The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Sokoto State has announced the "expulsion" of the party's national vice chairman, North West, Inuwa Abdulkadir, for alleged anti-party activities.
Trouble began for Mr Abdulkadir after a member of the party from his Magajin Gari Á'ward, Naibi Abubakar, wrote a complaint letter to the ward chairman of the party accusing Mr Abdulkadir of "continuous absence from party activities and meetings."
Mr Abubakar who identified himself as a bonafide member of the APC with registration number SOK/SON/04006510 said since his election as the national vice chairman of the party, Mr Abdulkadir "did not convene any zonal meeting of the APC in order to assess the fortunes of the party following defections to PDP of many party chieftains and members from the zone."
The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, left the APC for the Peoples Democratic Party alongside many party members in the state, including top government officials.
Mr Abubakar, in his complaint letter, also said Mr Abdulkadir failed to attend or participate in any of the meetings held to discuss the mode of primary to be adopted by the state chapter of the APC during the just concluded primaries to elect candidates of the party.
He also said despite being an automatic delegate, the national vice chairman failed to participate in the direct primary conducted in the state to nominate President Muhammadu Buhari as the APC presidential candidate.
He said Mr Abdulkadir was also absent when primaries were held for the governorship and other elective offices for the APC in Sokoto.
"Inuwa Abdulkadir ridiculed the Sokoto state chapter of the APC by not sitting among other delegates from Sokoto State at the special convention of the APC where President Muhammadu Buhari was affirmed as the candidate of the APC for 2019 Presidential election," he said.
The petitioner also alleged that Mr Abdulkadir had openly told a gathering of members of APC in Sokoto that the current deputy governor, Ahmad Aliyu, is not the leader of the party in the state.
He said the assertion was made despite Mr Aliyu being a member of all the top organs of the party in the state and the North-west zone.
He said Mr Abdulkadir also told party members that former governor and serving senator, Aliyu Wamakko, is not one of the leaders of the party in the state.
Mr Abubakar also said since the defection of Governor Tambuwal to the PDP, Mr Abdulkadir "has not made any public statement to renounce his allegiance to the governor."
He said Mr Abdulkadir had in fact "told APC members and supporters that Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is the only political leader in Sokoto state."
The petitioner said Mr Abdulkadir is still maintaining his allegiance to Mr Tambuwal and by extension the PDP, because he has failed to resign as the chairman Governing Council of Sokoto State University, a position given to him by Mr Tambuwal.
"I therefore call on the ward executive to consider my complaint and take appropriate action against Inuwa Abdulkadir," Mr Abubakar said.
Investigation of allegations
Following the receipt of the complaint from Mr Abubakar, the Magajin Gari A ward appointed a disciplinary committee made up of five members on October 19 to investigate the allegations against Mr Abdulkadir.
The letter announcing the committee signed by the ward chairman, Shamsu Bello, and Secretary, Bello Ibrahim, asked the committee to "invite the person complained against to defend himself on the allegations made against him within the stipulated period accordingly."
The disciplinary committee, headed by the ward chairman, Mr Bello, subsequently submitted a report to the Sokoto North Local Government chapter of the party, recommending the expulsion of Mr Abdulkadir after it found him guilty of all the allegations raised against him.
In the same vein, the Sokoto North executive committee in a resolution signed by all the 18 officials of the local government chapter ratified the report of the Magajin Gari A ward and forwarded a report to the state chapter of the party recommending the expulsion of Mr Abdulkadir.
The local government chapter particularly noted a content of the report submitted by the ward executives in paragraphs 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 "which shows that Inuwa Abdulkadir has ridiculed the party and made derogatory comments against leaders of the party in Sokoto state."
Sokoto North APC forwarded its recommendation to the state chapter of the party agreeing with the recommendation to expel Mr Abdulkadir from the party.
The state executive council met over the matter and also resolved to upheld the decision of Magajin Gari A ward to expel the national vice chairman for anti-party activities.
