to PDP the next day.
“A few R-APC leaders are confused. They seek refuge in PDP and African Democratic Congress (ADC) at the same time. For instance, while Kwankwaso has been having talks with PDP, there are indications that he is more at home with ADC, already adopted by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s group just for the sake of a presidential ticket.”
In Sokoto State, Wammako has made it clear that he will not join forces with Governor Tambuwal in R-APC to destabilise APC
“All the three senators and six out of 11 members of the House of Representatives have shunned the bait from Governor Tambuwal to join R-APC. They have pitched tent with their leader, ex-Governor Aliyu Wammako,” the source said.
In Kano, two out of the three senators and 14 of the 24 House of Representatives members “have left Kwankwaso to his fate”. They are in alliance with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.”
A former governor said yesterday: “I do not have an uncertain political future; I remain in APC and not any other group.”
APC is said not to be threatened by the R-APC. This, said the sources, is because “as some of these leaders are leaving, the APC is also gaining more members, including Sen. Hope Uzodinma and Sen. John Enoh. “Sen. Sunday Ogbuoji from Ebonyi have also defected from PDP to our party,” he said, adding:
“In fact, there is a prospect of an alliance pact between APC and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as part of looking into the future.”
The source confirmed that some party leaders, senators and Representatives may leave APC due to political aspirations and other interests.
Some of those who may go include, Dr. Saraki; Speaker Yakubu Dogara; ex-Governor Murtala Nyako; Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso; Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu; Sen. Isa Misau; Sen. Dino Melaye; Sen. Soji Akanbi; Sen. Muhammed Shitu; Sen. Shehu Sani: Sen. Suleiman Hunkuyi; Sen. Mohammed Sha’aba Lafiagi; Sen. Rafiu Ibrahim; Sen. Kabiru Marafa; and Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.
Some of these leaders from Bauchi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Oyo and Jigawa have “irreconcilable differences” with their governors. A few others are no longer wanted by their constituents. Some are ambitious; others have been committed to nPDP instead of the APC right from 2015 and others have local peculiarities, The Nation learnt.
“Ordinarily, Nyako does not have business with R-APC but because of local politics in Adamawa State, he has chosen to leave APC. For example, Sen. Soji Akanbi from Oyo State wants to be a governor and he may adopt another party to realise his ambition.”
“Speaker Dogara has the same local challenge and also his political fate is tied to his mentor, Governor Tambuwal. Tambuwal is said to have made up his mind to leave APC because of his presidential ambition.
“There are issues in Kaduna, Jigawa and Kogi states which have forced R-APC leaders to hibernate elsewhere,” the source said.
Members of the PSG on Wednesday met in Abuja on how to stop R-APC members’ plot against President Buhari in the National Assembly.
The breakdown of the senators in the Upper Chamber is as follows: APC 65; PDP 39; APGA two; dead senators (two) and senator in prison (one).
A ranking senator said: “The PSG can mobilize at least 52 senators and over 184 members of the House of Representatives to curtail the political rampage of the R-APC leaders.
“We have done our homework to put the President in good stead and be able to concentrate on his job. We will not take things for granted.
“This was why we met on Wednesday to take stock and put counter-measures in place against R-APC members.”
In an interview yesterday, a respected member of the APC in the Northeast said R-APC leader Buba Galadima fell out with Buhari when the President decided to expand his political base out of the old CPC conclave in 2015.
Now Kwankwaso’s acolyte, Galadima was among those whose sectional antics ensured Buhari lost three times before 2015. People like him lost relevance the moment Buhari opted to reach out outside the old Northwest base.
*In Benin yesterday, the report of the involvement of Kassim Afegbua, erstwhile media aide to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, was dismissed as “comic relief”.
An APC leader from Edo North said: “I am not surprised at all that Afegbua would seek relevance by joining them (R-APC).
“He was rehabilitated by Oshiomhole with an appointment in Edo State between 2012 and 2016.
“In the APC primary in 2016, whereas his boss was backing Godwin Obaseki, he betrayed him by working for another aspirant who lost woefully.
“Rather than sack him, Oshiomhole was magnanimous enough to retain him as Information Commissioner. Well, you could explain his working for a different candidate as his democratic right. But guess what, when Obaseki became a candidate in 2016, he decided to work for opposition PDP.
“Just imagine the lack of honour and principle. How do you place such a person? So, for us in Edo, we are just laughing. Edo APC is 100 per cent for and behind Oshiomhole. “