From Gyang Bere, Jos
A splinter group of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has emerged in Plateau State with a new executive following a disagreement to adopt a consensus arrangement by members who purchased forms to run in last Saturday’s state congresses.
The party had produced the State Executive Committee led by Hon Rufus Bature based on consensus but the aggrieved members rejected the arrangement.
Members of the party who paid for forms based on the party’s guidelines were said to have been waiting for the congress committee to issue forms and screen them for the election, open a parallel State APC Secretariat at Kalwa House Jos when the committee refused to issue them forms.
The factional group in a press statement issued on Tuesday by its Secretary, Hon. Nanman Maimagani Zhatau said the splinter group headed by Hon. Rufus Bature has no evidence of the purchase of forms that elapsed on Monday, October 11, to contest the state congress.
‘Contrary to the party’s guidelines for the conduct of the ward and local government congresses, what happened during the state congresses in Plateau State was worst than what was witnessed at the local government congresses.
‘The purported state congresses which were said to have been conducted at Crest Hotel were null and void because there was no form of screening, neither identification of people who bought forms but just to say that they have conducted congresses and acclaimed winners have emerged.
‘The acclaimed winners cannot show evidence of their bank tellers and when they paid their money for the various positions because the last data for the purchase of nomination forms ended on Monday 11 October 2021.’
Hon Zhatau explained that a group of police officers were sent to clamp down their new secretariat at Kalwa House, where the authentic officials of the party emerged.
‘It will interest you to know that this morning we have been informed that security operatives were seen at our party secretariat removing flags of our party at Kalwa House.
‘In order to restore peace, unity in our party, security operatives should stay clear of political crisis, because policemen are peacemakers and not to be bought by politicians to intimidate others just like what we witness today in our secretariat.’
Zhatau noted that all their communication to Governor Simon Lalong has fell on dear ears as the cabals at the corridor of power screen and determine which letter should get to the governor.
‘The cabals have succeeded in making the governor disregard any advice by prominent politicians in the state because of their 2023 governorship ambition.’
The outgoing APC Secretary, Hon Bashir Sati, said there is no splinter group in the APC as it was made clear to all party members that the Congresses would be on consensus.
‘If actually there is a splinter group, they should have known that officials from the National Secretariat are coming, they should know where they are to contact them for all the necessary information.
‘We know from the ward congresses, we started with consensus and we have been working on consensus. It is surprising for some people to say they are not aware of the consensus.
‘Anybody who is claiming ignorance of consensus arrangement, I think he is not a member of the APC. They said their executive has emerged; who monitored their election? Where did they conduct the election?
‘I have been the man communicating right from day one to the last date. As secretary of the party, I have been the one communicating with INEC and police…’
He denied sending the police to disrupt the factional secretariat of the party, saying the security were only doing their job.