Efforts to unseat Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State by the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, through the election tribunal appears to be suffering a blow, with the APC slipping into a serious leadership crisis.
The party is presently divided into two factions, each led by a serving Senator.
While ex-Governor Danjuma Goje leads a faction comprising of the party’s candidate for the April 11governorship election, Inuwa Yahaya, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and current Senator representing Gombe north, Bayero Nafada, leads the other faction that has the state party chairman, Magaji Doho, and some other executive members.
First to fire the salvo was the Goje group, which addressed a press conference in Gombe on Monday, announcing the suspension of the state chairman of the party, Mr. Doho, and 17 others including, Mr. Nafada, a former Minister, Murtala Aliyu, a House of Reps member, Khamisu Mailantarki, and Abubakar Aliyu.
A member of the state executive committee, Umar Saifuddeen, who addressed the press conference, said the chairman and others were suspended for anti-party activities.
Part of those suspended alongside the party’s bigwigs included members of the state working committee.
Mr. Saifuddeen accused them of sponsoring acts that were against the interest of the party.
“The State Working Committee (SWC) sat just a week after the gubernatorial election to review the election and in the review, we were able to set up a committee to look into the issue of anti-party activities and the suspended exco members were found wanting of anti-party activities during the election,” he said.
“We worked throughout the state through our coordinators, exco members who were at the scene of the election at wards and local government levels and we were able to find 18 of them who participated actively in anti-party activities,” he added.
Mr. Saifuddeen also said query letters of query were issued to the affected exco members on Saturday 16th May and they were given 72 hours to reply but none of them did so.
Those suspended were Magaji Doho, the state chairman; Dauda Manu, state legal adviser; Muhammad Kwairanga, zonal vice chairman; Bawa Bungum, state assistant treasurer; Abdullahi Masad, state Assistant organizing secretary; Abubakar Gerengi, zonal youth leader and Ciroma Garkuwa, state youth leader.
Others were, Aaron Yakubu, zonal youth leader (south); Billy Garba, state public relations officer; Alhamis Maigiba, state women leader; Abubakar Dantata, ex-officio member; Micheal Luka, state assistant auditor; M. Nafada ex-officio member; A. I. Gonsis, chairman Kaltungo; Timothy Set, chairman Billiri LG; Nadabo Hamidu, chairman Nafada; Ali Kurugu, chairman Kwami and Usman Abubakar, chairman Dukku local government area.
Goje, others sacked
The state Chairman of the APC, Mr. Doho, swiftly responded to the position taken by the Goje group and also convened a press Conference Monday, where he announced the sack of Mr. Goje and others from the party.
Mr. Doho said Mr. Goje ceased to be a member of the APC as from July 1, 2015.
“Having gone through the rigours of campaigns and the 2015 general elections, some of our members, led by Senator Danjuma Goje, have decided to have parallel state executives of the party.
“Secondly, one of our senators representing Gombe-South, Danjuma Goje, is grossly involved
in anti-party activities and we have, therefore, decided to expel him from the party from the first day of July, 2015, to instill discipline in our great party,” he said.
The APC chairman said the state executive council had written a comprehensive report to the national secretariat of the party, indicting Mr. Goje.
The chairman added that members of the state executive of the party loyal to Mr. Goje have all been relieved of their positions, adding, however, that they remain members of the APC if they chose to do so.
In their letter to the national chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, intimating him of their decision, the Nafada faction said Mr. Goje was also expelled because of his decision to take sides with Senators belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to produce Bukola Saraki as Senate President against the decision of the party’s national executive committee.
The letter was signed by 20 members of the state executive council of the party.
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