The recent appointment of Suleiman Nuhu Kuki as the Executive Director of Katsina State Pilgrims Board by governor Aminu Masari has been generating discordant tunes among some old members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who have viewed such appointment as one too many for new entrants into the party.
Kuki, popularly known as Katangar Shema (wall of Shema), had served under the former PDP-led administration in various capacities as a civil servant and later, as an appointee.
Aside Kuki, there are several other defectors and other top civil servants that were perceived to have worked with the former PDP administration but now occupying prominent positions under the present APC administration.
This action has led to agitation from some core and founding members of the APC in the state who have accused the “new comers” of reaping from where they did not sow
Daily Trust Saturday learnt that among some of the appointments that have not gone down well with those agitating, include those of two serving commissioners and Head of Service.
They include that of Local Government and Chieftaincy, Umar Yau Gwajo Gwajo and his Water Resources counterpart, Musa Adamu Funtua as well as the state’s Head of Service, Idris Tune, who was a former permanent secretary Government House during former Governor Shema’s administration.
Others include some recently promoted civil servants who held political offices during the past administration but returned to the service with some even getting elevation to the post permanent secretaries.
Among them were the likes of Mannir Ibrahim Talba, a former commissioner during Shema; Talatu Nasir , a onetime PDP Board of Trustee member who is now a Permanent Secretary.
Former Special Adviser to Shema, Bilkisu Kaikai was also reinstated into service as a Director alongside Amina Gachi, a former commissioner, Women Affairs, who is now working at the state’s Teachers’ Board.
Another appointment that seems not to have gone down well with the ‘core’ APC members include that of the present Government House Permanent Secretary, Falalu Bawale who was at one time Head of Shema’s Shonghai Agricultural Project.
Rabiu Ruma, a strong ally of former Governor Shema is now a Permanent Secretary at Higher Education ministry.
The then factional APC Akida was first to raise alarm over alleged preferential treatment being given to the new entrants while the loyal APC members were being, sidelined in terms of juicy appointments.
The senator representing Katsina North (Daura), Senator Ahmed Babba Kaita, who also added his voice to the development via his social media platforms, said it was a misnomer for those who recently decamped to the party to be rewarded with juicy positions at the detriment of old members.
This was later followed by a strong letter and message sent out by a former Special Adviser to Minister of Sports, Maiwada Danmallam, accusing the party of ignoring founding members and favouring the new entrants with juicy positions.
Danmallam, in the statement, stressed the need for the APC to put its house in order or risk losing the state in future elections.
According to him, the APC in Katsina was digging its own grave by sidelining its founding members and favouring fresh defectors through juicy appointments.
He noted that some of the new entrants being rewarded with juicy appointments were those that worked against the party in past elections.
“The newly appointed Executive Secretary of Pilgrims Board is truly a gentleman as many people averred; but being a gentleman is only part of the requirements for a political office especially in a tricky and unreliable situation as the APC/PDP situation in Katsina State.
“There are other critical considerations which the new ES did not fulfill, with the top most being his role as a leading PDP figure that fought APC/Masari with all at his disposal to see power was retained by PDP/Shema. Isn’t the government being insensitive by rewarding and restocking the armory of its political enemies at the expense of its loyal members that are gradually being politically disarmed and quietly eased out of political relevance after paying their dues in full” he said.
He wondered why the APC would bypass competent and qualified loyal party members that could hold key positions only to appoint PDP members who had just joined the fold.
“I use to think loyalty to party and candidates in addition to competence are the deciding factors in this matter. I’m no longer sure.
“The foreseeable backlash is, while APC cannot be sure of the loyalty of the newly poached members being pampered with appointments and patronage, it should be aware it is concurrently eroding the confidence and support of the competent hands that checkmated a sitting Governor and gave power to it with an unimaginable margin of victory,” he said.
A member of APC-Akida, Al-Amin Isa said there was no way one would just come into a party newly and be placed above those who were there ever since from the beginning.
“The issue is that all these appointees have closer relationships with other PDP members having been friends for long and as such, they would tend to extend their favour to such people too.
“Even the governor’s close allies are PDP men; we are not saying do away with them but they should consider loyal APC men first and foremost.
“We have kicked against this since APC Akida days; we were cajoled and returned only to be seeing this. Some founding members like MT Usman, Sadiq Yar’adua were all swept away. The way forward is to holistically seat and address issues. You can’t approach 2023 like this. All the ills we accused the PDP (of doing) are being carried out or even worse presently in the APC.
“There is no greater anti-party than placing a new comer above a founding member of a party. They should tell us when these people returned to the party officially. It is just showing that PDP is just in control in Katsina”, he said
But speaking on the matter, the state APC chairman, Shitu Shitu said people failed to understand that the APC was a party formed from merger of several parties, noting that the success of the party was based on that.
“As such, the point is to pinpoint few and said they struggle above others is baseless and everyone played his role. Even based on Islamic teaching, there are people perceived as unbelievers who fought against the Prophet but were forgiven immediately and accommodated no sooner they returned”, he said
He said the opposition politics in Katsina was championed by Masari but that they were people who also contributed to the success of the party both secretly and openly.
“The massive votes Buhari and Masari got in the last elections, were they only from APC members? These people and others were among those that contributed. They decamped after realizing the truth and worked for us”, he said.
He said, “The governor cannot come out to tell the world what they offered secretly and even him was appointed and left unceremoniously. It’s God that appoints at his will and time. The governor’s decision is right”
“Even the Senator, was he among the forerunners of Buhari’s promoters in this area? Was it not Kangiwa, but God gave him the position”, he said
For the State Chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Salisu Majigiri, said the unfolding events was just a tip of iceberg and the ruling party should be ready to face its consequences, adding that “what goes around comes around.”
He said politicians and contractors moved across parties because of greed and lack of political ideology adding that: “They are many seeking for favours and the ruling party sees that giving them such positions was a way to weaken the opposition”.
“They were lured with juicy stuffs to make them cross over and that is what the people don’t see or know”
“These types of politicians are always looking to remain relevant by being in government at all times; we in politics refer them to as Internally Displaced Politicians who go for selfish interest against the party and the common man. They are always mobile”, he said.
He said “ It may surprise you to know that most of these decampees are yet to return our membership cards, showing you that they are ready again to return to us when we get power. We dare them to return our cards officially if they can”.