Adamawa and the Defection of Controversy

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Daji Sani, in Yola, examines the disagreements in Adamawa State following the defection of the state governor, Murtala Nyako, from PDP to APC
The defection of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and his supporters from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress is causing a series of tensions and disagreement in the state’s chapter of APC.
Controversial Party Offices
The disagreements worsened following the recent decision by Nyako and his supporters to open new offices for APC across the 21 local government areas as well as 226 wards, allegedly, without the consent of the founding fathers of the party in the state. Apparently, the act raised apprehension among the APC founding members that the governor might be scheming to hijack the structures of the party from them.
Prominent members of APC in the state saw the action of the governor as an act of disrespect and disregard for their efforts to establish the party and bring it to the point where it was conducive for Nyako and supporters to join.
Associating Against Nyako
The two political leaders that had come together with their followers to form APC are General Buba Marwa, who was the governorship candidate of the now defunct Congress for Progressive Change, and Markus Gundiri of the equally defunct Action Congress of Nigeria.
CPC, ACN, All Nigeria Peoples Congress as well as factions of All Progressives Grand Alliance and Democratic Peoples Party had come together to form APC.
Marwa and Gundiri were also said to have disagreed with Nyako over his recent statement that all members of APC were equal. Both men have resolved to sink their personal interest and team up against Nyakô and his men.
They have vow to fight any attempt to give the governor the structures of the party, arguing that the fact that Nyako is governor of the state does not give him superiority over them.
Last Monday in Yola, Marwa and Gundiri insisted that they had consummated the APC merger in the state and any new entrant into the coalition should take a back seat.
Commenting in a similar vein, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Namdas, who was Gundiri’s running mate at the last governorship election in the state, told THISDAY that his camp and that of Marwa had decided to resolve their political differences and marry their interests on purpose to stop Nyako from hijacking APC in the state.
“We have decided to put our political differences aside to safeguard our party from Nyako and his supporters who are determined to hijack our party from us,” Namdas said.
He noted that it amounted to self-deceit for Nyako to claim that all APC members were equal. “They cannot compare themselves to us,” he said
Marwa’s supporter, Alhaji Baba Sulaiman, said APC would not condone injustice and impunity in all ramifications, adding that anyone coming into the party should come through the right procedure and any attempt by any power monger to hijack the party will be resisted.
According to him, “We will never allow anyone who came through the window to hijack the party we laboured to build over the years, hence I urge all our supporters to unite and say no to any outsider who is trying to hijack the party from us. Our tireless effort will not be in vain.
Nyako Responds
But Nyako believes Marwa and Gundiri are not fighting him, but APC itself, because the party’s national leadership had handed over the leadership of the party in the state to him as the sitting governor.
The governor who spoke through his press and public affairs director, Ahmed Sajoh, said that an agreement was reached between the governors and national leadership of APC that all the defecting governors from the PDP to APC would automatically become the leaders of the party in their various states.
Sajoh said the national headquarters of APC had translated a letter to Nyako asking him to assist the APC to open new offices across the 21 local government areas as well as the 226 wards of the state. The governor’s spokesman said he did not see any reason why the Marwa and Gundiri groups were claiming that it was a scheme to hijack the leadership and structures of the party.
He said his principal was more concerned with the stability and the progress of the party than its leadership because the governor is not seeking to govern the state for the third time.
Sajoh advised Marwa and Gundiri to be interested in the progress of the in party and not fighting for leadership positions, saying they should go out and mobilise people at the grassroots to help APC have a landmark victory in Adamawa State.
Premature Battle
However, APC’s interim national vice chairman, North-east, Dr. Umar Duhu, told newsmen in Yola recently that there were no structures in Adamawa State for Nyako to hijack because the party was yet to commence registration of members.
Duhu promised that when the party gave the go-ahead to register members, it would be made public and structures and committees would be set up to take care of the party’s leadership from the wards to local governments and the state level. He stressed that the current wrangling over party structures was unwarranted and urged the leaders to go and mobilise their people at the grassroots.
Ominous Squabble
Many observers believe that if APC does not handle the current disagreements well, the party risks losing the 2015 general elections to PDP. Besides, there seem to be a communication gap between the national leadership of APC and the foundation members of the party in the state, particularly, regarding the issue of agreements reached with Nyakô.
Analysts also believe that the widely suspected entrance of former Vice President Atiku Abubakàr into in January may deepen the disagreements. It is feared that the political affluence of the former vice president might scare away some politicians in the state, who are believed to be working against him already. They believe the entrance of Atiku and his supporters would cripple their political ambitions.
However, Namdas says the coming of Atiku into APC is a welcome development, adding that it will strengthen the party in the state.
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