The crisis within the camp of the ruling All Progressives Congress in Niger State took another turn as members representing the state at the national level openly shunned the flag off of the campaign for the local government council election fixed for January 16.
Except for Senator Aliyu Sani Abdullahi, representing Zone C, where the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, hails from, other elected and appointed representatives were absent.
The Minister of State for Solid Minerals, Abubakar Bwari Bawa; Senator David Umaru, representing Niger East Senatorial District; and Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, representing Niger South Senatorial District, were conspicuously absent.
Also, the 10 members of the House of Representatives did not grace the campaign launch.
A top source told The Eagle online that the national representatives of the party in the two chambers refused to attend the flag off of the grassroot campaign over the way the party’s candidates for the election emerged.
According to the source: “The aggrieved members are angry,they are claiming that the state governor single handedly hand-picked the candidates for the election and, therefore, they cannot be part of the process at this stage.”
“The truth is: the members of the National Assembly from senators to House of Representatives refused to attend the flag because they were not happy with the outcome of the party primaries, which, they claimed, was done in secrecy by the state governor alone without any imput from the representatives of the party.”
However, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, who was the former Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Jonathan Vatsa, claimed that most members of the National Assembly did not turn up for the event because they were engaged with other functions.
Sharing the same position with the state Chairman of the APC, Engr. Mohammed Iman, Vatsa explained that Sani, the senator representing Zone C, spoke on behalf of other members at the function.
Vatsa added that their absence does not take any credit away from the party as the APC is sure of total victory at the grassroot poll.
He said the APC still remains a united family.
Earlier, during the flag off campaign, the state Governor expressed confidence in the party winning all the 25 LGs and the 274 Councillorship seats, while urging the people to turn out en mass and vote the party.
Bello then called on elected officials of the party to go back to their constituencies and work for the success of the party.