A faction of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party has emerged in Katsina state, alleging that the governor, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari, had ‘sidelined’ many APC chieftains in the state.
Hon. Ahmed Himma Katsina, a chieftain of the new faction called APC ‘AK’IDA zalla’, told journalists after their meeting in Kaduna that the ruling APC in Katsina state was currently faced with numerous problems.
Himma was of the view that these problems should not be allowed to escalate, considering the fact that Katsina is the home state of Mr. President. “As a matter of fact, support for President Buhari should begin from Katsina state. Therefore, if there is a problem in Katsina state between the governor and APC chieftains, the development will not augur well for President Buhari,” he said.
He said they were worried with the development and had decided to bring the matter to the public because they would not sit down and allow anything that goes against the President’s interest.
He explained further that the political journey in Katsina state was not that of Governor Aminu Bello Masari alone. “It was a journey that involved people from various walks of life, who came from different camps, but decided to unite in the interest of the state.
“There were about 10 aspirants for the Number One seat in Katsina, but they all agreed to support the emergence of Aminu Bello Masari. Sadly, in Katsina state now, the governor has sidelined everybody and is doing things alone. He only listens to two of his favorites.
“It is a well known fact in Katsina that President Buhari is no longer respected in the Government House. The government is trying to show that Buhari is no longer relevant. They want to show that Buhari is not the leader of the party in Katsina state.
“This is why we are now agitating. Others, who worked for the progress of the APC in the state, the real politicians who committed so much for the party in the state must be considered and be carried along. These politicians that were sidelined are the real politicians, who are closer to the people.
“You should know that the people will only respect you if you are truthful. It is this lack of truth in government that compelled us to break away. This is the reason why we consider making it public, why we must let people know we are together with them.”
He said what was happening now in Katsina was “undemocratic.” “We are not going to support a one-man show. Democracy is to open your doors for all and sundry to come in and contribute their quota.”
According to him, “We cannot take our complaints anywhere in the state, because no one is willing to listen to us. In the APC in Katsina state, no one is ready to listen to us. They see us as their adversaries.
“Today, the likes of Dr. Usman Bugaje, well-known and prominent people, the likes of Senator Sadiq Yar’adua, Sada Ilu , Alhaji Kabir Murja, who is very close to Buhari. These personalities are no longer comfortable with the present arrangement in Katsina state.
“It is so shameful that these personalities, who contributed so much for the success of the party, are not happy with the government in Katsina state. The President should as a matter of urgency, intervene, before things get out of hand in the state.”
Himma however, said “the solution is for the governor to open up; those sidelined must be considered, if not, it won’t be business as usual. Our leaders must have a stake in government. We are not going to respect anyone, who is not loyal and respectful to Buhari,” he said.
Meanwhile, a former Chief of Staff to Governor Aminu Masari, Alhaji Dikko Radda, has dismissed claims that a faction of the party, known as ‘APC Akida’ has been formed in the state.
Radda told journalists in Kaduna that there had never been a faction of the APC in Katsina state, and appealed to aggrieved members to channel grievances to the right quarters. He said there shouldn’t be attempt to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari, who hails from the state.
“Such vituperations were not targeted at the governor but the President, because the president is a bona-fide member of APC in his ward, local government and state, and he attends meeting of Katsina APC where necessary.
“So, for any member to say he has been excluded is not true; because as a stakeholder of APC in the state, I know the governor has called for meetings of all stakeholders more than four times and almost all the people that were complaining about marginalisation were in attendance and, not only that, their opinions were respected during such meetings.”
Radda, who is Director-General of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (SMEDAN), called on members of the party to be cautious. He said “let’s go back to Katsina and sit down on round table and discuss our differences, if there are, and move ahead.
“Honestly, the governor will sit with any aggrieved person and iron out any issue raised. Some of them that were at the meeting we respect them, they are our leaders, we will not allow them to go in vain after working for the victory of the party in the state.
“We will do everything possible to bring them back into our fold. This is democracy; democracy involves agreeing and disagreeing, it involves accepting and not accepting; you can see us tomorrow sitting, eating, chatting and drinking together.
“In fact, the governor is the leader of the party in the state, elected; so, it is his responsibility to listen to every member of the party. He will definitely do that.”