By Omeiza Ajayi, ABUJA
Amid speculations that it was planning to merge with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP, the Reformed All Progressives Congress APC, a splinter within the ruling APC has said it is for now preoccupied with rescuing the party from predators rather than moving to another party.
There have been concerns that the R-APC was already divided as some members of the faction, especially those of the new PDP bloc are predisposed to returning to the country’s main opposition party while those from the other legacy parties that formed the APC want the group to merge with a new party other than the PDP.
The development was said to have made some aggrieved lawmakers within the party to put on hold their plans of defection, preferring to wait until the group reaches an agreement as to its immediate future.
However, spokesman of the group, Mr Kassim Afegbua told Saturday Vanguard that the R-APC was for now not concerned about joining any party as its main focus is to remain within the APC and rescue it from those he called “buccaneers” and “predators”.
“We haven’t gotten to that bridge yet. People are just trying to be preemptive. There is no discussion about party. We are poised to rescue our party first from the grip of political buccaneers and predators”, said Afegbua.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC, Hajia Ireti Heebah Kingibe has urged stakeholders of the party in the Federal Capital Territory FCT to work towards electing a crop of committed leaders who would work to change the fortunes of the territory among the comity of states in the country.
Kingibe spoke yesterday at the FCT secretariat of the APC where she declared her intent to vie for the sole senatorial seat in the nation’s capital.
Her declaration came as the Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council, Adamu Candido accused some officials of the R-APC of attending the event, urging them to have a rethink as the main APC is not afraid of losing members of the splinter group.
“Some people have called themselves R-APC. It is normal in politics. We are not disturbed but I have seen some members of the R-APC here at this occasion. It is possible that their names were used but they need to have a rethink”, he said. But in a quick reaction, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the FCT, Usman Adaji whose name was published as the FCT Chairman of the R-APC said the development was unfortunate. “If you look at that list, the purported chairman of R-APC in the FCT is my humble self, Usman Adaji and it is very unfortunate”, he simply said.
On his part, FCT Chairman of the APC, Abdulmalik Usman recalled how a former Governor of Kano State, Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso ejected the party from his property shortly after the APC Presidential primary elections that produced Muhammadu Buhari as the candidate of the party in the 2015 presidential elections.
“In 2014, when we started, we had nobody but the executives of this party jettisoned personal interests and worked hard to ring this party to where we are today. Even to have a state secretariat was a problem. We were hanging around the property of the then Governor of Kano state on the assumption that he would get the ticket but when we got to Lagos for the primaries and they said we should go with Baba (Buhari) because he was the one that could defeat the opposition, he (ex-Kano governor) pushed us out of his property when we came back to Abuja”, he recalled.
Buttressing the point, Mr Candido said the former Kano state Governor does not deserve any respect for the way he treated the FCT chapter of the party due to their decision to support President Buhari.
Earlier, speaking on her aspiration, Hajia Kingibe said; “Right now, we (FCT) are not getting our fair share of federal appointments. We need to work together to get there. We need federal scholarships. We need to fill our quota in the paramilitary services and other agencies. So, we must raise an army of committed leaders to bring this about.
“When the ban on electioneering campaign is lifted, I intend to run for the Senate. I have not come here to say I am better than anybody because there are many capable people in the FCT but it is left to you to pick the best”, she added.