…Describes ex-PLO as APC’s cornestone
The former Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, has described former Presidential Liaison Officer, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, as the party’s cornerstone hitherto overlooked in appointments.
He said Ibrahim-Imam played a crucial role in the merger of legacy parties culminating in the birth of APC.
While congratulating Ibrahim-Imam on his appointment as Chairman, Board of Trustees of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Akande also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for doing what he called the right thing.
“When Buhari’s government, perhaps inadvertently, gave Ibrahim-Imam no position, Tinubu requested me to talk to Buhari on Ibrahim-Imam’s behalf. I refused because I presumed that there must have been a dangerous disconnect between the APC and it’s government.
“Now that the President has approved a position for Ibrahim-Imam in government, I congratulate President Buhari. I congratulate Ibrahim-Imam. I also sincerely congratulate the APC. I hope that from now on, the party and the government can learn to work in sync. Ibrahim-Imam’s appointment shows that the rejected stone has been reserved for the corner of the house,” Akande, who is also a former governor of Osun State, said.
Akande’s special tribute to Ibrahim-Imam on his appointment read: “As soon as the All Progressives Congress (APC) was registered as a political party in July 2013, there began series of momentous events, which included the emergence of a new faction of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) called ‘The New PDP’.
“This PDP faction must have had its origin in an earlier discussion between Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and some leaders of the PDP, especially Dr. Olusola Saraki, Rotimi Amaechi and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. They must have toyed with the idea of starting a new party perhaps with a merger of their faction with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
“When another set of merger that produced APC had taken place, Asiwaju Tinubu was no longer comfortable that he had not carried his ‘friends’ in the PDP on board. Through the instrumentality of Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, a programme had been dramatically drawn up to put pressure on the party leadership so that General Muhammadu Buhari (as he then was), Tinubu, myself and other leaders would tour the country, meet leaders to showcase APC and invite them to join the new party.
“Kashim is the son of Alhaji Ibrahim-Imam of Maiduguri who used to be the Leader of Opposition and of the Action Group (AG) in the old Northern House of Assembly. The younger Ibrahim-Imam is distinctively cerebral as an old boy of Kings College, Lagos.
“He was in the Social Democratic Party (SDP) during the Babangida era and later became a Special Adviser to President Obasanjo on Senate Matters. He is an ebullient character, very friendly and very generous. I used the word ‘generous’ because of our experience when, once, we went to see Buhari in Kaduna. Ibrahim-Imam and Buhari were living almost on the same street.
“On our way back, Tinubu and I decided to say ‘hello’ to Ibrahim-Imam and his family. By the time we got there, for he was expecting us, he had prepared three giant pots of pigeon soup made of special delicacies. He wanted to start serving us but we said no because we had already being treated to a feast by Buhari and were in a hurry to catch a flight back to Abuja.
“By the time we got to Abuja, we found that the pots of soup were being sent after us. Someone from Ibrahim-Imam’s household had been mandated to take a flight to Abuja just to deliver those pots of soup at our residence! For more than one week, we were eating pigeon soup!”