What would have been a major clash between rival groups of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) was yesterday averted by the Nigerian Police.
The incident took place just as the rival faction loyal to the former National Chairman of CPC, Senator Rufai Hanga, inaugurated its national caretaker committee to take over the affairs of the party for the period of two years.
However, heavy presence of policemen was noticed at the national secretariat of the party to avert what would have been a major clash between the rival factions.
Speaking on the incident, the CPC Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, described the group who stormed the party office as “mere thugs.”
Fashakin who spoke to THISDAY, said the group seeking to destabilise the party had become very desperate and threw decorum to the dust-bin.
The swearing-in ceremony after much delay later took place yesterday at Peace Park Hotel, near the national secretariat of the party.
Chairman of the committee Alhaji Abubakar Hayatu, and the committee secretary, Alhaji Sheu Barau Ningi, alongside members from the six geo-political zones, sworn the oath of allegiance which was administered by one Mr. Umukor Egbobokolobia.
Hayatu vowed that the committee would take over the party’s national headquarters in due course, as he said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was in support of the development.
“It is the stand of INEC that do what we are doing here, we are waiting for few administrative process before we takeover the headquarters and it will be soon,” he said.
He refuted the allegation that members of the caretaker committee were expelled members of the party, saying he was never at anytime suspended or expelled from the party.
“I was never suspended or expelled from the party, even those who were suspended in my opinion, were suspended without recourse to due process,” he added.
The caretaker committee chairman had in his inaugural speech, stated that the committee would not live up to expectation in achieving its terms of reference.
He called on party member to remain committed and loyal to the party leadership and the passion of the party’s national leader Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.
Members of the committee include Engr. Chris Agha Oko (Deputy Chairman Muhhamed Tukur Abba Sada, Dr. Armayau Yushua, Hon. Dele Sobaloju, Edward Ofomona, Shehu Nafuntua and Comrade Ibrahim Musa as the national youth leader.
The committee of states chairmen of the party led by the Enugu state chairman, Barrister Emeka Okarfor had last week suspended the party’s national chairman Prince Tony Momoh, national secretary Buba Gadima and two other members of the party’s BoT.
The committee in a statement signed by 23 members passed a vote of no confidence in the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party, thereby pronounced it dissolved.
“A vote of total loss of confidence in the management committee and the National Executive Committee of the party is hereby unanimously passed on them,” he said.
The committee accused a member of the NEC of been responsible for the party’s poor outing in the 2011 elections, saying Buhari would be happy with their position on the party.
“Gen. Buhari will have a sound sleep today, they have carpeted him, regionalised the party and created a gap between Gen. Buhari and the people,” he said.
He stated further that both the management committee and the NEC of the party cease to function with immediate effect.
Asked about the legality of their action, Okafor said the same committee of state in January 2010 elected the NEC, and it has the 2/3 majority to legitimise its action.
The committee however pledged its support to the national leadership of the party, Buhari as it said Burahi remained the true leader of the party.
It stated that all suspended members of the party had been pardoned and recalled as bonafide members of the party, and all state caretaker committees dissolved.
It also stated that the Mallam Nasir el-Rufai renewal committee should proceed with its assignment saying their activities was in tandem with el-Rufai’s bid to reposition the party.
The following members/officials of the party are hereby suspended from the party with immediate effects on order to give room for through investigation into the affairs of the party by a committee to be constituted by the incoming protem National Executive, they are; Alhaji Sule Yahaya Hamma, former BoT member, Prince Tony Momoh, former National Chairman, Alhaji Mustapha Saliu former Dep National Chairman, and Engr. Buba Galadima, former National Secretary of the party.”
“Finally, we wish to reiterate our continued appreciation and loyalty of the people of Nigeria and our loyalty to Gen. Muhhamadu Buhari rtd as the leader of our great party.”