APC finally splits, Buhari’s ex-ally, Buba Galadima, heads faction, R-APC

Finally, the much expected split in the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have taken place with the emergence today of a faction of the ruling party, believed to be backed by senior government officials pushing to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

The new group said it is now the “Reformed APC”, and the “authentic” faction of the party.

It said at a press conference Wednesday that all members of the nPDP, and defunct CPC, ANPP and ACN, are members of the new bloc.

The press conference was addressed by Buba Galadinma, a former secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Buhari’s former party; and a former minister and nPDP leader, Kawu Baraje.

Engineer Galadinma, a former close political ally of the president, said the group took the decision because APC had disappointed Nigerians especially in not being able to tackle continuing killings across the country.

He also said the party’s recent national congress was not democratically conducted, and accused the Buhari administration of “inconsistent” anti-corruption campaign.

“The Reformed All Progressives Congress, R-APC, national executive committee is constituted. We are assembled to address you on the state of our party, APC, the state of the nation and above all the constitutional democracy of Nigeria. I am standing here before you as the chairman of R-APC. You will recall that in 2015 general election some political parties came together to form a brand new political party called APC. This merger was based on the strong belief that Nigeria had come of age that it was severely under-performing and incapable to meet the potentials of good governance,” Mr Galadinma said.

“The Nigerian people gave power to APC based on its promises and potentials. We are sad to inform that after more than three years of governance, our expectations (have been) completely dashed. The APC has run a ruthless and incompetent government that has failed to deliver good governance to the people. It has rather imposed dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete abdication of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, impunity in the rule of law and constitutionality. It has failed to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerians and elevated nepotism to secondary height.”

Arrowheads of the nPDP include Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, and a former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Messrs. Saraki, Dogara and Kwankwaso did not attend the news conference.

Calls placed to spokespersons of Mr Saraki and Dogara Wednesday afternoon where not answered. Text messages sent to both Yusuf Olaniyonu, Mr Saraki’s media aide, and Turaki Hassan, Mr Dogara’s spokesperson, were also not replied.

The announcement of the formation of the “Reformed APC” is said to be the first step in what would lead to a coalition of political parties and interests, to challenge Mr Buhari.

The faction, comprising some former governors and ranking lawmakers, has been in a tug of war with the APC government.

A number of the faction’s chieftains complained about being left in the cold during the party’s congresses that took place between May and June this year.

Four governors and other ranking PDP members, including Mr Saraki, jettisoned the then ruling party before the 2015 polls, and joined the then opposition APC.

But since forming the new government, many fault-lines started emerging, with the nPDP members complaining of marginalisation in the APC governmnet.

The press conference today is expected to herald merger of various blocs ahead of the 2019 elections that will give President Buhari a run for his money.

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