APC crisis: Akande’s letter provokes northern leaders

APC crisis: Akande’s letter provokes northern leaders

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Fresh acts on Tuesday indicated that the
national caucus meeting of the All Progressives
Congress scheduled for Monday was cancelled
because of the suspicion within the party.
I was learnt that the APC leadership
called off the meeting because of reported anger
of some leaders of the ruling party in the north
at insinuations by Chief Bisi Akande that they
were behind the crisis in the party.
Akande, a former interim national chairman of
the APC, had in a letter made public on Monday
alleged, among other things, that, “Most
Northern elite, the Nigerian oil subsidy barons
and other business cartels, who never liked
(President Muhammadu) Buhari’s anti-corruption
political stance, are quickly backing up the
rebellion against APC with strong support.”
A member of the party’s caucus from the North-
East geopolitical zone, who spoke on condition
of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the
matter, said it would have been a rancorous
session if the caucus meeting had held in what
he described as “such an atmosphere of mutual
suspicion.”
The party leader, who in fact said he would have
spoken on the record if not for the fence-
mending efforts being made by other leaders of
the party, said, “We (northerners) are unhappy
about Chief (Bisi) Akande’s outburst. It was
unnecessary because we are all trying to put out
a fire that is threatening to consume our house.
And when you have a respected leader and elder
making such unguarded statements it does not
help.
“I personally hold Chief Akande in high esteem
but what he wrote in that letter was nothing
short of an insult on our collective sensibilities.
How can you single out a section of your party
and call them criminals who were supporting
rebels to destroy the party we all built? This is
most unexpected and uncharitable to say the
least.”
Also, a chieftain of the APC, Alhaji Kawu Baraje,
on Tuesday, described as unfortunate, the
statement by Akande.
Baraje, in a statement in Abuja, said he was
disappointed that Akande who had led the party
and served as a state governor could author a
statement in which he was allegedly seeking to
divide the nation by setting the North against
the South-West.
The APC leader, who once served as the national
chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, said,
“I do not know where Chief Akande and his
cohorts are getting this unsubstantiated
information they are circulating. We challenge
them to provide proof and let Nigerians make
their judgment.
“Akande and co believe that they have exclusive
right to determine who occupies what position in
today’s Nigeria and whoever tries to challenge
their position must be subjected to savage
attack in the media. That tactic is definitely
undemocratic.
“I have known Chief Akande to be an honest
man. I got the shock of my life when he alleged
that I had a meeting in my house with ‘some old
and new PDP members with a view to hijacking
the National Assembly’ through the aspiration of
Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President.
“I have been quiet as a leader so as to not to be
seen as taking sides because of my closeness to
Dr. Saraki, else people will read meaning into it.
“Akande has been playing a role which I admire.
He will recall that he met some actors, with a
governor from the North-West and a leader of
the party from the South-West, where the leader
from the South-West was cautioned to be
reasonable in this crisis.
“He (Akande) supported the view of the governor
from the North-West that the particular leader
from the South-West should be admonished for
his action. It is therefore surprising that Akande
is now being economical with the truth and
painting a picture that exists only in his
imagination.”
Baraje said the allegation by Akande that a
purported meeting took place in his (Baraje’s)
house after the general elections, where “a so-
called new PDP group plotted with a view to
hijacking the National Assembly…with an
ultimate aim of resuscitating the PDP as their
future political platform” was a mere fabrication.
Our correspondents learnt that renewed peace
moves were being made in the party and that the
party leaders were hoping that they would before
Friday achieve an atmosphere conducive to
holding the APC NEC meeting.
The APC NEC meeting was shifted from Tuesday
(yesterday) to Friday to enable party leaders to
engage in further consultations.
A top member of the APC National Working
Committee, who did not want his name
mentioned, said that the meeting was postponed
to allow tempers to go down.
“All leaders are in touch with one another and I
can assure you that the crisis will be resolved on
Friday,” the party source said.
However, the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator
Bala Ibn Na’Allah, himself a northerner, had
defended Akande on Monday. Na’Allah said
Akande must have been misquoted.
The senator said, “Chief Bisi Akande is a highly
respected senior member of this country and I
am not so sure he had not been misquoted on
that issue. Even where it exists, I am absolutely
sure that it cannot be the correct statement on
the situation.
“The North holds every section of this country
high; we detest the idea of even labelling us as
North because we have passed that stage with
the current development in our country.
“We are a united country whether we like it or
not with some few interests being defined at
different levels of our governance but as far as
Nigeria is concerned, I don’t want to believe that
there is any conspiracy.
“If there is any conspiracy on the part of the
North, what made you think that the conspiracy
will involve bringing somebody from the Peoples
Democratic Party and from the South-East to
become the deputy senate president?”
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the
APC, Mr. Timi Frank, on Tuesday, confirmed that
the party’s National Executive Committee would
meet in Abuja on Friday to thrash out all issues
affecting the party.
“We are holding our NEC meeting on Friday and I
am sure all our issues will be thrashed out and
the party will come out stronger,” Frank said.

Source. The Punch

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