Factions of the All Progressives Congress in several states that are loyal to some ministers and senators are set to lose out as the APC has perfected plans to inaugurate state chairmen loyal to the governors at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Thursday (today).
Some of the losers include the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Others who lost out include former Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Senator Kabiru Marafa and a former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’Aziz Yari’.
Several state chapters had been divided into factions due to the controversial congresses conducted late last year. However, the national leadership of the party is now set to inaugurate chairmen who are loyal to the governors except in Kano State.
It was learnt that the chairmen from at least 30 states had already arrived in Abuja ahead of their inauguration.
Some of the states witnessing crises include Osun, Ogun, Kwara, Kebbi, Kano, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bauchi and Zamfara. In some of these states, factions have gone to court, seeking to be recognised as the authentic one.
However, Wednesday began on a dramatic note as Aregbesola, who had been engaged in a feud with his successor, Gboyega Oyetola, lost out. A Federal High Court in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, refused to recognise Aregbesola’s faction as the authentic one.
Justice Emmanuel Ayoola dismissed an application brought before it by Aregbesola’s loyalists, citing a lack of jurisdiction. The Judge ruled that the plaintiffs’ application was not covered by the law and could not be adjudicated by any competent court of law. Ayoola said the suit brought before the court was strictly party affairs, and the court lacked jurisdiction on the matter.
When contacted, the chairman of Aregbesola’s faction in Osun APC, Alhaji Rasaq Salinsile, said it was not clear yet who would be inaugurated by the national leadership as Osun state APC chairman.
Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday, Salinsile simply said, “As it is not clear to you, it is not clear to us who will be inaugurated. But let’s keep our fingers crossed.”
But when contacted, the Special Adviser to the Osun governor on Political Affairs, Sunday Akere, said there was no contention about the post of chairman of APC in the state, adding that the Prince Gboyega Famoodun would be inaugurated by the national leadership of APC.
In Kwara State, the faction loyal to Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, was invited for the inauguration.
Prince Sunday Fagbemi, who heads the governor’s faction, said he had been invited for Thursday (today’s) inauguration of party chairmen by the national caretaker committee of the party.
However, the faction loyal to Lai Mohammed said that it was not aware of the inauguration.
Chief Sunday Oyebiyi, the Deputy Chairman elected by the faction at the APC Congress said, “We don’t know whether anything is being done by the national caretaker committee of APC in Abuja. We were not informed and we were not invited.”
In Ogun State where Governor Dapo Abiodun and his predecessor, Senator Amosun, control two separate factions, the APC headquarters seems to have recognised Abiodun’s loyalist, Chief Yemi Sanusi.
When Sanusi was asked if he was confident of being inaugurated as the chairman of the party in the state, Sanusi just said “you cannot talk to me now. I just landed in Abuja, till tomorrow.”
Several attempts to speak to the faction loyal to a former governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, also failed. The factional chairman, Derin Adebiyi, could not be reached as of the time of filing this report.
In Zamfara State where three factions are currently operating, it was learnt that the APC would inaugurate the faction loyal to Governor Bello Matawalle.