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Published On: Fri, Nov 17th, 2017

Katsina APC wranglings: A replica of its national crises

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By Mansir Lawal Kaware

It is traditional to now hear about internal political crisis in Nigeria between sitting Governments led by State Governors and a clique of the same party members led by other notable figures of the ruling party in the state. A times they are called Abuja Group, if those in contention hold positions of authority at federal or National Assembly levels. Such crises were not limited to States but could sometimes become challenges even to the Presidency.
One could record what happened between Obasanjo and Atiku as the Vice President during Obasanjo/Atiku Second tenure. It also happened between Atiku and Jonathan which forced Atiku and some five Governors of the PDP to leave the party and such quarrel is in existence between Buhari and Atiku under APC and to some extent Tinubu, going by the wordings of his supporters even though he (Tinubu) denied it. There were similar problems in the past in Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Rivers, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Oyo, Ondo, Nasarawa, Zamfara, Anambra and Imo among others. Today, similar developments are happening in some of the States like Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi and a host of others.
However, the worst hit under such characterization are the States that have serving Presidents as at the time of the logger head. It was not visible during the time of Obasanjo because the 1999 election results showed that the lacks home support and as leader of the ruling party, he made sure that in 2003 PDP won five of the six states in the South – West against all odds. Because it was his second term, the politicians within his party could not have much time for intra party rivalry in his home state. But that was not the case in Katsina when late Ummaru Musa ‘Yar’adua was President, Shema had a hectic time with what was then referred to as Abuja Group, but the death of Umaru Musa forced the group to apply a brake. In Bayelsa, during the Jonathan regime, Tempre Desilva was faced with similar problem and had to leave the country for some time apart from losing his seat as a Governor. It is, therefore, not surprising that there is this kind of controversy in Katsina between Governor Masari and a group of individual politicians that want to wrestle power from him because they are mostly those who contested primary election with him. It may not be wrong to say that opposition parties in Presidents home State usually have some peace because their chance of winning is very hazy.
Before digging into the Katsina APC Internal tug-of-war lets takes a look at what the national brouhaha of the APC looks like. For one reason or the other, the APC is an Amalgamation of different groups of people belonging to different parties that came together to save Nigeria from the calamity, that was about to befall on it. Despite the differences, their action has served the purpose because without that, nobody can tell the stay of Nigeria now. The CPC, ACN, ANPP and a faction of APGA which was later joined by the NPDP did the magic, God in His infinite power gave APC. Victory for Nigeria to once again see the light of the day. One thing Nigerians need to know is that each of the party or groups were aspiring for positions of leadership before coming to agree on a single platform, therefore, it is expected that given the chance, that urge will surely resurface.
A times the principal actors may not be the initiators but their people while at some other times the principal actors instigate their people to initiate the action. It is therefore no news to say Atiku, Tinubu and others are equally eyeing the Presidency. The attacks on Buhari can be sponsored either within the party or from the oppositions with the sole aim of discrediting his administration. Professor Wole Soyinka is in support the IPOB, Shi’ites and restructuring without recourse to the dangers inherent in those agitations and the behaviours of the agitators going by the BBC interview he granted on 11/11/2017. It is however not surprising because the same Wole Soyinka in April, 2017 led the campaign to remove Arabic inscription on Nigerian currency on the pretext that it is Islamic. How decayed could such a development be. Couldn’t he make investigation on the meaning of what was written before portraying that he was talking about what he did not know. But one thing is certain Buhari remain a symbol of credible leadership not only in Nigeria but in the eyes of other countries of the World.
We have a replica case in Katsina State where Aminu Bello Masari is piloting the affairs of the State. The Katsina credibility Group members of the APC are working hard to portray the Government of Masari in bad light but as at now, it seems they have lost the case because the people have been blaming those around Masari for his action or inaction. The blanket accusation by the integrity group against Masari is in itself not credible because the group is only using a general term with no specific points.
The group, the opposition and all those accusing Governor Masari of non performance need to tell Katsina State indigenes what is it that Masari has not done. In a period of about 2½ years the Katsina Governor is being rated with 16 years rule of the PDP. By this action those opposed to him are sending signals that the APC administration has performed wonders in Katsina so much so that its performance can be compared with what obtains in 16 years more so the group took its name after the Ete era National Assembly tussle, the leader of which ended without integrity himself. For any delegation to have an impact, it needs to be placed on comparative analysis of data scale. It is not enough to say Masari has not performed, it has to be proved for Katsina States indigenes to make judgment. Therefore, the indices of measuring the performance of Masari or otherwise has to start from Shema Administration of 2007 as a case study because he is the immediate past Governor. This is to say that one has to consider the money accrued in the month of June to December, 2007 and what was received from June to December 2015. One could then go on quarterly assessment basis for 2008, 2009 and 2016, 2017 respectively. Consider the value of the money within the periods in question, take the cost of materials, salary, pension, debt, gratuity, moving to the Departments and gauging what was paid and done within the corresponding periods. I can remember that in 1985 I paid N20, to Lagos on a public transport, the amount being paid today could take about 100 people to Lagos it N20 is to be paid. In the light of that the APC integrity or the opposition party members need to do more, because at present thair argument is hollow, take any department or ministry, you will find that Governor Masari has done something there. The workers have witnessed the interest of Masari in their progress as he abolished tenure system, facilitated mortgage loan, crapped the HND, Degree dichotomy, payment of salary, pension, gratuity and reinstatement of some staff laid off by Shema administration.
One other area of claim by the integrity members is that of claiming to be on the page of President Buhari APC wing. This is alien to the party in Katsina State and if anything we could not ascertain who is closer to Buhari than the Governor because in 2011 Masari contested for the Office of the Governor, under CPC. At best one could safely say that it is a group of those who lost to Masari under APC Primary election 2015, are interested staging a came back and could not find a suitable ladder hence using hired soldiers politically to come and start making noise on what they neither knew nor understood on the workings of Katsina State Politics. It is not enough to be claiming origin of Katsina you need to know the workings of those living in it. Imaging the rehabilitations of schools, hospitals and others, the national President of Nigeria Medical Association Professor Mike Osevehe Oginima of National Postgraduate medical College of Nigeria, Lagos and Katsina State Chairman Dr. Mohammed Usman Suleiman of FMC Katsina commended the hospitals renovation, but somebody who cannot administer Polio vaccine on a child below the age of five is condemning the work.
It is important for Governor Masari to forge ahead in doing his work and not allow the shouting of some people to deter him from serving the people who voted him into office.

Mansir Lawal Kaware writes in from Katsina State.

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