2019 Elections: Saraki, Dogara’s Supporters Consider ADC

Many loyalists of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and those of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakub Dogara, are set to defect from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) if the crisis rocking the party is not immediately resolved.

This includes their supporters across the federation and some members of the National Assembly, who have concluded plans to join the African Democratic Congress (ADC), a party recently adopted by the Coalition of Nigeria Movement (CNM), an organisation promoted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

This is coming as highly placed sources within the emerging third force informed our correspondents that the ADC is set to reap bountifully from the crisis currently the rocking the APC.

While the APC is battling to resolve its internal crisis and put its house in order, checks by the Saturday Telegraph revealed that the ADC has reached out to some key members of the APC, including governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives and states assemblies’ lawmakers, among others, who have agreed and concluded plans to join the party.

The APC had been enmeshed with in-house dilemma owing to the factions that emerged in about 28 states after the conduct of parallel congresses during the last wards and states’ congresses of the party held across the federation.

According to impeccable sources within the ruling party, there is an ongoing ploy by a group within the APC to ensure that the parallel congresses lead to two factions after the national conventions.

One of the sources did not only reveal what he called “an extensive devilish agenda”, he particularly accused some former members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of being behind the plan. “We know their plan, we are aware of their clandestine ploy to destroy the APC just like they did to their former party.

They started all these illegal congresses. “They are planning to break away just like they did when they formed the new PDP and later used it as a platform to join the amalgamation that led to the formation of APC”.

Further investigations by our correspondents also confirmed that the ADC had been wooing some members of the ruling party, and that series of the meeting had been held between the two groups.

Saturday Telegraph’s findings showed that some of the troubled members of the APC had been promised and reassured of automatic tickets in their areas, should they join the ADC, a position confirmed by sources within the ADC.

One of those that confided in the Saturday Telegraph explained that the ADC is actually wooing the intending defectors with automatic tickets so as to gain their confidence. “Yes, we want to give them election slots, it is normal in politics.

If there is something you are bringing to the table, it shows you have a value. “I can assure you that we have over 200 Reps and senators that are ready to come. Those we are talking to are political giants in their own rights and they will be moving with their supporters. It is the right thing to do”, he said.

The source further noted that the leader of the ADC and a former governor of Osun State, retired General Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had been meeting with key stakeholders in the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), noting that the plan is to give the ruling party the “Tambuwal treatment”.

When asked to expatiate on what he meant by the ‘Tambuwal treatment, he simply responded thus: “waiting till the last minute before defecting”. When contacted on Wednesday, a man, who picked Oyinlola’s call, and identified himself simply as his “PA”, said: “General is at a meeting.

I will relate your message and he would get back to you.” However, subsequent calls put across to the line on Wednesday and Thursday were not picked. Structures may be collapsed in Kwara, Bauchi In Kwara and Bauchi states, it was gathered that the supporters of Saraki and those of Dogara might eventually collapse their political structure into the ADC.

While Saraki has a firm grip of the party in Kwara State, Dogara has been having a running battle with his state Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, as such, and has an uphill task in controlling the party machinery in Bauchi. “We are set”, one of the highly placed sources within the Saraki political dynasty told one of our correspondent in Ilorin yesterday.

The source, who clarified that he had no permission to speak officially on the development, said: “We are just waiting for the order and from the look of things, it may not be soon, but it may be after the national convention of the APC”.

Some of the sources in both states noted that though the initial plan was to move into the Social Democratic Party (SDP), but discussions among stakeholders across the country necessitated a review and subsequent adoption of the ADC.

It was also gathered that most of the nPDP members who had gone to the SDP would be moving to the ADC once the arrangements are solidified. Speculations about Saraki’s move heightened a few months back when he opened several constituency offices in the Kwara central zone and the offices were painted in the national colour instead of the APC colours.

Probed on the participation of the group in the ward, local government and state congresses of the APC, the source said it was to ensure that the structure retains it’s identity and control wherever it goes.

“We knew they planned parallel congress here in Kwara but you see that doesn’t really bother us because our own structure has no breach; we are intact and that is what is important, so if we move into any party we are going intact”, the source said.

