BREAKING; Fresh APC Crisis; Governor, Senator lead protest to Ganduje’s residence
Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello has led a protest to the residence of the National Chairman of the All Progressives (APC), Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, demanding the immediate resignation of the party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary-designate, Duro Meseko.
Bello and his entourage left the party secretariat for the home of the national chairman at about 6.15pm after the planned inauguration of the National Working Committee zonal officers was abandoned.
Before his arrival, former Senator for the Cross River South Senatorial District of Cross River State, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, who was earlier spotted at the party secretariat had led another protest delegation to Ganduje’s residence.
Ita-Giwa, who was accompanied by the Chairman of Cross River APC, Adolphus Ogar to Ganduje’s residence.
While demanding to see the national chairman at his residence, she was said to have demanded an explanation on why former Cross River State Commissioner for Local Government, Dr Stella Odey-Ekpo, was dropped for Dr Mary Idele from Edo State.
Ogar told journalists that “The position of the National Women Leader previously held by Dr Betta Edu has always been rotated between Cross River and Akwa Ibom. We don’t know why it was taken away from us.
“We urge the national chairman and the NWC to do the right thing,” he said.
The development is coming after Bello stormed the national headquarters of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja with his loyalists ahead of the inauguration of the new zonal officers of the party’s National Working Committee.
Hours after his arrival, a number of Kogi lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives were also seen joining him.
Although Ganduje and the National Secretary of the party, Senator Ajibola Basiru were absent, officials of the secretariat could be heard discussing in hush tones that the Kogi governor was obviously there to disrupt the inauguration.
Commenting on this, a source who craved anonymity, said: “Bello and those lawmakers just coming in are here for just one reason – to ensure this inauguration doesn’t hold. Of course, we are all aware that his nominee, who was the ex-Special Adviser on Water Resources in Kogi, Yahaya Ismail was dropped in favour of Duro Mesoko for the position of Deputy National Publicity Secretary.
“This same Bello was with Ganduje at his residence last night. Despite the explanation by the chairman that Mesoko was given the position to compensate James Faleke for withdrawing from the Kogi governorship primary and for not making Tinubu’s ministerial list, Bello insisted that he won’t be cowed into accepting the deal,” a source at the secretariat told our correspondent.
The intimidating presence of Bello and his team of loyalists seemed to also trouble supporters of Mesoko, who sat quietly at the media centre with the embattled deputy publicity secretary-designate as many of them kept urging him to remain calm as they waited patiently for the swearing-in ceremony.
While the waiting game continued, an emissary came to invite Mesoko for a meeting with the governor.
Barely 30 minutes after their closed-door meeting, the delegation came out of the secretariat fuming that they wouldn’t accept the deal.
When The PUNCH accosted one of Meseko’s supporters, he said, “Just imagine the way the governor and those lawmakers were harassing him. They wanted to know why he didn’t turn down the appointment when he was offered.
“But when Hon Meseko insisted that he deserved it having worked for the party at the State level and the victory of Asiwaju, they told him to resign immediately or risk jeorpadising his political career in Kogi.
Meanwhile, the Kogi State chapter of APC has also released a statement dissociating itself from the candidacy of Meseko.
The statement, which was signed by Kogi State APC Chairman, Abdullahi Bello, said that the choice of the deputy publicity secretary-designate did not emanate from the state.