By Emmanuel Oloniruha
A rebel group announced its excision from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), on Wednesday, calling itself Reformed APC (R-APC).
Alhaji Buba Galadima, an engineer from Gashua, Yobe State, and former secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, was introduced as the National Chairman of the group.
He told a press conference in Abuja that the R-APC includes all the progressive forces in the APC, without mentioning the names, except the parade of paperweight politicians who were named as ‘officers’.
A major political player, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, chairman of the New Peoples Democratic Party that had joined the APC in 2014, was at the conference.
He said on Sunday in Ilorin that the New PDP would make its stand known this week. His presence may therefore be taken that the R-APC and n-PDP are one and the same.
Galadima, who had expressed frustrations very early in the life of the APC government claimed members of the R-APC included most of the leading members of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and others.
Galadima recalled that in the build up to the 2015 General elections, some political parties and groups came together, and formed a brand called the APC.
He said Nigerians however entrusted power to the APC based on its promises and potentials.
“We are sad to report that after more than three years of governance, our hopes have been betrayed, our expectations completely dashed.
“The APC has run a rudderless, inept and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the Nigerian people.
“It has rather imposed dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete abdication of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, infidelity to the rule of law and constitutionalism.
“It has failed to ensure the security and welfare of our people and elevated nepotism to unacceptable heights. The APC has failed to deliver on its key promises to the nation.
“There is no evidence of any political will to reverse the decline of our party, while leaders who have created these circumstances continue to behave as if Nigerians owe our party votes as a matter of right.`’
“The APC government, has been a monumental disaster, even worse than the government it replaced.
“The political party that was a vehicle for enthroning the government was rendered powerless by manipulations and complete lack of due process in its operations.’’
Galadima said the last straw, that broke the party was the congresses and Convention of the APC held recently.
He said that the congresses were intensely disputed as it was conducted with impunity, total disregard for due process, disregard for the party constitution and naked display of power and practices that had no place in the party.
“There are countless cases in courts all over the country challenging the legality of congresses and even the National Convention itself.
“It is very likely that the judicial decisions on these cases will result in massive chaos, confusion and uncertainties.
The fate of a party in this state with a few months to the elections is best left to the imagination, but it is not a fate we believe our millions of members should be abandoned to.’’
He said there were parallel congresses in 24 States while congresses in Wards, Local Government Areas and States all over the federation produced different sets of delegates.
“The so-called National Convention of the APC was even worse.
“The National Convention of the party was ridiculed with constitutional infirmities that were so glaring and obvious that no fair minded person can claim that a legitimate and lawful executive emerged from that process.’’
The Chairman of the organising Committee, Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, he said, declared 18 seats unopposed “since only one valid candidate stood at the end of the grossly manipulated nomination exercise for each of the offices.’’
This according to him was in flagrant abuse and violence to the Constitution of the APC.
Galadima added that even before the “illegal exercises’’ that had alienated millions of members, there had been widespread disenchantment with the manner the party had been run, and the conduct and performance of APC governments.
He said that the nPDP, which made a major contribution to the emergence of the APC administration, made strenuous efforts to invite attention to inequities, injustice and poor management in the party without any success.
The nPDP had shown good faith and commitment to the party, but it had been rewarded with indifference and even contempt.
“Under the circumstances, patriotic elements and most of the original founders of the APC have found themselves in the opposing side of this charade.
“Most of the delegates who bought and paid for forms for the congresses and convention and were elected as delegates have come together to take control and give legitimacy to APC to be now known as and called R-APC.
The R-APC as constituted have officers in all the wards, 774 Local Governments, and all the 36 States of the Federation including the FCT.
Galadima said that the R-APC also had National Executive Committee, the National Working Committee and other organs of the Party were properly constituted and functional.
He listed some of the National Officers of the R-APC to include Bala Gwagwarwa from Kano as national Deputy Chairman,North; Chief Theo Nkire, Abia State, as National Deputy Chairman, South East; and Eko Olakunle, Ondo State, National Vice Chairman South West.
Others include Godwin Akaan as Deputy National Secretary; Dr Fatai Atanda, National Secretary; Kazeem Afegbua, National Publicity Secretary; and Daniel Bwala as Financial Secretary.
Galadima, who said the R-APC was the real party, said the reformed party would work with like-minded political parties and groups to offer Nigeria qualitative good governance in 2019.
He added that the party would in concert with others offer real change to Nigeria and “not fake change.’’
“It is clear that our party needs a leadership that will live by its founding ideals.
“We have therefore decided to legitimately lead those members to work to rebuild our nation more firmly on genuine democratic principles, to enshrine good governance and restore the faith of Nigerians in the possibility of the existence of a prosperous, secure and peaceful nation.’’
He called on all Nigerians, not to despair as a rescue plan was in the works and would be unfolded soon.
Answering questions, Galadima promised to deliver 75 per cent of the votes that president Muhammadu Buhari always could gather in any election.
The new Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole sued for calm and asked disgruntled party members to sheathe their swords.