By Bashir Bello
The household name APC Akida was first initiated and came into limelight in Kaduna State. It was initiated by the likes of the pioneer and Interim Management Committee Chairman of the APC in Kaduna, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed; Tom Mataimaki Maiyashi; Senator Shehu Sani; former APC Governorship aspirant in the 2015 general elections, Hon. Isa Ashiru; Ambassador Sule Buba; Alhaji Yaro Makama; and Hajia Hafsat Baba among others.
Why it was formed
At the point of floating it, they stated their reasons as: “APC Akida is not a faction of APC in our state. We are responsible and loyal party members, who believe in a united and strong APC in our state and Nigeria. It is not an alternative party structure. We exist because our party structure does not exist or function in a manner prescribed by our party constitution or the interests of our members, and one of our key goals is to help to re-establish party structures at all levels. We exist because our party has been deliberately hijacked and incapacitated, and our members are deprived of a major asset to exercise their rights to be served by a party which put this government in power.”
Confrontation with el-Rufai
And on that basis they consistently engaged the government of Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai in open confrontation on his style of leadership.
The group and el-Rufai are yet to reconcile their differences as they continue to trade words. If anything, the war reached the point of no return after the congresses as the members alleged that they were edged out.
Baba-Ahmed has formally resigned from the party while Senator Sani has already indicated that he is at the departure gate.
Katsina APC Akida
Like the APC Akida in Kaduna, a group of APC stalwarts in neighbouring Katsina State led by Mohammed T. Liman floated a similar group but launched it in Kaduna.
The emergence of the group created a kind of disquiet in the state chapter of the party.
It was gathered that before the emergence of the group, an elder statesman and former governor of the state, now late, Alhaji Lawal Kaita mediated between the aggrieved leaders and the governor to avert the creation of the group but failed.
The group was initially invisible in the state as it held only secret meetings and many of the meetings were outside the state.
Like the Kaduna group, they claimed that they were not moved by selfish considerations.
APC Akida activities
The group’s activities and mode of operation have continued to generate questions particularly given that majority of the stalwarts are not on ground in Katsina and so choose to operate from outside the state.
With the group not consistent in its confrontation with the government, the very first time it will make its official outing in the state, the chairman while fielding questions from journalist was quoted as saying it was open to dialogue.
Among the group’s leading stalwarts are Dr. Usman Bugaje, Senator Sadiq Yar’Adua, Kabir Murja, Sada Ilu, and Mansur Abdulkadir.
The call for dialogue, however, didn’t go down well with some of its members, who felt that such rapprochement defeated the essence of floating the group.
Meanwhile, people have also raised eyebrows over the fact that a member of the group, Sada Ilu, has his son serving in the cabinet of the governor.
In fact, it is said that the group is only inclined to noise-making given that their activities have been more in the media than on ground.
This was especially after the governor’s men took all the positions in the state structure of the APC after the recent party congresses. The group, as it is, responded to the congresses in a press statement.
Angst over APC congresses
A statement issued on behalf of the group by Senator Mohammed Liman, Dr. Usman Bugaje, Alhaji Sada Ilu and Senator Sadiq Yar’Adua described the recent congresses as “despicable and outrageous.
“The APC congress was a national disgrace to the citizens of the country, both at home and abroad. In Katsina State, which is the primary constituency of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, forms were not sold to many who wanted to contest.”
The APC Akida leaders said they were not surprised given the attempt by the former party leadership to extend its tenure.
APC Akida leaders lack principle
Reacting to their claim, the Katsina State APC Legal Adviser, Barrister Suleiman Namadi described the activities of the group as a child’s play saying they lack the principle (Akida) which they proclaim.
Namadi said the persons are enemies of progress who don’t wish the state well.
“The slogan of APC is ‘change’ not ‘APC Akida’ and who among them have the Akida they claim to represent or stand for?”
An APC stalwart in the state, Dr. Yusha’u Armiya’u was also one of those who monitored closely, the activities of the group as he described them as only noise-makers.
Dr. Armiya’u said they were persons with governorship ambition, and who brought Masari into power but suddenly decided to turn their back against him.
“Who are the APC Akida? I know them better than anybody. Their leader is Usman Bugaje, others include Kabir Murja, Senator Sadiq Yar’Adua, Abubakar Samaila, who was a gubernatorial candidate during the CPC, Abbas Machika and others. Those were the same people who fought us in CPC.
“I know them very well and they know me very well too. And I know some of them are not sincere in what they are saying because most of them want to govern Katsina themselves. They have ambition to be Governor of Katsina. I don’t think any of them can deny what I have said.
“Instead of clamouring, they should come together and help the government do the right thing because Katsina is our state and our home. If there is something going wrong, there is no need to make noise. Let us come together, sit down and make sure things are done the right way,” Dr. Armiya’u said
Senator Abba Ali, who served in the Second Republic Senate, described the group as inconsequential to the aspirations of Buhari and Masari for a second term.
Similarly, Special Adviser to Governor Masari on Political Affairs, Usman Bala Zango, on his part affirmed that neither the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP nor APC Akida could stop Masari’s re-election bid in 2019.
“Those people calling themselves APC Akida, how many are they? I think they are not worth looking at. They are not up to 10 and who are their mentors? They would not affect us in the 2019 election,” he said in conclusion.