Some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the political ward of Shehu Sani, a senator from Kaduna State, have insisted that the controversial suspension placed on the senator still subsists.
In a resolution issued at the end of a meeting of the executive committee, the officials warned the senator that being in the good books of party leaders in Abuja will not invalidate his suspension until his submits himself to the party at the local level.
The statement which was signed by the factional chairman of Kawo Ward 6, Ibrahim Togo, said the initial decision to suspend the senator was taken “based on the provisions of the constitution of our great party”.
Mr Sani who was widely expected to leave the APC, along with Senate President Bukola Saraki, explained that he decided to remain in the APC based on his own ideology and intercessions of some personalities, including a former governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, and a leader of APC, Bola Tinubu.
Mr Sani’s initial plan to exit the ruling party was in connection with the sour relationship between him and Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
The senator’s co-traveller in opposition against Mr El-Rufai, Kaduna North senator, Suleiman Hunkuyi, is among senators who left for the PDP in July.
But the ward leadership of the party insisted that the “the only pre-condition” for lifting the suspension it earlier placed on the senator is for him to “openly apologise to the leadership of our great party for his various acts of misconduct and disrespectful attitudes towards both his constituents, party leadership and his vicious media attacks on our amiable President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The statement also asked the senator to tender apology for opposition to a $350 million loan sought by the Kaduna State Government from the World Bank.
Mr Sani, who is the chairman of Senate Committee on Foreign and Loacal Loan was vehement in his opposition of the facility sought by the state government. His opposition and that of the two other senators from Kaduna contributed significantly to the Senate rejecting the request.
SHEHU SANI REACTS
In reaction, Mr Sani described the author of the letter as ‘faceless and unknown persons’ parading themselves as executives.
Signed by Abdulsamad Amadi, his media aide, the lawmaker said there was no congress held before the individuals made such decision.
“My attention has been drawn to a statement by some unscrupulous elements illegally parading themselves as the executives of APC Tudun Wada north ward 6 in Kaduna south local government area of Kaduna state, claiming to have suspended Senator Shehu Sani from the All Progressive Congress APC.
“Ordinarily statements like these by faceless and unknown persons wouldn’t have attracted any response from the office of the distinguished Senator. However, we find it imperative to say something so as to expose these crooks for whom they really are.
“First and foremost it is important to note that no congress was held, nether was any consensus reached to put in place any form of leadership structure in the said council. Consequently, anybody parading himself as an exco in the ward is doing so illegally. We were reliably informed that the people spreading this falsehood were handpicked by an aide to the state governor whose ill motivated and desperate ambition of becoming a senator seem to be driving insane,” the statement reads in part.
Mr Sani said the move was sponsored by Mr El-Rufai’s media aide. He did not mention which aide it is.
He added that his decision to remain in the party has been appreciated by the party leadership.
“It is rather unfortunate that these people are allowing themselves to be used by this desperate governor’s aide, to frustrate the efforts of the new APC National Leadership and President Buhari to bring sanity to the party. We are not totally surprised by this despicable act as it was an open secret that the Kaduna state government was never in support of Comrade Oshiomhole’s ascension to the leadership of our great party.
“The decision by Sen Shehu Sani to remain in the APC amidst the mass defections is a decision that has been highly appreciated by the President and the National Leadership of the APC. Also President Buhari and the entire Leadership of the APC have on numerous occasions openly affirmed their confidence and trust in Senator Shehu Sani as a high-profile stakeholder and bonafide member of the APC whom they hold in very high esteem. Therefore it is not only self contradictory, but also an act of disrespect to President Buhari and the National Chairman, for people who are claiming allegiance to them to be acting otherwise.”
WE ARE NOT AWARE – STATE APC
Meanwhile, the chairman of Kaduna APC told PREMIUM TIMES Thursday evening he is not aware of the latest move.
“No. I’m not aware of that and the party has a procedure of doing things,” Emmanuel Jakada said on phone.
While noting that such letter needs to pass through the state structure of the party to gain legitimacy, Mr Jakada said he has already set up a committee to reconcile aggrieved members.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve not seen that letter. If there is anything of that nature, it should come from to the party, not from the newspaper. Meanwhile, I have set up a committee to liaise with aggrieved members of the party to ensure that they return to the party or we reconcile with them. So, if there is anything of that nature, I expected them to see the committee.
“They have the power but the party should be notified. The party should give the final verdict. We have not been notified,” he said.
IT’s A GIMMICK – FACTIONAL CHAIRMAN
A factional chairman of the ward, Abba Anni, described the latest move as political gimmick which should be ignored.
In a letter dated August 2, sent to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Anni expressed his support for Mr Sani.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of the substantive APC Executives in Ward (6) and the general public are hereby drawn to the new political gimmick issued by some stooges purporting to be re-affirming the suspension of the so-called Senator Shehu Sani from the All Progressives Congress (APC). Ordinarily, we would not have glorified these brainless characters with a response because it is common knowledge that the elephant footprints obliterates that of the camel. However, it become imperative to dispel this façade based the request made by out teeming supporters across the Senatorial District.
“In this regard, the members of APC in Ward Six (6) and the general public are hereby notified to ignore in strong terms such black mail and intimidation in the name of ‘suspension’ as it is completely with neither basis nor authority. Conversely, we wish to affirm our unflinching support and solidarity to Senator Shehu Sani for continuity in the forthcoming 2019 elections. For over three years that the senator has been in the senate, he has and is still performing outstandingly in legislation and oversight function which has endeared him to the Nigerian public.”