Taraba APC: Sabo-Kente's expulsion was illegal, and there are elements bent on destroying the party - Group

The Conference of Civil Societies for Transparency and Accountability has described the purported expulsion of David Sabo-Kente, a frontline governorship aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform in Taraba, as illegal and unfortunate.

Haruna Abdulsalam, National Convener of the groups, stated this in a news conference on Sunday in Abuja, saying the action was the work of APC detractors bent on destroying the party for selfish gain.

”We received the news of the purported suspension of the leader of APC in Taraba, Chief David Sabo-Kente with shock and disbelief.

”We are taken aback as to how possible it is for an embattled chairman of the party in the state, who has been ousted from Taraba APC more than a year ago, suddenly appeared in the scheme of things with so much confidence to announce the expulsion of not just anyone, but the leader of the party.

”This really proves that some people are just out to bring down the APC and destroy the democratic tenets it has built, in Taraba and its achievements in the country,’’ Abdulsalam said.

It will be recalled that the APC in Taraba has been enmeshed in deep crisis following the Guber primary that saw Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha emerge as the flag bearer of the party for the 2023 Gubernatorial Election, which it lost.

Sabo-Kente who blamed APC’s loss on the internal crisis that rocked the party, said the issues were not resolved at the appropriate time.

The group said the philanthropist‘s labour for the party was on public record, as it was a known fact that the only APC senator from Taraba, David Jimkuta, who defeated the incumbent governor, Darius Ishaku, was from Sabo-Kente’s camp, which worked for the party’s success.

”We also know that the APC House of Representatives member, Prince Ayuba Zaku, even though a loyalist of Senator Bwacha, won the House of Representatives for Wukari/Ibi federal constituency and also got elected because of Sabo-Kente’s instructions that the party must be voted from top to bottom

The group noted that expelling a man who had worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the party in the state on grounds of anti-party activities and no less by someone who emerged from the shadows without any legal standing, could best be described as a rape of democracy and the height of illegality.

It will be recalled that the embattled chairman of APC in the state, Ibrahim El-Sudi, who announced the expulsion of Sabo-Kente on Tuesday, had also called on the National Executive Committee of the party to immediately suspend Jimkuta, the Senator-Elect for Taraba South.

El-Sudi claimed that the executive members of APC, Kente Ward of Wukari Local Government Area, had written the chairman of the party in the local government, calling for the expulsion of Sabo Kente, over a series of allegations and offences against the party.

According to El-Sudi, in spite of many invitations by APC Wukari to Sabo-Kente to defend the allegations, he refused to honour their invitations and abused them instead.

He said the State Working Committee exercised its powers under Article 13.9 iv of the party’s constitution to ratify the decision of the APC Wukari Local Government Area.

But also in a swift reaction to the expulsion of the governorship aspirant and suspension of Jimkuta, a factional leadership of the APC in the state, led by former Deputy Chairman of the party, James Ahmadu, however, set aside the sanctions meted out to the party members, asking security operatives to arrest El-Sudi for impersonation.

Ahmadu said the State Working Committee of the party, on Feb. 10, passed ” a Vote of No Confidence’’ on El-Sudi and it was acknowledged by the APC National Working Committee.

He insisted that Sabo-Kente and Jimkuta remained legitimate members of the APC, as even the Chairmen of Kente and Fete wards, which the two party strongmen belonged to, had denied signing any document that led to the purported expulsion and suspension of Sabo-Kente and Jimkuta respectively.

The APC Chairman, Kente Ward, Uten Efu, whose position was also corroborated by his counterpart from Fete Ward, Siman Yamusa, said there were no specific, stated offences of anti-party activities against the governorship aspirant and senator-elect.

”It will be safer if the national executives of the party intervene to save the party from collapsing, as it continues in its struggle to capture power in Taraba State,’’ Efu advised.

The embattled El-Sudi, on his part however, said he remained the chairman of APC in Taraba, except when directed by the National Working Committee (NWC), to exit his position.

The conference maintained that the right to speak and be heard, as well as the ability to address complaints and sundry issues when such arises, was no doubt a major determinant of how well any institution or organisation would perform in any given situation.

It therefore, said it was imperative to x-ray events leading to the primaries in the Taraba State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), especially the gubernatorial primaries, that were never legitimately held and which had become the basis for the current crisis.

It said APC’s crisis should not be blamed on Sabo-Kente or any of the loyal party members because democratic tenets were trampled upon by those that should be at the helm of leadership.

”Members of the APC, and indeed those that have the interest of the party at heart, knew that the Taraba APC had set itself on the path of failure at the polls the moment the national body of the party, under the leadership of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, threw all democratic principles out of the window and placed personal interests above the general wellbeing and interests of the clear majority.

”If democracy and good governance must have a place in Taraba State, and Nigeria as a whole, we must start looking at politics in a modern perspective, it should be politics of the people, which give aspiring leaders the opportunity to put their antecedents in the court of public opinion for the people to scrutinise and make informed choices, instead of foisting unpopular leaders on them because of undemocratic party arrangements.

”The APC must not, and cannot afford to be seen as a party that rewards hard work and loyalty with punishment,’’ Abdulsalam said.

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