The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna has warned Suleiman Hunkuyi, the senator representing Kaduna North District, to stay away from the activities of the party in the state.
Mr Hunkuyi, who is an adversary of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, reported how he was harassed when suspected thugs intruded into a gathering he organised in Kaduna on Saturday and inflicted injuries on many.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the thugs chanted “Kaduna sai Uba Sani’, Kaduna sai El-Rufai”, meaning “We only support Uba Sani and El-Rufai in Kaduna”, as they attacked the gathering.
But at a press briefing in Kaduna on Tuesday, the party’s Acting Secretary, Baba Pate, warned the senator against organising party meetings in the state, saying he stands suspended.
The party’s state chapter announced the suspension of Mr Hunkuyi in February after he set up a faction of the party. This was followed by the state government demolishing the senator’s building hosting the factional head office in Kaduna.
“We wish to inform members of the general public that the party has uncovered Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi’s illegal attempt to undermine the APC’s congresses in Kaduna State, starting from 5th May 2018,” Mr Pate said at the briefing on Tuesday.
His statement comes days after Mr Hunkuyi warned that the APC congresses in the state must be free and fair.
Mr Patel, however, indicated that Mr Hunkuyi and his supporters will not be allowed to participate in the congresses.
“In line with the provisions of the APC’s constitution, the party membership of Senator Hunkuyi was suspended on the 17th February 2018 for offences related to factionalising the party and anti-party activities. Several of his associates were also expelled from the party on the same day for gross violations of party discipline.
“Due to the suspension of his membership, Senator Hunkuyi cannot directly or indirectly participate in the activities of the APC or convene any gathering in the name of the party, contrary to what he is presently doing.
“Furthermore, intelligence at our disposal suggests that he and his expelled associates are planning to destabilise the congresses across the state. There are reports that thugs and mercenaries are being assembled for this purpose.
“Consequently, the leadership of the party will hold suspended Senator Hunkuyi responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the course of our congresses.
“While Hunkuyi is a suspended member, most of his associates have lost their party membership by expulsion. Thus, they have nothing at stake, and are merely engaging in impersonation to try to undermine a party that has rightly removed them from its ranks,” the chapter said.
According to Mr Pate, the state APC had alerted security agencies to take measures to protect its members and national officials who will conduct the congresses of the party later this month across the state.
“For the umpteenth time, we are warning suspended Senator Hunkuyi and his co-travelers to desist from interfering in our activity. We will hold Hunkuyi and his associates responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the course of our congresses,” Mr Pate said.
Efforts to get the senator’s response on the issue were not successful as several calls to his number did not go through as at the time of filing this report.