Recent happenings in the Bauchi State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have exposed the party’s inability to put its house in order and consolidate its strength as the ruling party.
The crisis within the APC in Bauchi State has added another dimension to a seeming disagreement between the party’s leadership, some groups within the party, and some elected representatives.
Pundits believe that few months after defeating the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, some chieftains of the new ruling party are allegedly yet to come to terms with their success.
Instead, they have allegedly plunged the Bauchi APC into an avoidable ‘class conflict’ in which some prominent members and leadership of the party are at loggerheads.
The crisis within the party came to the fore when a group called ‘Buhari Coalition on Peace and Support for Justice’, recently threatened to recall two APC senators after accusing them of hobnobbing with the PDP to undermine the party.
The Senators, Ali Wakili (APC, Bauchi South) and Isah Hamma Misau (APC, Bauchi Central) were accused by the group of allegedly flouting party’s directives during the Senate leadership election at the inauguration of the 8th Assembly.
According to the group, the disposition of Wakili and Misau towards the success of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President had undermined the sanctity of the APC as a ruling government at the centre.
Addressing a press conference, the group’s coordinator, Aliyu Sa’idu Abubakar said: “What we intend to do is to warn them and call them to order. It is the first step that we are going to take. The recall option will be taken if they refuse to abide by what we tell them to do. We had a meeting of like minds and discussed the issues concerning our senators.
“Our party, the APC, had given them directive on what to do, but they went there (Senate) and did what they think will benefit them. So, we in Bauchi, the citizens of Bauchi State voted for them not because of what they are or what they have. We voted for them because they are in APC and the directive given by President Muhammadu Buhari was for us “to vote for APC candidates from top to bottom.”
However, in a recent interview, Senator Ali Wakili countered the claim by the group.
He said the people that were planning their recall were the same people sponsored by the PDP to malign him even before the elections.
He referred to members of the group as a horde of power mongers and non-entities in Bauchi APC, adding that he owes them no apology over what he did in the Senate, which according to him was his own discretion, guaranteed by the constitution and the Senate Rules.
Another pointer to the escalating internal wrangling within the Bauchi APC was the resignation of Musa Adamu Lar, its zonal vice chairman (Southern zone).
His resignation had reportedly jolted the party’s leadership because it was taken off guard.
Lar, who addressed journalists before submitting his resignation to the party, accused its leadership at the state level of derailing from its real objectives.
His resignation letter, dated 11th September 2015, which was copied to the National chairman of the party and other stakeholders, said he opted to resign due to bad leadership which has led to loss of confidence by most of its members.
He said: “I have been compelled to resign in view of the prevailing circumstances and political realities of present day Bauchi State APC, as well as dictates of the moment.
“Our great and supposedly popular party lacks good leadership to the extent that most card carrying and loyal members, unsuspecting electorate and by extension the generality of Bauchi populace, have lost confidence in our stewardship.”
He thereafter handed over the letter to the state executive.
Immediately after Lar’s resignation, the state chairman of the APC, Alhaji Uba Nana, picked hole in the reasons offered by the angered zonal vice chairman.
He said Lar erred for jumping to conclusion without consulting his immediate constituency or the party’s leadership.
He said the resignation came to them as a surprise because Lar tendered the letter in a meeting where all the party executives throughout the state where in attendance, discussing the problems of the party and the way forward.
“He brought a letter to the party’s office, although we don’t know what exactly happened, but he has stated some reasons for his decision.
“However, the party is still not satisfied about the reasons which led to this situation. At the time he brought the letter, the leadership of the party was having a meeting about how we would move forward,” he said.
The chairman said immediately after receiving the resignation letter, the party set up a committee which met with the aggrieved vice chairman in order to find out what really forced him to take the decision.
“As a person who has the right to take personal decisions, he has the right to do what he did; but we must find out the real reason, because there is no crisis or anything within the party that might have prompted his decision,” he said.
