A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Taraba, Mr Ezekiel Afukonyo has alleged that some external forces are trying to destabilize the party in the state to scuttle its plan to take over power from the PDP in 2023.
Afukonyo who is the board Chairman of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital Awka and a four time governorship aspirant in the state, stated this at a press conference in Wukari on Thursday.
He explained that the battle for the soul of APC in the state has become more intense because the party is now the only hope for the future of Taraba.
He accused a serving Senator from the state for infiltrating some APC members and trying to use them to take over the party structure the recent ward congresses.
“In the APC, it is true that we have personal interests but we are not allowing that to becloud our sense of purpose.
“In the southern Taraba here, for instance, Chief David Kente and I are the major aspirants for the governorship ticket, but we didn’t allow that to distract us from uniting our people to tackle some external forces who wanted to come through the window and hijack the party structure at the last ward congresses.
“As a state, there were disagreements from several quarters but as Chairman of the reconciliation committee, we were able to address these differences quickly and proceeded with the congresses amicably.
“We know that there are so many people out there who want to join the party.
“The APC is big enough to accommodate everyone but people must go through the right process be become members.
“Staying in another political party and scheming to take over the structure you have not contributed in building would be vehemently resisted”, he said.
He urged youths in the state “to get constructively engaged in politics rather than allowing themselves to be used as thugs and be dumped after elections.
He said that their value after the election can only be determined by their innovative and civilized contributions towards the victory of the party.
“They should not allow themselves to be used for mundane service as agents of chaos, confusion and destabilization”, he said.
In a separate interview, Alhaji Adamu Sanusi, an APC stalwart from Wukari, told journalists that it was unfortunate that preparatory to his possible decamping to APC, loyalists of a Taraba Senator within the APC were battling hard to take over structure of the party in the Southern zone, but stakeholders from the zone, particularly Chief David Sabo-Kente, resisted it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Congress held across the 168 wards of Taraba was characterized by power flexing among critical stakeholders of the party who battled hard to reach a compromise on how the ward leaders of the APC emerged.
Meanwhile, Sen. Yusuf Abubakar took control of the Central Zone, Sabo-Kente and other stakeholders in the Southern Zone.
Two former acting governors, Alhaji Sani Danladi and Alhaji Garba Umar took control of the party in the Northern Zone through consensus agreement by majority of the stakeholders.