A parallel congress was held in Zamfara by the Zamfara State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
But a former governor, Abdul Aziz Yari, urged his supporters to boycott the exercise.
This is as a former senator representing Zamfara Central in the National Assembly, Senator Kabiru Marafa, conducted a parallel congress where new executive members of the party were elected.
The national headquarters of the party had sent delegates, under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Kabir Masari, to conduct a congress in the state after it was rescheduled several times due to lingering crises between Governor Bello Matawalle and Yari’s supporters.
Addressing members of the party at Government House Gusau before the commencement of the congress, Masari said, “the national headquarters of the party has approved the conduct of the congress in Zamfara state.”
Masari said the congress was approved by the national headquarters of the party, stressing that it did not violate the constitutional provision of the party.
“We are in the state to organize the congress based on our party’s constitution. I am calling on all members to respect the party and join the congress”.
Masari also warned that the party would not recognize any parallel elections apart from the one he was sent to supervise.
“I am calling on all members of our great party to participate in the congress if they want to be recognized as bona fide members of the party. Anybody who fails to participate in this congress is not loyal to APC and is not its member,” he added.
Marafa, through his spokesperson, Alhaji Bello Bakyaauwa, said the congress conducted by his faction was genuine.
He said, “Today (Saturday), we have successfully conducted our ward congress into 147 elected ward chairmanship positions across the state. This congress was conducted parallel with the Governor Matawalle-led faction of the party.
“I, therefore, wish to clearly state that our ward congress is genuine, legal, constitutional, democratic, and in accordance with our dear party’s constitution. Permit me to use this opportunity to restate our unyielding support to our party executives who could not join us today because of the court case at their disposal”.
“We truly appreciate their concern and commitment to APC Marafa/Yari’s faction of Zamfara state. I also wish to state that the elected excos of Marafa/Yari’s faction are bona fide members of APC. We will not accept any ward leaders of the party arising from the faction of Governor Matawalle because we are fully convinced that no congress was democratically conducted on their part’’.
Still dissatisfied with the arrangements, Yari had urged his supporters not to participate in any of the congresses.
In a letter signed by the Publicity Secretary of the Yari APC faction, Alhaji Ibrahim Magaji, the former governor called on his supporters to boycott the congresses because of a pending court case.
It read in part, “We will not participate in the congress because there is a pending court’s action which ruled that we shall maintain the status quo.”