Crisis has engulfed Gombe State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) following a battle of wits by some party bigwigs seeking to take control of party machinery in the state.
The crisis began to emerge last week following a purported dismissal of a member representing Akko Federal Constituency, Usman Bello Kumo, by Kumo East Ward chairman of the APC, Musa Barade, over alleged anti-party activities.
Among the allegations levelled against the lawmaker that led to his ‘expulsion’ from the APC, was a car gift to a member of the party, Garba Inuwa Gona, “as a reward for allegedly insulting Senator Danjuma Goje on a local radio station.”
In a letter he addressed to the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole dated March 30, he cited indiscipline, anti-party and creation of factions in the APC at Kumo in Akko LGA as some of the offences committed by Rep Kumo.
However, on seeing the purported letter, secretary of the ward, Shuaibu Adamu led 19 other executives to disassociate themselves from the said expulsion of the lawmaker from the party.
Adamu alleged that their signatures were forged by the ward chairman, Barade, “for reasons best known to him.”
They instead suspended Barade for six months for allegedly forging their signatures in the letter circulated to the media.
Also, the chairman of APC in Akko LGA, Alhaji Waziri Jabbo, said the party executives at the local government level were neither informed nor were they consulted when Barade unilaterally announced the dismissal of Kumo.
What led to the crisis?
Findings by our correspondent revealed that the controversies that led to the purported dismissal of Kumo started at Kumo town in March during the flag-off of a youth and women empowerment programme initiated by the legislator.
During the event, attended by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Wase and Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya among other top government functionaries, Usman Kumo and other chieftains of the party addressed Governor Yahaya as leader of the APC in Gombe.
Prior to the 2019 elections that brought Inuwa Yahaya to power on May 29, 2019, Senator Goje was the leader of the APC in the state, being the highest ranking party member in the state.
An APC stalwart said with Yahaya’s inauguration as governor of the state, going by the APC constitution, he automatically became the leader of the party in the state.
However, people were not addressing him as such in public gatherings out of respect for Senator Goje.
“As such, when Bello Kumo and others addressed the governor as leader of the party, those in Goje’s camp picked offence,” the party chieftain said, pleading not to be named.
He said it was the development that made some party members to pay for airtime on local radio stations, attacking and insulting Kumo and his associates for daring to call the governor, the state APC leader.
Contacted, the State Chairman of the APC, Mr Nitte Amangal faulted the expulsion of the lawmaker.
He said the party leadership has directed their members to stop attacking each other on local media stations in the state.
Amangal added that a committee will be constituted to resolve the differences and misunderstanding between members of the party in the state.
Senator Goje and Rep Kumo are from Akko LGA and apart from Goje, Kumo is the second most popular politician from the area, being a former chairman of the LGA.
With a decision of Goje to retire from contesting for elective positions, observers are of the view that Kumo will likely take over as political leader of Akko LGA or even Gombe Central District.