Like Kaduna, a group which disagreed with the leadership style of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has emerged with a parallel structure in Katsina State known as the APC Akida.
Just like Kaduna, the new group is accusing the Katsina State governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, of sidelining party leaders in the state and running what they term ‘an exclusive government’.
Ahmed Himma Katsina, who identified himself as a chieftain of the group told newsmen in Kaduna that theirs is an intervention to save the APC in Katsina from collapse.
“As a matter of fact, support for President Buhari should begin from Katsina State. Therefore, if there is a problem in Katsina State between the governor and APC chieftains, the development will not augur well for President Buhari.
“This is why we are worried and have decided to bring the matter to the public because we would not sit down and allow anything that goes against the President,” he stated.
He said after they all worked for the success of the party at the last general elections, the governor has sidelined everybody and is doing things alone. He only listens to two of his favourites.
He said, “This is why we are now agitating, others who worked for the progress of the APC in the state, the real politicians who committed so much for the party in the state must be considered and be carried along.”
Those backing the new group include party bigwigs in the state and strong contenders for the office of governor. They include, Sen Sadiq Yar’Adua, Sen Abdu Yandoma, Sen MT Liman, Alhaji Sada Ilu, Dr Usman Bugaje, Tijjani Zangon Daura and Hannatu Musawa.
Others are Barrister Gambo Musa Danmusa, Abubakar Samaila Isa Funtua, Professor Kabir Murja, Barrister Abbas Machika, Abdulaziz Labo Mahuta and Hajiya Murja Wambai.
Bugaje, Liman and Yar’Adua, when contacted, declined comment on the issue but the spokesman of the group, Barrister Abbas Machika, said these are men of like minds who felt the need for the right thing to be done for the overall interest of the party.
“We came around, sat at various places and discussed the party, especially the trend of happenings since 2015. There a lot of complaints. We realised, having founded the party with Gen Buhari, it was wrong to continue to sit and watch,” he said.
Machika said what is happening presently in Katsina politically and in government is not in tandem with President Buhari ideals and beliefs, explaining that the problems did not just start as they had been there since the inception of the administration.
“Look at us closely, we are well captured and held various political positions which most have not even dreamt of. To say we are doing this for cheap offices is just a political blackmail. We are doing this to strengthen the party in line with its transparency and rule of law order which has been violated,” he added
But reacting swiftly, a leader of the party in the state, Alhaji Umar Dikko Radda, said all the issues raised by the group did not hold water, adding that as far as he knows all have been accommodated in the current administration in the state.
“So to me, that is not an issue because like I said, most of the political juggernauts in the state are represented in his government. What that means in essence is, there is a kind of unparalleled leadership quality in Governor Aminu Bello Masari that we should all emulate.
“He’s being careful because Katsina symbolises the President and any embarrassment coming from the state is not targeted at the governor but the President because Mr. President is a bona-fide member of the APC in the ward, his local government, Daura, as well as the state. He attends meetings of the APC in the state where necessary. So, for any person to say he is being excluded, he is not saying the truth,” he said.
Radda also waved aside the idea of a faction of the APC in Katsina State, saying, “there is no faction in Katsina APC and nobody could tell me that. If there is, who is the chairman of the other faction? We want to know him. I know in some of the neighbouring states we have factions, but definitely not in Katsina.”
Masari, at a rally organised to show support to his administration, indirectly came down hard on some APC’s members who he said are bent on sabotaging the present administration describing them as ‘devils’
Masari described them as devils, saying they are the main looters who have for long specialised in draining the nation’s economy but have been blocked thereby chose to fight the APC within.
He said the president Buhari’s fight against corruption must be supported in all the ramifications, adding that “these devils are out to pitch the electorate against the administration.”
“We must all be wary of them, they are greedy persons out to cause confusion for their selfish interest, they want to continue to loot and no way for that so they devised a means of pitching electorate against governance,” he said
Masari said true and well meaning Nigerians should be cautious of such men, noting that the APC is out to transform the country from long period of corruptions.
The Special Adviser to the governor on Political Shehu Zango dismissed all the allegations, describing it as just a selfish group out to achieve their selfish interest not that of the generality of the populace.
He said the group forgot that the APC is an amalgamation of political parties with many from the PDP who crossed in to help get to power, saying that ‘virtually all the so called Akida group were at one time in the PDP.
“They can only want to make noise but Masari’s government is an all inclusive one, every day we are ready and open to all and sundry, he said
“They should tell us who is still a card-carrying member of the PDP that is with us not one,” he added
The party leadership under Shitu Shitu has also been holding series of meetings to see how best it can contained the unfolding events. At on such meeting, the party in its communique reaffirmed their support to President Buhari and Governor Masari. The party also went ahead to foreclose all other avenues by endorsing the duo as their sole candidates for the 2019 general elections.
The meeting noted categorically that it did not recognise any faction within it describing it as contrary to its constitutional provision.
The state working committee also indirectly replied the Akida group that Masari, saying runs a transparent administration, open-door policy and recorded wonderful achievements has within the short period of two years of his administration in areas of Education, Agriculture, health, security, water supply and infrastructural development and empowerment of the good people of Katsina State.
They commended the cordial relationship that exists between members of the state Legislature and the Executive arms of government.
For the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the coming of the splinter group and the issues it raised is a vindication to their ongoing claims of bad leadership in the state.
The party’s chairman, Salisu Majigiri, said all those aggrieved should feel free and join the ‘true democrats’, as the party is poised to ensure level playing ground for all.