The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai, has responded to a query issued to him, Friday, by a faction of the All Progressives Congress in the state, describing it as a “sham and laughable”.
The Shuaibu Inuwa Wada-led Kaduna state factional APC, had issued a query to the governor and slammed an 18-month suspension on his political adviser, Uba Sani.
Others it ‘sanctioned’ were the state commissioner for finance, Suleiman Kwari, and Yahaya Pate, the acting state secretary of the party, for activities it described as “inimical to the interest of the chapter.”
The factional chairman, at a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday, said the suspension of the trio of Mr. Sani, Mr. Pate and Mr. Kwari is “with effect from 12th February, 2018.”
However, the governor said he will not be swayed by ”drowning antics”, adding that no one will heed the ”attention-seeking gambits of desperate politicians who have steadily been demystified.”
The faction tagged, ‘APC Aspirant Forum’ on Thursday urged the governor to respond to the query within 48 hours.
The Kaduna APC is currently divided into three factions, after the senator representing Kaduna North, Suleiman Hunkuyi, announced at a function last week that he was no more, ”in the same camp with the governor.”
There is the ‘APC Akida’, chaired by Tom Mataimaki Mai-Yashi to which a senator, Shehu Sani, belongs to, the ‘APC Restoration’ headed by Tijjani Ramalan and now the APC Aspirant Forum, headed by Mr. Hunkuyi.
Mr. El-Rufai responded immediately calling the move ”a sham.”
In a statement signed by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, Mr. El-Rufai called the action ‘rascally’ and described the Senator representing Kaduna North, Suleiman Hunkuyi as the man behind it.
He also listed some of his achievements in office.
“The APC Government of Kaduna State has boldly lived up to its manifesto commitments and principles to the people. In this work, it continues to enjoy the firm support of the APC State Executive which is united, and committed to the hard work of bringing sustainable change.
“The government appreciates the support it has received from the party in executing policies that stand up for the right of ordinary people to equal opportunity. That support was vividly demonstrated as the government took drastic action to ensure that only qualified teachers teach the children of the poor.
“Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai is proud of his record in achieving unprecedented levels of capital spending in the state, direct job creation, doubling school enrollment and doubling internally-generated revenue. The governor has no doubt that the people of Kaduna State have seen who was committed to building schools, roads and hospitals, and bringing investors and will make the right choice in their own interest. The political traders are also aware that the people know who is standing up for them.
The governor through the statement flayed his traducers particularly Mr. Hunkuyi.
“The government had been made aware of the boastful and pompous claims of Senator Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi, that he will change the leadership of Kaduna State in 2019 by installing himself as Governor. The desperate Senator is seeking a lifeline, in the vain belief that ratcheting up rascally actions will bring him attention and relief from the mooted national reconciliation efforts.
”Senator Hunkuyi has further illegally created a faction, headquartered in his house, as a bargaining chip. This Senator has failed to understand that you cannot create party executives at your whim. It is the party’s prerogative to consider appropriate responses to this breach of discipline. But as a government, we view these actions as the needless drama of political traders.
“Hunkuyi has on three previous elections failed to get himself elected as governor. Yet he flaunts false claims that it was him that got Malam Nasir El-Rufai elected in 2015.”
The governor viewed his election into office as governor as a divine mandate, calling on Mr. Hunkuyi to shelve his ambition, ”to become governor at all cost.”
“In 2015, it was God Almighty and the good people of Kaduna State that made Malam El-Rufai Governor and Hunkuyi a Senator. It appears that Hunkuyi has forgotten how his previous attempts to be Governor in 2003, 2007 and 2011 failed miserably. With the Almighty’s gracious help, his association with the El-Rufai brand helped get him elected as senator in 2015.
“It is clear that he can’t be cured of his obsession to be governor of Kaduna State at all cost, whether through betrayal of trust, treachery, or deceit. But should know by now that Kaduna State is not for sale. Ordinary people, including in Hunkuyi’s Kudan local government area, now know that governance can work for them. The era of political traders is over.”
Recognised Kaduna APC reacts too
Meanwhile, the acting state publicity secretary of the party, Tanko Wusono, in a statement, said ”the APC in Kaduna state did not recognize the Suleiman Hunkuyi faction.”
Mr Wusono said the party will not hesitate to punish those behind the formation of the faction(s).
“The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Kaduna State chapter has been drawn to the purported opening of a factional office by the Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi led group of disgruntled elements within the party.
“Accordingly, the party has conducted an interim review of this ‘dastardly’ act hence the use of this medium to warn members of the general public to be wary of the activities of these imposters whose activities and plans are to destroy the goodwill of the party in the state so as to jeopardise the existing peaceful atmosphere in the state.
“We wish to assure our esteemed party members, supporters and admirers that there is no cause for alarm as necessary disciplinary actions will be taken against the culprits in due course just as security agencies across the state have been notified of this treacherous development,” the statement said.
The statement however did not comment on what the party was doing to mend the cracks within its folds.