The Kaduna State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, on Friday said the party had no faction, and that it stood with Governor Nasir el-Rufai, in a reaction to the formation of a new group by some of its leaders.
Some APC leaders, including Shehu Sani, a senator, and Hakeem Baba Ahmed, a former minister, had on Thursday announced the formation of APC Akida. Akida, an Hausa word, means “our Interest”.
Kaduna APC has been dogged by internal strife for months, resulting from a row between with Mr. Sani and Governor Nasir El-Rufai, PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Sani accuses the governor of hijacking the party, while supporters of Mr. El-Rufai say the senator has been involved in anti-party activities.
At a press conference on Thursday, a leading member of the APC in the state, Tom Maiyashi, said the new group will soon announce its leaders at all levels in the state.
Mr. Maiyashi said the APC Akida will serve as a platform for members of the APC to work for the progress of the party in the state.
“We believe in playing responsible and constructive roles because the government appears to have shut out basic involvement of citizens in governance,” he said, referring to the administration of Mr. El-Rufai.
“We came on board because our party structures do not exist or function in a manner prescribed by our party’s constitution. It does not protect the interests of our members, and one of our key goals is to help reestablish party structure at all levels.”
He also said the APC Akida was not a faction of the APC but an alternative platform for members of the party to play their part in building a true APC in the Kaduna state.
Present at the meeting were Mr. Sani, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Isa Ashiru, a former secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission, among others.
But addressing a news conference on Friday in Kaduna, to mark the first year of APC-led government, the party’s acting publicity secretary, Salisu Wusono, warned disloyal party members to desist from operating “an illegal and unrecognized group” or face sanctions.
He said the party was proud of the achievements of Mr. El-Rufai, which include free school feeding of 1.5 million pupils every day. He said the ruling party was looking forward to the commissioning of 255 modernised primary health centres, one in each ward of the state.
The party also commended Mr. El Rufai for employing 2,503 youths into Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency.
“As a party, the Kaduna State APC stands united behind governor Nasir El-Rufai, in delivering service for our people. Our party was elected to lead change and bring development, not to pander to the ego of people.
“Those who think that nothing can be right if they are not the drivers and condemn laudable initiatives just because they are not treated as masters should reconsider their conduct,” he said.
Mr. Wusono continued, “The APC Kaduna State cannot be factionalised. We will not tolerate indiscipline. We have given people enough time to adjust to the reality that they are not in a position to hold the party or the process of change to ransom just because of their personal interests.
“Some people lost their bid to occupy the office of chairman; others were soundly defeated in the gubernatorial primaries. Despite this, the party tried to carry them along. But they stood aloof during the campaigns, some even went as far as cooperating with the PDP.
“We heard that a group of persons sat with a suspended senator to announce an illegal and unrecognized group. They are hereby warned to desist.”