By Musa Inuwa (Niger State Correspondent)
The leadership crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Niger State is far from being over as the factions led by Alhaji Jibrin Imam and Alhaji Mohammed Liman, insist that they are the authentic leadership of the party in the state.
The duo of, Jibrin Imam and Mohammed Liman, Chairman and Secretary respectively were sacked from the party in July 2020 for alleged; gross misconduct, misappropriation of party funds and as well, disregard to the APC Constitution.
A fresh crisis however started a few days ago as arrangements were being made for the forthcoming party congresses in the state when Imam and Liman started pointing accusing fingers at Governor Abubakar Sani Bello for aiding the crisis instead of promoting unity amongst members.
Their position did not go down well with the other faction prompting the Legal Adviser, Mr. Khaleel Ibrahim Aliyu to issue a statement disclaiming the two, insisting that, “Imam and Liman have since ceased to be Chairman and Secretary hence have no legal rights and can no longer speak for or on behalf of the APC in the state”.
Khaleel said the clarification about the position of the erstwhile leaders of the party had become necessary following a statement in circulation purportedly authored by Imam and Liman regarding the forthcoming congresses.
Both Limam and Imam had taken exceptions to the plan being made for its forthcoming congresses apart from still laying claim to the leadership of the party accusing the Governor of not doing enough to resolve the crisis plaguing the party for over one year now, according to Khaleel is not the position of the generality of party members in the state.
While reminding both Imam and Limam that the National Secretariat of the party had endorsed their ‘impeachments’ which were duly communicated to them accordingly, hence they lacked every legal right to claim leadership or speak for the APC in Niger state.
Khaleel in a statement reminded the duo that the National Secretariat affirmed, Alhaji Aliyu Saidu Galkogo and Alhaji Suleiman Abdullahi, Acting Chairman and Secretary respectively, Usman Ahmed Madaki acting state Treasurer and himself as the Legal Adviser.
He further hinted that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party dissolved all the APC State Executives at all levels across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, and appointed Caretaker Committees to oversee the party affairs from Ward to the National level.
As a result of the order, Khaleel said the National leadership of the party consequently set up and swore in a 35-man Executive Committee for the Party in the state followed by the inauguration of the 25 Local Government Areas and 274 Wards Executive Committees
“Anyone who did not take the oath of office after the dissolution of the party executives by the NEC and the inauguration of new executive members at all levels for the state is not and cannot claim to be an executive member of our great Party (APC) in any capacity"
Khaleel in denouncing the factional Chairman and Secretary warned that they should stop parading themselves, saying that, “We, therefore, wish to categorically clarify that the impeached people cannot lay any claim to the leadership of the party in the state”.
“The APC presently has a constitutionally recognized leadership in place and anyone trying to do anything to the contrary is an impostor who will be made to face the full wrath of the law in due course”, Khaleel said as he challenged Liman and Imam to comply accordingly.
“Accept the decision of the National Secretariat of the party and work with resolutions if you still want to remain as members of the APC in Niger state”, Khaleel said as he absolved Governor Bello of any blame in the crisis rocking the party.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, he said, had on several occasions, stepped into the crisis with a view to finding an amicable way of ending the leadership dispute but the sacked former Chairman and Secretary did not allow such efforts to yield desired results.
While urging loyal and dedicated party members in the state to avoid being misled by the ‘obnoxious statements’ from Imam and Liman, Khaleel encouraged them to, “Remain focussed on achieving the goals ahead of us". NNL.