The state executive in a letter signed by the chairman, Isah Acida, dated November 2, to the National Chairman of APC, Adams Oshiomhole, forwarded the resolution of the executive committee on the matter.
The resolution was signed by all the 40 members of Sokoto State Executive Committee of the APC.
The letter read in part: "The Executive Committee noted the refusal of Inuwa Abdulkadir to honour the invitation of the disciplinary committee personally or by representation. The committee also noted the refusal of Inuwa Abdulkadir to send a written defense to the allegations against him."
The state executive committee informed the national chairman that it has therefore, accepted "the recommendation of the disciplinary committee and hereby ratifies the expulsion of Inuwa Abdulkadir as a member of All Progressives Congress."
State Has No Power To Sack National Official
In its reaction, the national headquarters of the APC said lower chapters have no power to expel a national official of the party.
The spokesperson of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES Monday said although he was yet to read the letter purporting to announce the expulsion of Mr Abdulkadir, "based on our constitution, they don't have the power to do that. He is an elected national official and anything like that can only be handled at the national level."
Also, Mr Abdulkadir took time to respond to all the allegations raised against him. He also said the chairman and secretary of the disciplinary committee used fake names in their report.
Mr Abdulkadir said the Magajin Gari "Ä"ward was being sponsored to do a hatchet job. He also argued that the state of ward chapter has no power to expel a national official of the APC.
He forwarded an email of his response to the allegations to PREMIUM TIMES.
His full response is reproduced below.
RE: COMPLAINT OF ANTI-PARTY ACTIVITIES, DISHONEST PRACTICES AND CONTINUOUS ABSENCE FROM PARTY ACTIVITIES AND MEETING AGAINST INUWA ABDULKADIR THE NATIONAL VICE CHAIRMAN NORTH-WEST OF ALL PROGRESSIVE CONGRESS.
I write to acknowledge receipt of a letter dated 22nd October, 2018 titled 'Invitation. In Re: Petition Against the Conduct of Inuwa Abdulkadir for Anti Party activities and Continued Absence from Meetings" forwarding a complaint against me as in the terms of the title of this letter.
The letter of invitation though dated 22nd October 2018 and its accompaniments was served or reached me only on 31/10/2018, due to the fact that it was delivered to zonal administrative secretary in Kaduna who in turn, communicated to me that one Sabi'u sent by Dr Yakubu Maccido brought a message (complaint letter) against me but could not deliver the complaint letter to me on time due to the curfew imposed on Kaduna state.
A cursory examination of the complaint letter reveals that, it is an invitation to appear before the Disciplinary Committee of the All Progressives Congress (hereinafter referred to simply as the Party) of Magajin Gari "A" Ward on 30th October, 2018 to answer to sundry allegations against my person. The letter was signed by nameless persons who purported to be Chairman and Secretary of the said Disciplinary Committee.
To this end, I have chosen to route this rejoinder to the letter of invitation and the complaint accompanying same through your office for two reasons thus:
The first reason is that the letter of invitation has a very doubtful origin as its authors are deliberately nameless and without any identity whatsoever. This stems from either a false presumption that the holders of the office of Chairman and Secretary of the Party's Magajin Gari "A" Ward Disciplinary Committee are so popular or notorious that they need no introduction, or an unholy motive to do mischief while at the same time avoiding responsibility.
However, whatever may have caused the authors of the letter of invitation to hide their identities, the point which must be made and appreciated is that official Party business is never to be conducted under a veil of anonymity!
The second reason for routing this response through your office is to fix your good office with notice of said complaint and on-going actions/activities of all persons/stakeholders connected to the said complaint so that your office may be in a vantage position to closely monitor and manage the situation and its possible fallouts in the best interest of the Party.
I like to sound a note of caution here, that if this matter is not properly managed from the onset by your office, I, shall NOT be held responsible for whatever crisis that may follow the present course of conduct initiated by this purported complaint against me.
Generally, for the education of all, let me quickly remind that at all material times to this complaint I am by the grace of Almighty Allah the National Vice Chairman North West of our great Party having been elected to that office at a National Convention of the Party which transcends Wards, local Government and State membership of the Party.
