Tunde Bolaji – Minna
The suspended Niger State Party Chairman of the All Progressive Party ( APC), Alhaji Mohammed Jibril Immam has alleged that the state governor , Abubakar Sanni Bello was the brain behind the it as he was the one Fueling the crisis in the state.
According to him , his executive only got N512 million in 6 years to run the affairs of the party in the state.
The factional Chairman of the State chapter therefore accused governor Sani Bello for fueling the continuous crisis in the party as he presided over illegal caucus and State Executive Committee (SEC) meetings called by purported acting officials of the party at government house.
These allegations was contained in a statement issued and jointly signed by Engr. Mohammad Jibrin Imam and Barrister Mohammed Liman former Secretary and made available to journalists in Minna.
Drawing the battle line, the faction has vowed to petition the National Party Secretariat about the entire development.
According to Imam “we have identify that Niger state Governor is planning to divide the party through impunity for presiding over illegal caucus and SEC Meetings because any complaint against state official of the party shall be forwarded to the Zonal office of the party for investigation accordingly”.
They explained that only N512 million was accrue to the party account in the last six (6) years of APC in the state (2015 to date) hence had records of all its expenditures.
He noted that the governor as a member of National Caretaker Committee
was mandated after the resolution of the NEC meeting of 25th June, 2020 headed by President Muhammadu Buhari to reconcile and ensure withdrawal of all court cases against its members and the party.
It revealed that the said money received thus far was used for staff salaries, conduct of day to day party activities, primary elections and solving of party members problems like health due to lack of access to government for intervention, insisting that they never embezzled any party funds what so ever and challenged anybody with evidence of embezzlement or misappropriation.
As said earlier, the last local government primary elections in Niger state was adjudged to be one of the best primary election in the country which were conducted by former and current commissioners of this administration at the 25 LGAs and wards and part of the money was disbursed through them for those elections.
Therefore, it is wrong for any person to say the total money accrued to the party was misappropriated is unimaginable and an attempt to give the dog a bad name so that it can be hanged, saying that no committee was set up to investigate whether any party money was misappropriated and by who.
Part of the money alleged to have been misappropriated was money according to petitioners were funds from the Party National Secretariat stating that no such money was sent to party account and challenged anybody to bring evidences to prove such allegation in what ever way.
Imam reiterated the commitment of the current executives to stand firm in protecting APC from destruction by any individuals or group, adding that all complaints relating offences against the party or its officials from the state chapter of the party shall be presented to the Zonal Committee of the party in line with article 21 (B) (vi) (d) at page 82 of the party constitution. Therefore the SEC was in error when it assumed the powers of the Zonal Committee hence their action can not stand.
Consequently, he insisted that they were the only recognized party executives in the state just as Article 21 D paragraph 6 page 87 is clear and ambiguous and anything contrary is null and void as it can not stand. Therefore, the said pass of vote of no confidence and reaffirming of the purported acting officials were all illegal.
He stressed that those who moved the motion, seconded and moved for adjournment of the purported meeting held yesterday, Alhaji Abubakar Magaji, General M Garba and Hon. Ahmed Dogonkoli as well as Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe (COS) and all present commissioners were not members of SEC. Just as caucus meeting , SEC can only be presided over by the state party chairman Engr. Mohammad Jibrin Imam not the state governor who presides over State Executive Council meeting of the state.
The statement however, reminded governor Abubakar Sani Bello to be aware of the pact the party entered with the electorates and founding fathers of the APC in the state for providing dividend of democracy to Nigerlites and geo political spread of political appointments which is the major issue between the governor and the party.
The statement appreciated Niger State National Assembly caucus who disassociated themselves from the meeting and their mediating role who acknowledged amicable settlement of all matters of aggrieved members, this is not surprising as responsible lawmakers the can not be party to impunity and act that is contrary to the party constitution.
Therefore, the National Caretaker Committee of the party is enjoined to call governor Abubakar Sani Bello to order not to hit up the polity in the state.