In what appeared to be a fresh dimension to the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress in Niger State, some aggrieved members who were denied from being screened for the state congress have conducted a parallel congress where executives emerged in Minna.
The members are those who accused the screening committee of doing the bidding of the state government, thereby denying them screening and accreditation for participation in the congress.
Despite the fact that the acclaimed genuine congress was yet to start, the parallel election which resulted in new executives had 1,500 APC members in attendance.
The parallel executives were sworn in at a building in Bay Clinic Road in Tunga after they were denied access to the Abdulsalam Youth Centre which was sealed by the state government after they had booked it.
In his acceptance speech, the new Factional Chairman, Nasiru Yusuf Ubandiya said that the election they held is legal as there were INEC representatives, Congress Committee from Abuja, security agencies, CSOs and other stakeholders who witnessed the election.
He said the election showed that he scored the highest vote in the 1,467 votes cast and was returned elected as the democratically elected chairman of the APC in Niger State.
He promised to take the state chapter of the APC to the next level while calling on all party stakeholders and members to give the new administration all the necessary support and cooperation, adding that they have forgiven all those that have wronged them and the party.
“Today’s historic victory is the beginning of a new era and leadership with focus, vision and agenda to build the party through inclusive member participation in the program of activities, policy and decision of the party, especially gender balancing in elective and appointive position and decision-making process in the party.
“I wish to state that my administration will operate open policy in the spirit of reconciliation, democracy and good governance,” he said.
The Factional Secretary, Noami Dauda maintained that they are the real elected executives of the APC in Niger State, adding that they are not fractionalised with any group.
“This is the authentic newly elected executives of the Niger State APC. We are the real executives, we do not have any faction. And we are here to serve the people of the state and move the party forward,” he said.
The Faction’s Niger South APC Chairman, Mohammed Mohammed Saba said everyone who contested in the election had bought their forms at the APC National Secretariat while stressing that those who emerged are not a faction but real executives of the APC in the state.
“What we have done is for the success of the party. We have achieved it for the masses of Niger State. We call on every one of our co-contenders to join hands with us in the interest of our party and the development of our state.
“This is not a faction of executives. Yes, we may have a portion that disagrees with what we are doing today, and in politics, you cannot stop that. But all of us here bought our forms, the process was legal and duly witnessed by all stakeholders, so we are the authentic executives of Niger State APC,” he said.
It would be recalled that about 30 members of the APC who were aspiring for various positions at the State Party Congress were denied screening by the Screening Committee.
It was however, learnt that the Coastal Bus that brought the state Governor Abubakar Sani Bello through the back gate of the Legbo Kutigi Conference Centre, after spending close to 20 minutes, left without the passengers including Governor.
Findings have it that the Governor had gotten feelers of another Congress and needed to return to the Government House with his team to re-strategise.
The Governor, However, returned about 20 minutes after but this time in his Black bulletproof Jeep.