Ali Abare, Gombe
A fresh crisis has erupted within the ranks of the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC),in Gombe State, with a group, the APC Advocacy Forum, kicking against the recent extension of the tenure of officials of the party.
The group, in a statement issued, on Sunday, and signed by Alhaji Abubakar Aliyu, described the tenure extension as ‘unconstitutional and capable of causing disharmony among members’.
The APC Adalchi group, therefore, called for the conduct of congresses to elect new officials as the tenure of the current executives of the party has expired.
At a meeting held in Gombe, with members of the group from across the 11 local government areas in attendance, the group raised alarm over alleged moves to deny new members joining the party registration.
They accused some party stalwarts of allegedly converting the party into a personal estate, with such individuals boasting they have power to hire and fire any official refusing to do their bidding.
“A neutral committee should be formed in consultation and concurrence with all stakeholders to conduct congress at all levels,” the group said.
While urging leaders of the party at the national level to heed to their call, the APC Adalchi group warned that only through proper delegate congress that the APC can wax stronger, especially in Gombe.
Aliyu explained that the group was formed shortly after the 2015 general election after it became obvious that confusion has befallen the party following the defeat it suffered in the guber election.
Leader of the group, who was 2011 guber candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) added that the Adalchi group is an advocacy forum to canvass for truce, foster harmony and unity among members of the party.
Various speakers at the meeting expressed readiness to follow any official dully elected according to laid down procedures of the APC.
They equally called for concerted effort to broker peace among party stakeholders ahead of the 2019 general election, stressing that anything short of that would spell doom for the party in Gombe State.
Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri, former coordinator, defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), described the tenure elongation for officials as unconstitutional.
“Our constitution stipulates that at the end of the tenure of elected officials, congresses are held to elect new members,” he said.
Waziri warned that if not carefully handled, the tenure extension for national, state and local government officials would force supporters to leave the APC.
“Some of us left our former parties because of perceived injustice and impunity. If this is allowed to rear its ugly head under President Muhammadu Buhari, APC members would leave in droves,” he said.
Article 17 of the APC constitution stipulates that the tenure of elected officials would last four four years subject to renewal through congresses.