BY UMAR YUSUF
THIS is certainly not the best of times for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State. Various camps of APC leaders in the North-East state are locked in a pitch battle for control of the party.
The raging battle is mainly between Governor Murtala Nyako, who recently defected to the APC and leaders of the three legacy parties that merged to form APC.
The defunct legacy parties are the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Those in the camp of the legacy parties are General Mohammed Marwa, who flew the CPC governorship flag in 2007 and 2011 and his ACN counterpart, Engineer Markus Gundiri.
Then, the governorship elections were bitterly fought among the trio leading to deep political enmity among them.
Until the November 2013 defection of Nyako to APC, analysts considered it impossible for Marwa and Nyako to eat on the same political table. Thus, when Nyako decamped to the APC, observers waited patiently to see how things will pan out.
The wait did not last long. Marwa and Gundiri at a stakeholders meeting in Yola recently vowed that Nyako would never lead APC which they had laboured to build over the years. However, Governor Nyako’s camp swiftly reacted that he did not join the APC to scramble for leadership or any position.
At the stakeholders meeting in Yola purposely held to denounce Nyako’s alleged moves to dominate the APC, even when a harmonization exercise is yet to take place, Marwa and Gundiri vowed to ensure that the party is under their control.
They described Nyako’s position that all aspiring members of APC are equal as misleading and argued that members from the legacy parties are superior to new entrants.
Raging debate, disagreement
With Governor Nyako’s camp insisting on controlling the leadership because it has the state governor and members of the legacy parties stoutly countering the move, the Adamawa APC is set for a major internal squabble in the coming days.
Marwa and Gundiri insisted that they are in control of the party in Adamawa because the legacy parties were responsible for the consummation of the merger that led to the birth of the APC, adding that any other entrant into the party including Governor Nyako should take the back seat.
Gundiri, the former gubernatorial candidate of the ACN, who was represented by his running mate, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Namdas, said it amounts to self-deceit for Nyako to claim that all APC members are equal because “they can’t compare themselves to us”.
Marwa’s representative, Alhaji Baba Sulaiman, noted that APC does not condone injustice and as such anyone coming into the party should come through the right procedure and that attempts by any power monger to hijack the party would be resisted.
“We will never allow anyone who came in through the window to hijack our party which we laboured to build over the years. I urge all of you to unite and say no to any attempt by outsiders to hijack the party from us as your tireless efforts were responsible for the birth of the APC,” he said.
Countering, Governor Nyako said his movement into APC alongside four other PDP governors was not driven by the desire to become leaders of the party in their respective states. Rather, he claimed it was a patriotic move to save democracy from the tyranny of the ruling PDP.
Nyako, in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajo, said the need to provide viable opposition platform that will check the current drift in the polity, particularly the replacement of all democratic cultures and tenets with a culture of impunity and political brigandage, was the major reason they defected to the APC.
His words: “The need to join other patriots to form a Pan-Nigerian National platform that will serve as a veritable vehicle for the enthronement of genuine unity, peace and progress in the nation and the desire to build a political party that respects the welfare and interest of the Nigerian people was behind our resolve to move to APC.
“Contrary to insinuation by some people, Governor Nyako wishes to state that he and his colleagues in the G5 who moved over to the APC from the PDP did not do so in order to become leaders of the party in their respective states. They were driven by higher patriotic motive of pulling the country out of the woods”
“We could have formed a new political party; we could have joined a newly registered party or any of the other existing political parties in Nigeria. But we opted to join APC because it represents a broad-based coalition of democratic forces built on the ideals of progress and development,” he said