Acrimony has begun to brew in the ruling all Progressives Congress, APC ahead 2019 general election as a former anticorruption czar, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu has reportedly returned to the party The Nation Newspaper's report says.
The report says a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and some Adamawa state chapter of the party are not comfortable with Ribadu's return.
Ribadu, a former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman returned to the APC after he got a letter from Adamawa State chapter of the party seeking his return to the party.
Hw will be welcomed back to the party with a former governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria( ACN ) in the state, Mr. Marcus Gundiri, with their supporters.
But former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Adamawa State Governor Jibrilla Bindow, and two others have protested to National Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun and the National Working Committee (NWC) against Ribadu’s return.
The APC leadership told Atiku, the governor and others that the constitution allows an individual to join a party of his choice.
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Once a state chapter of the party is receptive to anyone’s membership, there is a limit to which the National Headquarters can do, they were told.
Ribadu accepted to return to APC following overtures from the leaders of APC at the national level, ex-Governor Murtala Nyako, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir David Lawal, the state and local government chapters of the party.
A June 22, 2016 letter by the Adamawa State chapter, signed by the Acting State Secretary, Alh. Saidu Naira invited Ribadu back to the party.
The letter reads: “We the entire APC Adamawa State chapter wish to invite you back to your “Home party”, APC.
“Given your track records and progressive nature, we strongly believe APC is where you belong to.
“We are also mindful of the efforts and contributions you made during the merger without which the merger would have been difficult.
“To this end, we reaffirm our request for you to come home to APC and assist and contribute to the success of the APC government both at the state and national levels.”
A party source said: “We decided to invite Ribadu to return to APC because he was frustrated out by some PDP elements who defected to our party during the merger and countdown to 2015 elections.
“Ribadu did so much for APC in Adamawa State but the setback which made him to go to PDP was frustration following a disagreement with some of our leaders, like ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, on the impeachment of ex-Governor Murtala Nyako. Ribadu worked tirelessly to save Nyako from impeachment but our leaders paid lip service and stoked the fire which made ex-Speaker Umar Fintiri to remove the former governor.
“The insincerity of APC leaders in the state made Ribadu to defect to PDP against his own volition. So, he left APC as a result of local politics. It was a state affair but today things have changed.
“When Ribadu was pushed to the wall, he had no choice than to pitch tent with the PDP which needed a credible candidate. Ribadu was frustrated out of APC for being a true party man to save Nyako.
“And the PDP elements, who joined APC, were uncomfortable with the anti-corruption stance of Ribadu and his acceptance in the party. So, it was convenient to hatch a plot to kick him out of the party.
“Today Nyako is vindicated and Umar Fintiri is under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC).
“We are now out to correct the past by asking him to return to APC because Nyako has been vindicated. The court said his removal was wrong. Ribadu has also been justified because he insisted that Nyako was a victim of political vendetta and abuse of power. Nyako is back.
“We have realised that we have all wronged Ribadu. We want him back.”
Asked if Ribadu has accepted the offer, the source said: “He has agreed to return to our fold. We are all happy with him.”
Atiku, Bindow, the Secretary to the Adamawa State Government and the Chief of Staff on Monday protested to John Odigie-Oyegun and the NWC.
The four-man delegation met with Odigie-Oyegun and his team.
It was all about Ribadu, a source said.
The source, a member of the NWC, said: “We were all shocked that the ex-VP came with the governor and two others to prevail on the leadership of the party not to readmit Ribadu into APC.
“They spoke of the need for party discipline since Ribadu contested on PDP platform against Bindow. They said Ribadu’s coming back will spell doom for APC unity in the state.
“They all forgot that they were once in PDP too before defecting to APC. Bindow is a former PDP senator.
“Some of us spoke about added value which Ribadu can bring to our party as one of the brains behind the merger politics which led to the birth of APC.
“Contrary to their mission, the leadership at the national level and stakeholders are extremely excited about the return of Ribadu. He is a progressive in thinking and action. The APC needs his service. We became suspicious because no leader of APC at the state level followed them.
“At the end of the day, the party said constitutionally you cannot stop anybody from joining a party. We told the delegation that it is a state issue. If the state executives of APC accept Ribadu, we cannot reject him.
“We will however do our best to reconcile all members of the party, whether old or new. Our ultimate target is to keep the APC family united.”
It was also gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari’s supporters endorsed the return of Ribadu.