But few days after, there was a twist when Lar’s attempt to reverse his resignation after a stakeholders meeting from Bauchi-south, which reportedly held at Senator Wakili’s residence, was rejected by the party’s leadership.
The state chapter of the APC insisted that it has already approved Lar’s resignation and had taken a decision to appoint an interim zonal vice chairman in his place.
The state APC chairman also allayed fears being expressed that the party may slide into a major crisis as a result of the seeming disenchantment of some of its members.
He added that what was happening in the party stems from its attempt to reposition itself after its victory in order to face the challenges ahead.
He said that such happenings are common in a democracy, stressing that they help a lot in strengthening the party, by entertaining varied opinions.
While the purported faceoff between the two APC senators and the group that was threatening them with a recall as well as issues relating to Lar’s resignation were yet to abate, the state deputy chairman of the party, Shu’aibu Isma’il Rahama, was suspended by the leadership of the APC over alleged anti-party activities.
Political analysts believe that this singular act had further complicated the crisis within the APC.
The letter of suspension, with reference number APC/ BAU/HQ/VL7/13 was signed by the state secretary of the party, Barrister Buhari Disina.
“This is to communicate the decision of the State Extended Exco of the APC held at its secretariat on Sunday, the 13th day of September, 2015.
“The said resolution is to the fact that the gravity of the allegations made against you resulted in forming a committee to investigate it…The fact-finding committee will not have a free hand to investigate you while you are in the office.”
It said that the deputy chairman was therefore suspended from his office until the report of the committee was received.
Sources said all the misunderstandings were as a result of pressure on the party by its members and people of the state to deliver on the promises made during the campaigns.
Some people also opined that the crisis in the party was because leaders of the party were serving different interests.
Various interest groups and individuals were also believed to be behind some of the crisis facing the party, including an alleged campaign being sponsored by some elements within the party and the PDP to undermine the government by peddling rumours among people.
Some people believed that the state chairman of the party, Uba Nana, is supporting the state governor, Mohammed Abubakar, and his policies which according to them have slowed down the takeoff of the administration.
Similarly, sources said others are opposed to the governor’s style of wasting so much time on his various facts checking which they said was unnecessary in the first instance.
But many still said the governor is right on track, for treading softly and taking measures to avoid falling into a trap by adopting hook, line and sinker, the burden of the former PDP administration.
Expectations have been high in the state to see solutions to the myriads of problems facing the people, which the APC administration promised to address when it comes in.
While the government is trying to grapple with the problems it inherited from the previous administration of Isa Yuguda, the people are getting agitated as to how long they will wait for the government to deliver.
Some residents believed that Governor Abubakar was taking too much time lamenting on issues, instead of setting the wheel of governance rolling.
There are clear indications that the government’s major focus is on ways to recover some government properties and measures to adopt to reduce its backlog of inherited challenges.
But critics are saying that Governor Abubakar has failed to kick-start developmental projects.
The alleged monumental fraud and unnecessary administrative burden, corruption and profligacy by the immediate past administration were given by the present government as the main impediment to its plans to deliver dividends of democracy to the people.
The governor had in many instances outlined the challenges facing the administration such as the financial difficulties it has found itself. These include backlog of salary arrears bequeathed to it by the past administration as a result of an over bloated civil service.
The government believes that with backlog of salary arrears and administrative and political challenges; it needs time to prepare well, instead of rushing to satisfy the people’s urgent calls to perform, which according to some government officials will bring only temporary measure against a more permanent sustainable solution.
But the people seems not satisfied with the excuses given by the government as they accused it of being indifferent to their plight while pursuing unnecessary frivolities.
The various recovery and re-structuring efforts of the administration is also seen by members of the opposition PDP in the state as a vendetta mission targeted at former Governor Yuguda, his family and associates.
The state government has however denied the allegations, saying that it only wanted to ascertain the extent of the damage done to institutions of governance in order to re-structure them for effective service delivery to the people.
For now, the state chapter of the APC and Governor Abubakar are under intense pressure from the electorate to deliver the much touted ‘change’ they prophesied during campaigns.