NORTH EAST chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is in turmoil over the appointment of the new zonal vice chairman of the party. Some zonal officials of the party had in Bauchi out-rightly distanced and refuted that they had ever at any point in time nominated Umar Duhu as national vice chairman (North East) to fill the vacant office created by the appointment of Engr Babachir David Lawal. In a protest letter signed by the zonal publicity secretary, Engr Hamid Iliyasu, zonal women leader, Mrs. Fatima Danjuma, and zonal youth leader, Mr Michael Tanko, copied to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, speaker of the House of Representatives, the governors of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, leader of North-East Senate caucus and North-East House of Representatives caucus, they accused Duhu of having forged the letter- headed paper on which his nomination as zonal vice chairman by their zonal party stakeholders was based. The letter addressed to the national chairman of the APC read: “It has come to our notice of a letter dated 20th January, 2017 and petition sends to your office by one Umar Duhu with an unknown address. We wish to inform you that this individual is not known to us at the zonal office nor was a meeting held with any of us at the zonal office. However, we are very surprise to discover the following. “A letter headed paper purported to be of the north east zone in his possession. That a meeting was held with some stakeholders who appended their signature in the purported zonal letter headed is strange to us. Also when and where the meeting took place remains a mystery. “In view of that, we believe the zonal letter headed paper was forged and the stakeholders’ signature was gotten under false pretence. We therefore urge the national Secretariat to further investigate this infringement.” They alleged that the letter presented by Duhu did not have any of the zonal officials’ signature. “Why was a letter dated 20th January 2017 received 28th June 2017 in a period of over five months? Is that not questionable? Who originated the letter from zonal office that didn’t sign the letter? How and where were the signatures obtained since some officials started acting after the purported meeting and none of the signatures were dated? “Our investigation revealed that the under- signed did not accept to have held any extra ordinary meeting regarding replacement of national vice chair north east. To these effects, the post is zoned to Adamawa State and we stand by any nomination emanating from the state party and the stakeholders. And any document carrying any other nomination is null and void,” they posited. In reaction, Duhu revealed that as pioneer national vice chairman of the APC, he had a right as a bona fide member and leader of the party. “Does it also mean their Excellences the four APC governors in the North-East and distinguished senators and honourable members are also a part of the said forgery as they have all signed the said forged APC letterhead paper? “Ordinarily, I wouldn’t join issues with those vagabonds as they are only playing the script of their paymaster, the national secretary of the APC. “Between the national secretary and myself, who is more prone and liable to forgery? How can some very minute persons who do not even know how the APC was formed constitute themselves and accuse me of forgery having been the pioneer national vice chairman, North- East of the APC? If it is a forged document, what have they to say about our leaders and other critical stakeholders who appended their signatures in my endorsement? “It’s true all the NWC and NEC members in the North-East were excluded in the endorsement as they are supposed to be the judges to whom the signed documents will be handed to for approval? “In this case, how can someone be a judge in the case he has vested interest? What makes these three NEC members unique from the rest that warrants them to issue press statement without recourse to other NEC and NWC members, if not for the ‘Ghana-must-go’ that was extended to them by the man at the centre of the storm? ”This is exactly what happened at the NWC level. Only one of them is involved in the dirty dealing as the matter of national vice chairman, North East, is a zonal affair and shall remain so. The MWC, NEC and the National Convention is only to sanction, approve, or reject the recommendations emanating from the other lower organs. “I got my nomination in January. When I mobilise support to submit same document, the deputy national chairman, North, who oversees the North- East, asked me to keep my documents, that it would only be used in the North-East zonal congress, not in Abuja. I was waiting for a date to be given by the NWC when I suddenly saw the purported letter issued to the self-acclaimed NVC-NE,” Duhu said. Also reacting, the nominated North-East vice chairman, Comrade Mustapha Salihu claimed that Duhu was just chasing shadows with his political utterances. He labelled him “a blackmailer and popular desperado” who was seeking for ungodly way of wanting to be a leader at all cost because of his “evil” agenda to settle scores with other political allies of the party. “How can Umar Duhu forge a letter headed- paper of the North-East zonal office of our party, falsifying people’s signature using it to induce some of our stakeholders that they are endorsing him to be the zonal vice chairman of the North-East of the party. I’m indeed disappointed to have such a member in the party. He who claims he knows everything but yet acting uncivilized to get what is no due for him,” Salihu said

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