By Armayau Umar Funtua
Penultimate week, the APC National Working Committee, NWC, took a decision to uphold the purported and contentious expulsion by the Sokoto State chapter of the party, of Barrister Inuwa Abdulkadir, the National Vice Chairman. The Adams Oshiomhole led NWC’s decision came to majority of our party members as a devastating blow against our ongoing strenuous efforts at reviving and refocusing the party in a number of the states where the APC is being plagued by a plethora of varying forms of crises.
Before going into specifics of the subject matter, let’s begin by scrutinizing some pertinent questions and issues regarding the powers of local chapters of the APC over National Officials. For example, can a national officer of the stature of a National Vice Chairman, Deputy Chairman or the National Chairman be removed from office or subjected to varying degrees of punitive measures on allegations of misdemeanor made by the local chapters of the party from where such officials come from? Can for instance, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole be suspended, expelled or meted out or, similar severe punitive measures merely on the allegations made by his local chapter back in Edo State? In which case, your guess is as good as mine that, Governor Godwin Obaseki would have since instigated the removal of his now, bitterest political foe!
In other words, should the NWC have accepted line, hook and sinker the recommendation of a ward and the Sokoto state chapter for the “expulsion” of Malam Inuwa Abdulkadir, the National Vice Chairman North-west who was elected at the National Convention of the Party, without as little as embarking on painstaking but simple task of thorough investigation and verification? After all, like Adams Oshiomhole has grown beyond the powers of his local or state chapters of origin by virtue of his position as a National Officer, Abdulkadir ought not to have been subjected to the vagaries, intrigues and manipulations of adversaries or minions of warlords back in his Sokoto state, simply because he is a National Officer elected by a much larger constituency, electorates at the national convention.
To say the least, the APC latest action has finally brought out the painful fact that the party, especially in Sokoto state, is in disarray! We are perilously at the precipice and unless by some miracles, we may sooner than later be at point of Chinua Achebe’s immortal lines: “The falcon can no longer hear the Falconer”. The details of the situation illustrate this observation of the gloom and doom enveloping the APC here in Sokoto and, I am afraid, almost elsewhere in the country. In other words, there is so much to be desired in the way and manner the leadership of the party at the centre has been grappling with resolutions of critical issues of conflicts, grievances, impunity and other tendencies with potential of negative consequences on the party.
In the instant case of Barrister Inuwa Abdulkadir, here we see the national body of a political party arriving at a significant decision such as the expulsion of a member of the party’s NWC, a National vice chairman without a modicum of investigation into the allegations of antiparty activities levied by some elements within a state chapter. To avert the judicial sin of “subjudice” as the issues in question are presently in a court of law, I will for now, avoid going into too much details.
However, to those of us members of the party, the allegations are not only unfounded, baseless and vindictive, they are, pure and simple, the concoction of a motley few under the supervision of individuals on a self-serving mission. If the NWC under the chairmanship of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had done the needful by going beneath the thin veil of the so-called party interest, it would have discovered the lies, the grandstanding and deception of the desperate, intolerant megalomaniacs. Deceptively, they give the impression of altruism but, beneath such a grandeur, is a murky, puerile unedifying narrow-centered agenda.
Our National vice chairman, Barrister Inuwa Abdulkadir incurred the wrath of the self-acclaimed Lords of the Manor of politics in the zone because he has been the leading light against their imperial, despotic and undemocratic posturing, tendencies and machinations. Only their motely clique of servile yeomen will deny this observation. Barrister Inuwa incurred the wrath of those who believe that they are the essence and absolute embodiment of politics, political leverages and patronage.
While those who could not stand the shenanigan, the noxious and insulting antics have since changed over to opposition camps in all the seven state chapters in the zone, Inuwa Abdulkadir, is among the few leaders of the party who have refused to run away, by way of intimidation, blackmail and other forms of political subterfuge, the house he laboured to build. Of course, the political absolutists, the egoists and their hangers on, do not give a damn if the entire house is abandoned for them, or, ruined they are contented, for as long as APC controls the centre and they are therefore, guaranteed all the lucre and material benefits that come from Abuja. By its action, the APC NWC has unfortunately, become tacitly and inadvertently, complicit in a scheme of personal aggrandizement leading to disarray and inevitable collapse of our great party.
Because some people have appropriated to themselves the monopoly of wisdom and powers to call the shots, the fortunes of the APC has been cascading down the valley. Some might point to the massive victory recorded by the party in the last legislative elections in the zone to counter my observation. That feat however, is explained by political pundits to be the outcome of the tremendous degree of President Buhari’s popularity and acceptance among the electorates in the zone. Otherwise, why couldn’t the APC, for example repeat the same feat in the governorship election in Sokoto state? Why did the party eventually lost the entirety of Zamfara State to the opposition? It was simply because some of the APC flag-bearers were clearly unelectable and thoroughly unpopular candidate. Inuwa Abdulkadir, a courageous, deft and incisively intelligent politician was one of the few who saw the impending doom and vehemently made the point. But, as it turned out, his views and wise counsels were disregarded. The power that be were defiant to have their way. They therefore, went on to bend all the democratic norms and party regulations to have the candidates imposed. The rest, as they say, is now history.
The travails of Inuwa Abdulkadir started from the moment he stood up against impunity and insisted that the APC primary elections must be conducted in accordance with the rules of democracy. No more, no less. All the balderdash about his anti-party activities, his association with the opposition, sponsoring and campaigning for candidates of other political parties against those of the APC, are, at the best, to be explained as a gimmick to give a dog a bad name in order to justify hanging it.
To those who went into the trenches during the last campaign in all the states of the zone, we can vouch for the immense contributions and efforts of Barr. Inuwa Abdulkadir towards the electoral fortunes of our great party. It will not be surprising that, blinded by hate, mischief and a fixated mind, his adversaries deliberately refused or were oblivious of such struggles and sacrifices.
At the end of the day, the purported “expulsion” has thrown some pertinent questions begging for answers. For instance, why was the NWC so much in a hurry to throw its weight on the side of the petitioners of Sokoto, without listening to the other of the story? The NWC was well aware that the issues at stake were already subject of litigation in the court of law. Why then the insistence to constitute an investigative panel which tantamount to an action prejudicial in law? In arriving at the verdict of guilt as NWC has done, isn’t it a travesty of justice, in fact, outright injustice that such decision was taken without speaking with other stakeholders in Sokoto? As the leader of the party in the North-west zone, did the NWC receive similar complaints against Inuwa Abdulkadir from any of the other seven states?
Be that as it may, there is no gainsaying the fact that the sad decision and action of the APC against the North-west National Vice Chairman has raised a heavy, dark, ominous cloud over the APC in Sokoto. There is the saying, that, “what goes around can comes around”. It is Inuwa Abdulkadir today, who knows who is next? Only those who want to play the ostrich will not believe that the party is being pushed dangerously to the precipice.
Armayau Umar Funtua
Sabon Layi, Funtua