The embattled chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Jigawa state has said that he remains the substantive party chairman, saying the state governor has no constitutional right to convene the executive meeting of the party.
PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how the party chairman, Habibu Sara, was removed following the party’s caucus meeting, which held at the Jigawa State Government House.
Muhammad Badaru, Jigawa State Governor, presided over the meeting.
The state’s party secretary, Muhammad Umar, was appointed as caretaker committee chairman to oversee the affairs of the party pending further directive.
Mr Sara, in a press conference in Dutse, the state capital, said based on the party’s constitution, he is the only person mandated to convene the executive meeting of the party, not the governor.
He said the caretaker committee chairman appointed by the governor cannot replace him as he remains the chairman of the party in the state.
“On the 3rd September, the governor convened the party’s caucus meeting at the government house without my knowledge, I just heard about the meeting unofficial which I attended.
“I entered the venue when the meeting was ongoing, my appearance shocked the nerves of all the caucus and the stakeholders in attendance because they knew that they violated the party’s constitution.
“Afterwards, I was asked to give a remark which I did, then, the governor took over from me. He said a committee was inaugurated to investigate alleged misappropriation of monthly N13 million party’s funds.
“I stood up and defended all the allegations against me. The money is being contributed from the state’s political office holders and appointees, we are paying N9.8 million on salary and spend the remaining on welfare for party members and other vulnerable groups.
“The money is not the issue, the issue is that they are accusing me of being loyal to one of the state’s governorship aspirants come 2023 which they see as an obstacle to their political ambitions.
“They have planned remove me seven months ago. In the meeting at the government house, they inaugurated another committee to investigate me and the governor asked me to step down.
“At the meeting it was agreed that the issue should not be discussed with the media as all phones were seized prior to the meeting, however, the caretaker committee chairman granted interview that I was removed, the embattled chairman said.
All the contacted caretaker committee executives in the state declined comments.
Also, the governor’s special assistant on new media, Auwal Sankara, didn’t respond to several messages to his phone to comment on the development.