Members of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State on Tuesday rejected the result of last Saturday’s state congress which produced a two time member of the House of Representatives, Mr Bala Bantex as the state party chairman.
Addressing journalists at the party secretariat on behalf of other chairmanship aspirants, Mr Joshua Ephraim, one of the aspirants, explained that the results of the congress that were announced by the state congress committee did not in any way reflect the wishes of the delegates who voted during the exercise.
Describing the entire exercise as a charade, he insisted that the election should be cancelled by the party’s national leadership to give room for a fresh congress where delegates would freely elect party officials of their choice.
The battle for the soul of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna State had assumed dimensions hitherto unimagined. Although it existed in the realm of speculation and hushed gossips, recent events had shown the feud was real and may have just begun.
After the controversial state congress, aggrieved APC members and aspirants alleged fraudulent activities in the conduct of the congress and accused the party’s Deputy National Secretary, Mallam Nasril El-Rufai and some APC national assembly members of conniving with the congress committee to manipulate the election to their favour.
Amidst the festering crisis, another aspirant and a former chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) in the state, Senator Lawal Aliyu, also expressed disappointment with the outcome of the state congress, and expressed fear that if nothing was done by the party to urgently resolve the lingering political crisis, it might spell doom for the party in 2015 elections.
However, the newly elected Chairman of the party, Mr Bala Bantex, described the election that brought him and other officials into office as keenly contested as well as free and fair. He urged the other aspirants to bury their grievances and join hands with him in order to move the party forward, adding that his emergence as Chairman would propel APC to victory in 2015 elections.
Ahead of the 2015 poll, tension is already enveloping the state. Indications are also rife that it could cast shadows on the acclaimed modest successes recorded by the APC in the state, if not properly handled.
With barely two days to the its national convention, observers say unresolved issues emanating from state chapters of the APC, like the case of Kaduna, would determine the success or failure of the convention.