Why I Left the APC – Tom Ikimi
Citing his inability to coexist with those he described as petty-minded people or condone what he claimed to be the domineering influence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chief Tom Ikimi, yesterday, withdrew his membership of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In his letter of resignation from the APC dated 26th August, 2014 and addressed to its national chairman, Ikimi declared his intention to dump the opposition party. Part of his letter obtained by iReports-ng.com reads: ”Thank you for your two letters dated 15th August, 2014, one inviting me to attend the APC National Caucus and the other to attend the APC Board of Trustees meeting. I regret my inability to attend both meetings.
“However kindly find forwarded to you herewith my statement released today bearing the title, ” All Progressives Congress, (APC)- My Reflections” and wish to particularly draw your attention to the last paragraph of the document stating the withdrawal of my membership from the party- APC.
He asked Oyegun to read the last paragraph of the statement entitled, “APC, My Reflections” and added “This is to further confirm my decision to withdraw my membership from the All Progressives Congress from today (yesterday)”.
The paragraph read as follows:
“I am at the stage of currently critically re-examining the two dominant political parties in our country, which are the APC and the PDP, in both of which I have had close working knowledge. I have not ignored the other political parties but in the light of the foregoing I must now search to really ascertain where indeed my true political friends exist. I need to be, at this time of my life, where I have friends who share a common vision with me and where my freedom, respect, honour and dignity would be guaranteed.
“Notwithstanding my enormous contributions over the past 12 years or so to building the alternative platform, after very deep thought and the widest consultations I have made the decision to withdraw my membership from the All Progressives Congress (APC) from today, Wednesday 27th August 2014.”
In the statement, Ikimi recalled his political voyage right from the Babangida’s political transition which led to his emergence as the national chairman of one of the two parties recognized by the military. He also brought to the fore the genesis of his problem with APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, whom he accused of playing party owner right from the ACN days.
which led to the defection of some chieftains back to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“It was my fervent hope that the emergence of the APC would bring to an end the sad and bitter experiences that I and some others endured in the ACN where one of the leaders from the South West exploiting the narrow National success of the party in that region virtually hijacked the party, proclaiming himself Overall Leader. Five of the six Governors in the Party at that time were all from that Region.
“Prominent leaders particularly from the North and South East notably, personalities such as former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi, Alhaji Gali Naaba, Alhaji Lawal Kaita, Alhaji Mohammed Shata, Amb. Yahaya Kwande, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, Otumba Fashawe, Senator Ben Obi, Chief Dubem Onyia etc who could not come to terms with the man’s behavior departed from the party back to the PDP”.
According to him, “This mass departure of prominent members, from particular sections of the country, did not only seriously weaken the party but blemished it with an image of Regional and Tribal status. At that time I refused to quit the party despite the fact that my frequent solo protests against his behavior were dismissively ignored as I was always told that the man was the overwhelming financier of the Party. While I disagree stoutly with this bluff it is true that the particular individual constantly boasted of his wealth and of his funding of the party. I on the other hand could recall that this was a man I knew who was an easily forgettable character in the 1990s when I was National Party Chairman and when my candidate Sir Michael Otedola of blessed memory, won the Governorship of Lagos State. It would come as no great surprise if Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s boasted great wealth did not derive from any stupendous inheritance ancient or modern”.
He also accused Tinubu of hijacking the APC after its recognition by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and how those who worked for the party’s emergence were accused of plotting to steal the party.
“This reckless and arrogant self-aggrandizement paved the way for the imposition of a strange leadership on the APC in July 2013 when the party obtained registration from INEC. Those of us who had worked so hard towards the successful merger and creation of the APC were manipulated out of the scheme of things. In the bizarre struggle to seize control of the party we were even openly accused by the self-proclaimed owners of the party, of wanting to steal ‘their’ party. Many of us in the party as well as keen observers outside frowned at the skewed leadership image of the party that was being paraded. An image that blatantly ignored National sensitivities”.
He also who accused Tinubu of hijacking the party and manipulating the decisions of the national leadership and disclosed that former Lagos state governor has positioned himself as the presidential candidate he picked form the Northwest that would confirm the rumoured Muslim/Muslim ticket for next year election.
“Major decisions said to be party decisions now started emerging from this select group whose ad hoc membership varied from time to time… A handful of us constantly challenged this trend with little success. Gradually, the direction of the Party assumed a focus on the contest for the Presidency. Then the images of presumed Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates as well as a privately cooked up Permanent Chairman for the party started emerging signaling a Muslim/Muslim Presidential and Vice Presidential ticket. The details of this issue I have sufficiently dealt with in my previous statement.
“However let me state again that their calculation that the Presidency in the 2015 General elections will be won by the APC through votes from the North West and South West Nigeria became an obsession. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who passionately believed in this theory and who arrogantly claimed custody of all South West votes already picked an aspirant from North Western Nigeria who will run as Presidential candidate with him as Vice Presidential candidate. The National image of the party immediately plummeted”.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister also alleged that apart from Tinubu group, the APC governors group (whose some of its members are nursing ambition to run for the presidency or running mate) and presidential aspirants group from the North are also fighting for the soul of the party. He foresees doom ahead of the party.
“Apart from the Tinubu Group and The Governors Group there is a third Group, of known Presidential Aspirants comprising in the main General Muhamadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who are both Northerners. The inclination of the party had always been to zone the Presidency to the North. Some Governors are now thinking otherwise and given the decisive role that they seek to play in the affairs of the Party as well as the tendency to ignore the principle of internal party democracy, a monumental disaster looms large in the selection of the Party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential flag bearers later in the year”.
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