Posted by: Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation in Featured
ALL Progressives Congress (APC) chairmen in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to stop impunity and harassment of their members in Ekiti, Rivers, Ondo, Taraba and Bayelsa states.
They alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP)-controlled administrations in the affected states have been attacking APC members.
The party chairmen added that some commissioners of Police have been conniving with the affected state governments to terrorise APC members.
But they asked the president to support efforts to resolve the crisis in the National Assembly.
They alleged that many APC leaders and members have been forced to flee from Ekiti State.
The chairmen, The Nation learnt, raised the issues with Buhari at a closed door session when they visited the Presidential Villa.
Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, had quoted him on Saturday as saying that it would not be business as usual on matters of political harassment and intimidation of any Nigerian henceforth.
Adesina said the president spoke when the state chairmen of APC visited him and promised to probe political assassinations
But a top source, who told The Nation what transpired at the meeting, said: “Immediately after the opening courtesies, the chairmen went into a private session, where the president asked them to lay their complaints.
“The chairmen complained about harassment, intimidation, attack and killing of some APC leaders in Ekiti, Rivers, Ondo, Taraba and Bayelsa states.
“They said in Ekiti, virtually all APC leaders and key stakeholders have relocated to other states because of the intimidation by the state government. They expressed concerns that some APC witnesses were attacked in the state at an election tribunal.
“They also kicked against arbitrary detention of APC members in Ondo State at the behest of the state government. The same harassment is the order of the day in Taraba State, where APC is challenging the outcome of the governorship election.
“The chairmen demanded the probe of killing of APC members during the general election in Rivers State. They alleged that the PDP administration had been witch-hunting and sacking APC members in Rivers State.
“The APC leaders expressed regrets that some Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) workers have been compromised in Rivers State as they have prevented APC from inspecting electoral materials.
“As regards Bayelsa State, the APC chairmen accused PDP of bankrolling the formation of a parallel APC in the state to create crisis ahead of the state’s forthcoming governorship election.
“They said they were disturbed that security agencies have continued to recognise the parallel APC in spite of the fact that APC National Secretariat was explicit that the party in Bayelsa State was not factionalised.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “President Buhari simply promised to look into all the allegations and open discussion with the affected state governments.”
The Chairman of the APC Chairmen’s Forum, Mallam Umar Haruna Mohammed, said the group wanted Buhari to support efforts to resolve the crisis in the National Assembly.
He added that as the rallying point for APC, the President has the responsibility of ensuring that all stakeholders accept, respect and uphold party’s supremacy
Mohammed said: “We are here as state chairmen of our great party to congratulate our member, our rallying point.
“Secondly, we are here to pledge our unflinching support, loyalty to you and your government and our total cooperation on the enormous task of meeting the yearnings and the expectations of Nigerians and the world.
“These expectations could only be realised, if every state is carried along and also if APC as a party works as a family.
“Let me at this juncture appreciate you Mr. President for observing and upholding party supremacy. Thank you sir.
“As mentioned earlier, as a leader and the rallying point of APC, you have the responsibility of ensuring that all stakeholders accept, respect and uphold party supremacy as enshrined in the party’s constitution.
“It is a known fact to all of us that many people made a lot of sacrifice, some even made the supreme sacrifice, to ensure that APC and you in particular emerged victorious in the last election.”
He added: “For this, it is necessary for all of us to appeal to you again to support the ongoing efforts being made to resolve the National Assembly crisis so that the anxiety currently being entertained by Nigerians will be effectively diffused for our party to focus on the more relevant and enormous challenges of rebuilding from the misrule of the past 16 years.”