My duties as such transcend day to day issues that should concern Wards, Local Government and State Chapters of the Party unless they are brought to my attention by responsible officers/organs of the party at those levels. As National Vice Chairman I am daily involved in attending meetings and discharging several assignments both within and beyond the borders of the States comprised in the North-west Zone outside the view of Wards, Local Government and State officers of the Party.
Having said that, I will now address the complaint for whatever it is worth. I shall address complaint no. 1 first, followed by complaint nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 together, complaint no. 8 separately, complaint nos. 9,10 and 11 together and finally complaint nos. 12 and 13 together.
Complaint No. 1:
Even as at today, my office is yet to receive any memo or report from any Ward, Local Government or State official of the Party (Sokoto State Chapter) to the effect that any number of party member/chieftain by whatever description has defected from APC to any other party. Similarly, my office is yet to receive any report from any of the aforementioned officers that such alleged defections have created vacancies/vacuum in the party and adversely affected the Party's popularity or rating in the State making it imperative for my office to call for a Zonal meeting as is being suggested in complaint no. 1. I most humbly stand to be contradicted.
Complaint nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7:
Party meetings are not every day events. Rather they are events that are scheduled by responsible officers at various levels of the Party. Attendance at such meetings by members/officers is secured by Notices detailing the business to be conducted at such meetings dispatched/served on all entitled to attend such meetings as provided for by the constitution of our great party. Notice of such meetings and their business cannot be presumed for even a local member without responsibilities outside his immediate environment, unless served with notice. This is even more so for a National Vice Chairman responsible for coordinating the affairs of the Party in 7 States within the Northwest Zone.
Now, the question your anxious Complainant would need to answer is when did he serve or cause notices of the meetings etc., he listed under complaint nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 to be served on me? I therefore ask for particulars from the complainant respecting the dates of such meetings/primaries which I allegedly did not attend, the dates notices of such meetings/primaries were served on me and the place of such service. When this is done I may then revert to the Committee on these complaints.
Complaint no. 8:
This complaint is that I did not sit among the Sokoto delegates to the Special Convention for the affirmation of the nomination of President Muhammadu Buhari, [GCFR]. This is perhaps the most absurd and baseless of the complaints laid.
The question is whether the convention was meant to take a population census of the delegates of state chapters of the Party? Or, whether it was to affirm the nomination of the single candidacy of Mr. President?
If the business of the convention was to take census of state Chapters of the Party and indeed I was not sitting fixedly and counted amongst the Sokoto members then indeed I would be guilty with misconduct as alleged.
But if the business of the convention was to affirm the nomination of Mr. President and I was confirmed by the complainant to be in attendance then it would be the case of making a heavy storm in a tea cup!
I am to add here that as a National Vice Chairman I, like other National Officers of the Party, had various duties/responsibilities to discharge/attend before, during and after the convention and did not need to be fixed or glued to a chair at the venue of the convention. In any event, may the complainant demonstrate how my absence from the canopy of Sokoto State delegates prejudices the Party?
Complaint nos. 9, 10 and 11:
These complaints unfortunately do not condescend to providing adequate particulars as to the dates, time and occasions that I made the statements complained of. It would be most helpful if the complainant could provide these details.
However, I do recall one occasion shortly after my re-election as National Vice Chairman, upon my triumphant return home [Sokoto] to a warm welcome by members of our great Party. On that occasion, I stated, inter alia thus;
"... we the people of Sokoto are loyal and obedient to our leaders; we recognize the Sultan as our spiritual leader and any incumbent Governor of Sokoto state as our political leader"
In other words, we had two leaders to look up to in Sokoto State i.e. His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Matawallen Sokoto being the Governor of Sokoto State elected under the platform of our great Party and His Eminence, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar , the Sultan of Sokoto. At that time, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Matawallen Sokoto was a bona fide member of the party and undoubtedly the Leader of the Party, a position or privilege he shared with no other at all material times. Let me state here that that statement was true and I have no regret or apologies to offer to any one.
