APC must punish indiscipline, violations of party spirit, says El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that the APC must stop portraying itself as a party of anything goes, and must take strong action to punish factionalisation and indiscipline.

Mr. El-Rufai gave this warning in oral and written briefs to the APC fact-finding committee he met in Kaduna on February 25. The governor asked the APC to apply appropriate sanctions against members that have violated the provisions of Article 21 of its constitution. In addition, he asked the national headquarters to take consequential action to give final effect to disciplinary actions taken by the state chapter.

The governor made his views known in a submission to the Segun Oni-led fact-finding committee that national working committee of the APC charged to investigate recent happenings in the Kaduna State branch of the party. A copy of the submission was made available to PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr. El-Rufai, who received the Oni committee at the Government House, was accompanied by the acting APC state chairman, Shuaibu Idris, and five members of the House of Representatives.

Mr. El-Rufai’s submission traced the story of the Kaduna State APC from 2014, detailing the roles of various actors, some of whom, he said, began to act above the party after losing in the state congress. He also narrated his efforts at reconciliation after winning the governorship primaries in December 2014, visiting the defeated aspirants and integrating people from Isa Ashiru’s camp into his campaign structure, from which many of them were given political appointments. He cited as examples Suleiman Abdu Kwari, who has been Finance Commissioner since 2015, Ruth Alkali (Commissioner of Commerce), Ben Kure, DG-SEMA, and Namadi Musa, DG of the Bureau of Interfaith Matters.

Mr. El-Rufai told the committee that “the Kaduna State Government has benefitted from the strong support of the State Chapter of the APC in executing the promises made in the Restoration Programme, the Kaduna State-specific iteration of the APC national manifesto.

“The party is fully integrated into governance, with many of its leaders holding positions within the state executive council, the Governor’s Office and agencies of the government. Several party leaders have been appointed to the boards of government parastatals, and due care has been taken to foster the expected closeness between the party and the government that it produced.”

But the governor lamented that an attitude of levity by the national headquarters of the APC has not been helpful to party discipline. He said this has been exacerbated by the involvement of national party officials in fostering the space for rascality. This enabled the hypocrisy of people like Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi who had recognised Shuaibu Idris as acting chairman since 2015, and bought a car for him, but suddenly in 2018 resurrected the rested ghost of the impostor, SI Danladi Wada as the fake chairman, the governor said.

“However, this strong synergy between the state government and the Kaduna APC has been undermined for years by the attitude, actions and inactions of the national headquarters of the party. The national APC has neither taken the consequential disciplinary actions required to give final effect to steps taken at ward, local government and state levels against violations of party constitution, spirit and law, nor acted firmly to deter repeated attempts by cliques led by Inuwa Abdulkadir to impose as acting chairman, someone called S I Danladi Wada who did not contest any party elections, and whose name is not even on the party register as a member.

“The ambivalence created by the National HQ, and the continued failure to deal with Inuwa Abdulkadir’s various attempts to factionalise the party in Kaduna and Kano States, and even in Bauchi State, ultimately provided the platform for the latest round of political rascality witnessed in Kaduna.

“Once again, the national APC did not act promptly to disavow the treasonable act of opening a parallel secretariat, or the multiple initiation of legal action against the party, the national chairman, deputy national chairman (North) and others by proxies of Inuwa Abdulkadir and others whose goal is to abuse court processes to delay the prosecution of an impersonator called S I Danladi Wada. The actions of these so-called members of the party, all of which violate every section of Article 21 of the Constitution of the APC, should have earned them automatic expulsion, but the party did nothing. These violators of party discipline therefore concluded that we are a party of anything goes, and treasonable acts of political rascality have no consequences.”

Mr. El-Rufai said the Kaduna State APC cannot allow persistent violations of party discipline. He warned that “party discipline cannot be compromised; neither can treasonable and treacherous actions be rewarded with the promise of reconciliation. Where the national headquarters has failed to act, the Kaduna State APC has taken necessary measures to preserve its authority and integrity.”

Mr. El-Rufai noted that the attitude of the national party amounts to an abdication of responsibility. “How is it that the national party appears to be finally stirring only now when the Kaduna APC and the government it produced are containing these political rascals? We will continue to avoid the moral hazard of rewarding bad behaviour.”

Explaining the actions of the Kaduna State Government, Mr. El-Rufai pointedly told the Oni committee that people do not secure immunity from the law merely by describing themselves as political opponents.

“It is also not prudent to expect that an elected government will abdicate its duty to enforce the law just because some people have declared themselves opposed to it. It is also unacceptable that those that violate the laws of Kaduna State regarding title to land, land use and preservation of the Kaduna Master Plan with impunity will avoid sanctions, just because they voice opposition to the government.”

Mr. El-Rufai asked the APC fact-finding committee to note the following:

1. There is the utmost cooperation between the Kaduna State Government and the party that produced it, the bona fide leadership and membership of the Kaduna APC;

2. The APC Kaduna State Government is implementing the party programme outlined in the Restoration Programme, the Kaduna State iteration of the APC manifesto. This obliges us to promote Equality of Opportunity by prioritising Education, Healthcare, Social Welfare, Investments and Jobs; not the erstwhile culture of distribution of money, contracts and appointments to those who feel entitled without regard to public financial regulations, procurement law, and competence and capacity to perform the job in hand.

3. At all times, the Kaduna State Government has a duty to enforce the law, without exempting or granting immunity to friend or foe, ally or political opponent. Therefore, the government has filed criminal charges against several political actors engaged in the contrived effort to earn a lifeline through unlawful behaviour;

4. The APC is obliged by Article 21 of its own Constitution to punish errant political behaviour, including factionalisation, creation of parallel offices, suing the party and disrespect to its structures;

5. The national headquarters of the APC must take consequential action to give effect to disciplinary measures taken against certain members in Kaduna State: expulsions and suspensions have been approved by the State Executive Committee of the party.

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