Another source also claimed that members of the group were sure they would never get a favourable response to the demands of the nPDP from the leadership of the APC, hence the need to take the exit option.

“Do you think we will ever get the APC to favour us? We know the trick; they would play to buy time but we will give them impossible conditions, so we both know the game”.

Mass defection looms in Kaduna In Kaduna State, a faction of the party known as APC Akida yesterday threatened to dump the party over irreconcilable differences between the group and the state Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai.

The Akida group, which has been at loggerheads with the governor over policies and appointments, said the ruling party might find it difficult to win the 2019 elections as citizens no longer trust the party, adding that those that emerged at the just concluded congresses lacked legitimacy.

Among those that belong to the Akida group are senators representing Kaduna North and Central, Suleiman Hunkuyi and Shehu Sani respectively; the Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; Chairman of Liberty Radio and Television, Tijjani Ramalan; a former member House of Representatives and an APC aspirant who was defeated by Governor el-Rufai at the party’s gubernatorial primary, Isa Ashiru and Ambassador Sule Buba, among others.

In a statement signed by the chairman of the group, Maitamaki Tom Maiyashi, the Akida group said it had informed all relevant party organs and leaders that it would regretfully consider leaving a party it worked hard to put in place, if there is no visible evidence of success in addressing the damaging levels of alienation and frustration among the millions of party faithful in the state.

“If other state governments and party leaders emulate the example of Kaduna, our party will have a very difficult task retaining the confidence of the people in 2019. “We now have a party led by people without legitimacy and a government headed by a governor whose registered success lies only in his ability to rain curses on perceived opponents while dancing in public.

“Two significant events, the party congresses and the local government councils elections in Kaduna State have confirmed the fears that the absence of credible and legitimate party leadership in our state will destroy its credibility and popularity.

“These are fears which the Akida group had raised since the early days of the administration of Nasir el-Rufai. “The congresses have exposed the contempt for popular participation by the governor and his hand-picked choir. Our party has lost massive popularity and goodwill as a result of attempts to force the choices of an unpopular government on party faithful.

“Persons with responsibility have emerged who enjoy no support or legitimacy among party members, and the futility that these people will deliver an electoral victory in the 2019 elections is firmly registered from the reactions of most people in the state.

“Akida has become painfully aware that all efforts to halt the damage being done to our party, including many attempts by the leadership of the APC at zonal and national levels, are unlikely to reverse the decline in our party’s capacity to live up to its promises made to the people in 2015.

“While our people die at the hands of marauding killers by the day, our governor lives in his own world, seemingly beyond the reach of any restraining influence.

“As things stand, the founding values of our party, particularly integrity, accountability, inclusiveness and compassion have been systematically repudiated by the government of Nasir el-Rufai, starting with the subversion of the autonomy and integrity of the party at all levels in the state.

Ondo APC faction: We were disenfranchised The factional APC in Ondo State yesterday gave reasons it conducted a parallel congress, saying a faction loyal to the state governor disenfranchised the majority of its members.

In a statement signed by the factional Secretary, Gani Mohammed, the group said none of those who voted against Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu during the 2016 governorship primary made the list of delegates.

According to him, a parallel congress became a compelling necessity when more than 70 percent of the APC population in the state was disenfranchised on the “selfish excuse” of not belonging to a “small group called Aketi-Group”.

Mohammed said: “The Acting state chairman went round some parts of the state instructing members of this small Aketi-Group that Governor Akeredolu has directed that anyone who did not belong to the group should not be allowed to participate in all the stages of the Congress.

“The remaining majority members of the party in the state took the threat for granted and purchased the ward executive nomination forms at the designated banks at the due dates. “Surprisingly members who paid for the forms were denied access to the forms paid for already. Akeredolu was contacted about the development and he denied knowledge of the availability of the form.

“This Aketi-Group continued to comply names in their various offices for the purpose of making them the valid ward executive officers of the party, despite the fact that the group had not paid for the nomination form.

“Therefore some concerned leaders of the party in the state who realised the implications of where nobody purchase forms with the attendant of not having legitimately executive officers to run the affairs of the party in the next four years decided to encourage interested members of the party in the state to buy forms. “

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