Crisis Over Politics Of Inclusiveness In Kogi | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Crisis Over Politics Of Inclusiveness In Kogi

Posted: Jun 16, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Augustine Adah

Lagos   – There seems to be no end to the ongoing crisis in the Kogi State chapter of  All Progressives Congress Party (APC). Last Monday in Abuja, some party leaders including state executives, party elders and members of the National Assembly set up a  disciplinary committee headed by Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi-west to review the various allegations of anti-party activities  against Yahaya Bello, governor of the state. The committee members are expected to submit their report within a week.

Before now, Bello has been accused of working for Peoples Democratic Party in the November 21, 2015 governorship election in the state, the reason some party leaders opposed  his nomination as the flag bearer of the party in December 5 supplementary election after the demise of Prince Abubakar Audu, the candidate of the party in November 21 election. But governor has denied the allegation.

This time around, some party leaders were displeased that every appointment made by the governor since he assumed office has been to the advantage of the party. According to the resolution of the meeting, which was also attended by the APC Chairman in the state, Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, and  read to journalists by Melaye after the meeting, Bello allegedly made all the appointments without carrying the party along.

For instance, the Kogi APC leaders said, “Out of the 15 Commissioners he (Bello) appointed, PDP has 13 card-carrying members while APC has two. Out of the 105 members of the Caretaker Committee members for the 21 Local Government Councils, PDP has 72 while APC has 33.”

They also said, “Out of the 28 people he appointed as Special Advisers and Senior Special Assistants,  PDP has 24, APC has one, APGA has one, Labour has one, Accord has one.” The party said it acted based on the Article 12 (8) of the APC constitution,  to convey the meeting and agreed to set up the committee made up of members from the three senatorial districts of the state to invite the governor, for necessary questioning.

They said their action became imperative following an alleged decision of the governor to rebuff all attempts to hold a meeting with the State Working Committee of the party since he was sworn-in as governor. They also threatened necessary disciplinary actions against the governor in accordance with the party constitution, in case he chooses to disregard the party resolution.

Part of the resolution reads, “After much deliberation, the House noted that Governor Yahaya Bello, has substantially, breached the provision of Article 21of the constitution of the APC. “The House, therefore resolved to constitute a disciplinary committee of 11 members to invite Governor Yahaya Bello and give him the desired fair hearing”

Members of the disciplinary committees are, Senator Dino Melaye ( Chairman), Hon. S.T.Adejoh (Secretary),  Senator Mohammed Ohiare, Senator Abubakar Abdulrahman, Senator Nicholas Ugbane, and Alhaji Haddy Ametuo, the APC Chairman in Kogi State.

Others are,  Hon.Buba Jibril, Hajia Hajara Aliyu, Hon. Folasade Joseph, and Hon. Suleiman Ali. This is not the first time leaders of APC would rise against Bello in the state. It would be recalled that members of the state executives of the party under Alhaji Haddy Ametuo as chairman some weeks ago met and pass a vote of no confidence on the governor. The party leadership expressed misgiving over the governor’s manner of administration which has kept  many leaders in the dark especially in the appointment into political offices  since he was sworn in on January 27, 2016.

Apart from the party executives, a group of elders of the party led by Senator Nicholas Ugbane expressed displeasure over the manner political appointments are made without consulting the party elders and leaders.  According to a press statement released by Haddy Ametuo, recently accused the governor of supporting a group in the ongoing crisis in the state House of Assembly and sideline the party in the administration of the state.

Ametuo said, “The claim by the governor that I am fighting him because “his brother was removed as Speaker of the State Assembly” has clearly shown that he was truly behind the crisis in the State Assembly.  “The governor claims that he is running an all inclusive government. The fact remains that any ‘all inclusive government’ that does not even include the government party members is not only ridiculous, laughable and self – defeating but etymological inexactitude. Governor Yahaya Bello should know that he got to the Lugard House under the platform of APC and not Unity Party.

However, Adamu Idakwo, senior special assistant to the governor on Print Media, dismissed the allegation ascribing it to the hangover of tribunal judgment which some groups lost out in the state. He said, “I think the group has lost focus and just expressing their anger over the tribunal judgment which they started celebrating victory before it was delivered.”Idakwo expressed surprise at the  decision to  constitute a disciplinary committee because some of those that spearheaded the meeting had benefitted from the governor’s appointments since assumed office in January this year.

The present Secretary to the State Government (SSG) was nominated by Senator Dino Melaye, who is heading the disciplinary committee of the group. He advised those who are accusing the governor of bringing non party members into his cabinet to learn from the example of the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 who appointed people like late Bola Ige a member of Alliance for Democracy (AD) as minister and members of the ruling PDP did not crucify him.

Idakwo expressed confidence that just as the governor won in the tribunal, the detractors would be confounded at the end of the day. He urged the people of Kogi State to support the administration of Bello which is determined to write the history of Kogi State which has for a long time been neglected. “I thought these people would join hands with the governor to move the state forward instead of the attack.”

Observers believed that the intervention of the national executive of the party may be needed to restore sanity in the state. They believe that unless that is done urgently, the crisis may escalate and could cause the down fall of the party in the state. Kogi State has been under the control of PDP since 2003 when Ibrahim Idris who was governor between 2003 to 2012 defeated  late Prince Abubakar Audu who was the candidate of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the governorship election.