By Omeiza Ajayi
It is the worm inside the kola nut that destroys it, says an African adage. Not many initially saw it coming as the conventional expectation was that members of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party nPDP bloc in the ruling All Progressives Congress APC would call it quits with the party but apparently aware that it might not be able to inflict much damage from the outside, they have decided to stay, at least in the meantime before the elections draw nearer.
So, it was that on Wednesday, the Reformed All Progressives Congress R-APC was formed to challenge the status quo within the party and perhaps team up with like-minds outside of the APC in the days leading to the 2019 general elections.
In forming a splinter APC, the R-APC listed several grievances that had gone unattended and which had left its members feeling more like a jilted lover left in the lurch.
They stated that there were countless cases in courts all over the country challenging the legality of the recently conducted congresses and even the National Convention, arguing that it is very likely that the judicial decisions on these cases will result in massive chaos, confusion and uncertainties.
According to the National Chairman of the group, Engr. Buba Galadima, a former ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, the fate of a party in this state with a few months to the elections is best left to the imagination, but it is not a fate we believe our millions of members should be abandoned to. There were parallel congresses in 24 States namely: Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara.
The R-APC as constituted, claims it has officers in all the wards, 774 Local Governments, and all the 36 States of the Federation including the FCT.
The R-APC also has a National Executive Committee NEC, the National Working Committee NWC and other organs of the Party are properly constituted and functional.
While it refrained from naming other influential members of the NEC for now, the composition of its executives shows that, if anything, there are more disgruntled elements in the APC aside members of the nPDP who are ready to take their destinies in their hands.
Its National Chairman, Galadima has been a longtime ally of the president and joined the APC from the Congress for Progressive Change CPC, but like he pointed out R-APC includes all the progressive forces in APC, including most of the leading members of the defunct nPDP, CPC, ANPP, ACN and others. But why did they decide to stay back, even if for a while?
Among prominent leaders of the group are Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara. There are also scores of other Parliamentarians at both the federal and state levels who belong to the bloc. By Nigeria’s constitutional provisions which could be flouted or obeyed at will depending on the disposition of the Executive, lawmakers cannot move to another party except in cases where their original party is engulfed in crisis.
Sections 68(1) (109(1)) of the 1999 Constitution, states that; “A member of the Senate or House of Representatives (House of Assembly) shall vacate his seat in the House of which he is a member if-
“(g) Being a person whose election to the House was sponsored by a political party, he becomes a member of another political party before the expiration of the period for which that house was elected: “Provided that his membership of the latter political party is not as a result of a division in the political party of which he was previously a member, or of a merger of two or more political parties or factions by one of which he was previously sponsored.”
With the division so created in the APC by the R-APC which has named its own executives, the lid may have been finally opened for a flood of parliamentary defections before the next general elections.Related