Upon the defection of Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Matawallen Sokoto from our party, the leadership position in the party automatically devolved upon His Excellency, Alh Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto, being the Deputy Governor of Sokoto State under the Party. His Excellency, Alh. Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto is therefore no doubt the State leader of the Party and must be so recognized. I am not aware if His Excellency, Alh. Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto has ceded that leadership position to any other person!
Now, it is necessary to throw more light on the nomenclature of 'leader', in the party politics as well. This privilege is normally associated and attributed to the highest elected government functionary and or, in the absence of such, highest appointed government functionary in the State. The nomenclature has nothing to do with membership of organs/bodies of the Party such as those catalogued under complaint nos. 8, 10 and 11.
So, while Distinguished Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wammako and His Excellency, Alh. Chiso Abdullahi Datijo are without a doubt holding and enjoying pre-eminent positions with great followership and have been very helpful in achievements for the Party at various times, they are in the real context and sense of the word not leaders of the Party.
Complaint nos. 12 and 13:
These two complaints charge me with allegiance to His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Matawallen Sokoto. The grounds given for these complaints are that I have not made a public statement denouncing His Excellency and I have not resigned my appointment as the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Sokoto State University.
First, I am not aware that any person or member or officer of the Party at any level is required either by law or the Party Constitution to make a so-called public declaration or denunciation of allegiance to any State Governor. Can someone help me with such provision if it exists? I am also not aware that the complainant and/or any other member/officer of the Sokoto State Chapter of the Party made any public statement denouncing so-called allegiance to His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Aminnu waziri Tambuwal, Matawallen Sokoto.
Having said that, I wish to state that I have no occasion to make any so-called public denunciation of allegiance to His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Aminu waziri Tambuwal, Matawallen Sokoto and have no intention to do so anytime in the foreseeable future. The reason is simple: I have never sworn allegiance to any Governor past or present. The law and Constitution of our Party does not place that obligation on me or any other party member to do so as well.
The few occasions that I have had cause to swear allegiance in the course of offices that it has pleased Almighty Allah to have me hold to in the course of my life, I have sworn allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to our great party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. Both of these are ideals, not individuals!
On the complaint of my retention of my appointment as the Chairman Governing Council of the Sokoto State University, I quickly state that the University is neither owned by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Aminu waziri Tambuwal, Matawallen Sokoto, nor owned Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to which he has defected. The University is property of the government and People of Sokoto State whose interest our Party has declared an intention to serve.
If anything, it should be the Governor Tambuwal and/or his new Party members, rather than APC members, who should be apprehensive that I, being an APC member, would not properly serve the interests of their party in my capacity as Chairman Governing Council of the University. This is a typical case of one crying more than the bereaved!
Finally on this complaint of failure to resign as Chairman Governing Council, I state that no law, Party Constitution or Rule obliges me to resign the said appointment upon the defection of the appointing Governor. I further stand to be contradicted.
I hope I have adequately, addressed all the complaints. I am yet available upon reasonable notice to shed more light on any grey areas that the disciplinary committee may identify.
Permit me, to state here that I am aware that the these complaint was instigated as part of a grand design of a campaign of calumny against my person by a particular person who finds my principled position on matters concerning the Party in the Sokoto State personally uncomfortable to him. The same person worked to scuttle my re-election as National Vice Chairman Northwest Zone by sponsoring rival candidates against me.
But I like to sound a note of warning here and now, that I shall henceforth not condone any blackmail or slandering of my name or reputation by any member no matter how well or highly placed he assumed to be. If any person in the Party has an axe to grind with me let him come out openly and draw the line and stop using faceless proxies to smear me. Those in glass houses must, of necessity, avoid throwing stones.
Please accept the assurances of my highest regards and good will. Thank you and may almighty Allah bless us all.
INUWA ABDUL-KADIR,ESQ., MCIArb, FICMC
National Vice Chairman, North-West
All Progressives Congress [APC].