***We Are Not Threatened in Anyway- APC
By: Politics Editor, Ali Musa Biu-Maiduguri.
Since 1999, on the advent of the current political dispensation, the All Progressives Congress, APC, which metamorphosed from the defunct All People’s Party, APP, through the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP has maintained a comfortable position in Government in Borno State.
The party has had seamless transitions amongst all four Governors since 1999, with the late Mala Kachallah handing over to Ali Modu Sheriff: Senator Kashim Shettima, taking over from Sheriff and Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, succeeding Kashim Shettima.
Political analysts tend to describe Borno as a one party state: giving little or no chance to other political parties, including the People’s Democratic party, PDP, which earlier in the days showed some presence.
Given the party’s antecedents, coupled with the performance of the incumbent Governor, Professor Zulum, no serious opposition has been envisaged, against the 2023 elections.
But that hitherto comfortable position enjoyed by the ruling APC in Borno is being threatened, as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seems to be making serious inroads into the political fabrics of the state.
Indications to this emerged in Maiduguri following a mega rally organized by the PDP, in Maiduguri the Borno State Capital, which drew an unexpected mammoth crowd.
The ruling party, which had earlier dismissed the PDP as going nowhere in the elections, seems to have dithered, as thousands of her own supporters formed part of the crowd, that came out to support the PDP.
Our correspondent reports that, greater number of people who attended the PDP rally were disgruntled APC supporters, who gave indications of ditching their party in the forthcoming general elections.
Individually and collectively, the people threatening to leave the APC gave their reasons in separate interviews with National TRAIL, but the seeming discontent amongst politicians in the APC was apparently the common grounds that set the tone for the political upturn.
Complaints ranging from imposition of candidates during the last primary elections to pick candidates of the party, to alleged outright disregard to politicians became the major grouse for the divisions.
Our findings reveal that cracks appeared in the APC following the primary elections for the various positions against next year’s election, where allegations of imposition of candidates and denying more popular ones dominated political discourse.
A reconciliatory committee headed by Barrister Mohammed Tar Monguno, Majority Whip of the House of Representatives recently submitted a report to the State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, in which it outlined the grouse of individual aspirant in the primary elections and proffered solutions towards addressing them. But recent happens NGS point to either the report is not being implemented or the disgruntled elements are still not impressed.
The current trend, according to key stakeholders of the party could spell deeper challenges for the party during the main elections next year, unless more decisive efforts are put in to arrest the drift.
State Chairman of the party, who doubles as the National Forum Chairman of Party Chairmen, Ali Bukar Dalori dismissed the PDP threat, saying” no party can defeat the APC now or anytime in the nearest future”.
Internal party issues are normal in any political party, and he does not see the PDP rally as a minus for the APC, rather, a normal situation that is being addressed and the party will come out of it even stronger.
“I can tell you on authority that, we are not denying we have is dues with some of our stakeholders, but they are not enough to deny us victory. We are addressing them and we shall come out stronger. Quite me any day”, he asserted.
Dalori called on any aggrieved member of the APC to be patient and to embrace peace innitiative being pursued, so that the party will go into the elections as one big house.
He added that the crowd at the PDP rally was either hired or comprising of APC members who are trying to register their grievances. “We have taken note and we will address them”, he further added.
Initial cracks in the APC were noticed in Mafa: Governor Babagana Umara Zulum’s home Local Government, Bama, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Jere, Biu, Hawul, Kwaya/Kusar and Kaga amongst others.
National TRAIL gathered that, earlier, the leaders of the party, under the tutelage of Senator Kashim Shettima, the Presidential running mate of the All Progressives Congress, APC waded into the crisis and calmed frayed nerves.
But the solutions appeared to be merely cosmetic, as the party relapsed, into fresh crisis leading to open threats of ditching the APC.
The PDP Governorship flagbearers: one Mohammed Jajiri and Saleh Kida were hitherto unknown politicians, but recent events point to a possible major upset for the ruling party, unless something drastic is done.
While the APC dithers the opposition PDP has promised to give a better approach to issues of security, welfare, civil service reforms and a clearer political direction if elected into office.
Flag bearers of the party, Mohammed Jajiri and Saleh Kida, hitherto obscure politicians in the state told the rally in Maiduguri that they were coming to end years of deceit and brigandage in governance.
Cutting alleged failures of the present administration under Professor Zulum, the PDP Governorship candidate promises to run an all inclusive administration that will give all sections a sense of belonging.
Jajiri said, he will balance his youthfulness with the elderly disposition of his running mate, Saleh Kidah, to give the people of Borno the best leadership ever