The All Progressives Congress, APC, has affirmed that no gang-up directed against the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration would work as it yesterday called on all those with grievances against the party to retrace their steps while the windows for reconciliation are still open. The party’s assertion, nonetheless, two of its members in the House of Representatives, yesterday, formally announced their defection to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led alliance of opposition political parties.
The defection of the two members came in the wake of apprehension in the House over the leadership direction of the House, with members taking varied positions on the development. However, that momentum was deflated yesterday as 2019 presidential aspirant, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu and Second Republic governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, rebuffed the agenda of the alliance. Civil society activists, including president of Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, Dr. Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode, and executive director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre: CISLAC, Mallam Auwal Ibrahim, however, expressed hope that the formation of the alliance could positively enhance the competitive space in the polity. APC reacts Responding to the formation of the alliance dubbed Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, by about 40 political parties, the APC through a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said: “On Monday July 9, 2018, a group of individuals under the so-called ‘Reformed All Progressives Congress’ platform purportedly joined a coalition of opposition political parties ahead of the 2019 general elections. “We respect the right of everyone to join any association or group. However, we wish to reiterate that the so-called R-APC is not a faction of our party. Our party, the APC remains united under the leadership of our President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is also noteworthy that some political parties that have been named as signatories to the MoU have disassociated themselves from the publicised deal. “We once again reiterate the commitment of our party to address real grievances of our genuine members. We call on them to take advantage of this opportunity while the windows for reconciliation are still open. “We are confident that no level of gang-up can make our government under President Buhari waiver in its promises to Nigerians to rid our country of corruption and improve the quality of lives for our people.”
The call for reconciliation nonetheless, two members of the House of Representatives, yesterday, publicly declared their support for the alliance during a hearing on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. The two members are Rufai Ahmed Chachangi and Sani Rano from Kaduna and Kano states respectively. Reps divided Other members of the House were yesterday divided on the import of the development. Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) argued that “if it happens, leadership will remain the way it is because it’s just a nomenclature and nothing else.
“If you look at the whole thing, politics is local; as I am here, it’s what I can get for Obio Akpor, my constituency that is paramount but at the national level, it’s a different ball game entirely as national interest which will drive a lot of issues to a higher political mileage comes to fore.” Rimamande Shawhulu (PDP, Taraba) simply said: “We’ll allow it to flow like a river and allow it to produce the leadership with the majority in the House because we need to build strong institutions and not strong men.