The crisis rocking the Adamawa State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has worsened due to an alleged plot to hijack the party structure by the President’s wife, Mrs Aisha Buhari.
Some disgruntled party leaders, including Senator Dahiru Binani, warned that if the first lady is allowed to have her way, the party will almost certainly lose the state election in 2023.
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Party leaders accused Mrs. Buhari of attempting to seize complete control of the party structure in order to install her younger brother, Mr. Mohammed Halilu Modi, as the party’s next governorship candidate in 2023.
They claimed that during the party’s recently concluded local council congress in the state, the first lady used her influence to intimidate perceived political opponents of her brother, including Senator Dahiru Binani, Senator Mohammed Jibrilla Bindow (former Governor of the state), and Senator Ishaku Abbo (who represents Adamawa North Senatorial Zone) in the Senate, in order to seize control of the party.
It should be noted that the party lost the governorship election in 2019 to the incumbent and member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Ahmadu Fintiri, due to an alleged power struggle between the first lady and Bindow, Binani, and other opponents in the quest to make her brother governor.
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The disgruntled members claimed that Mrs. Buhari is collaborating with the former Vice-Chairman of the North East Zone, Comrade Mustapha Salihu, and the party’s Financial Secretary, Mr. Saidu Naira, to achieve her goal.
They claimed that the quartet in Abuja changed the majority of the names from the ward and local congress congresses sent to the APC national secretariat, resulting in a slew of court cases challenging the alterations.
Already, APC chieftains are threatening to leave the party if the crisis is not resolved in accordance with the party’s constitution.
One of the disgruntled chieftains, who spoke to The Guardian on the condition of anonymity, said: “If this is allowed to happen, the APC will be the big loser again in 2023, just as it was in 2019.”
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“The way things are going, they can only help the PDP and Governor Fintiri win re-election in 2023,” a senior official said.
“Incidentally, the current manipulation in Adamawa is taking place at a time when the general feeling in the state is that the governorship seat should rotate to another zone outside Adamawa Central, to ensure fairness and a sense of belonging to all geopolitical zones in the former Gongola State.
“Although it is argued that the Central Zone has yet to produce a governor and that it is expected to do so in 2023, APC stakeholders are opposing her position on the grounds that her zone has been producing Secretaries to the Government of the Federation since 2015.
“Additionally, as First Lady of the Federation and a native of the Central Zone, the feeling is that the zone has had its fair share of power dynamics and should hand off the governorship seat to another zone in 2023.
“Similarly, the Northern Senatorial Zone has produced a governor for a record six times, and the zone appears to have benefited adequately.
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Such fairness will never be achieved if the state’s congresses are manipulated against the wishes and aspirations of its citizens.
“There is a serious problem brewing in the APC that, if not addressed quickly, could cost the party the governorship again, as it did in 2019.
“This was what happened during the local council congresses. While the election of party officials of Yola-South, Binani and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s home local council, was held at the party’s state secretariat in Jimeta amid heavy security operatives, Bindow and Abbo had no idea where the congresses of Mubi North and Mubi South, their home councils, took place until today.
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“Similarly, state security chiefs were threatened with dismissal if they did not cooperate by facilitating Modi’s aspiration.”