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Backstory: Shehu Sani and the APC debacle has been a long time coming

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Yesterday, Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central in the upper legislative chamber was suspended indefinitely from the All Progressive Congress (APC). The suspension was announced in a letter to the senator that reads:

As you are aware, your suspension from the party for a period of eleven months elapsed today, being November 29, 2016.

The suspension which was in line with the constitution of our great party, was to enable you to defend yourself against illegalities committed by you against the party as well as breach of its constitution.

We expected the period of your suspension to give you the grace of being remorseful, but you rather choose to play otherwise, and this made our party to be vulnerable to disunity, disharmony and further shattering the existing peace mechanism within our ward and the state at large.

Therefore, in consideration of the constitutional provisions as contained in Article 21 (A) i, ii, iii, v, vi, and vii of the constitution of the APC, you are hereby suspended indefinitely from active participation of APC activities.

This is in conformity with article 21 (D) i-(F) which provides punishment for any erring member of the party. With this letter, you are hereby warned to abide by the party’s decision.

Before the eleven month-suspension

On December 27, 2015, the Tudun Wada ward of the Kaduna APC sent Senator Shehu Sani a letter announcing an 11-month suspension for offences including, but not limited to, “uttering statements that violate the rules of engagement of the party, factionalizing the party, and engaging in anti-party activities by criticizing the policies of Governor Nasir El-Rufai”. The senator was accused of launching verbal attacks and continually criticizing Governor El-Rufai.

It is true that both men have been at loggerheads since El-Rufai became governor in 2015. Shehu Sani has been the most vocal about his discordance with the governor and the underlying issues surround his forgoing of his intentions to run as governor of the state. He revealed that at the time, he was pressured to step down for El-Rufai, as the latter was more popular among the people. Senator Sani consented to this but according to him, was still side-stepped by El-Rufai at the points where political appointments were being made. Sani also accused the governor of not including him in his transition committee at the time.

Moving ahead, Senator Sani has not been any comfortable with Governor El-Rufai’s approach to running the state. He had never hid the fact that the governor needed to separate his loyalty to the party from his responsibilities as governor.

On matters relating to the citizenry, he faulted the governor on the demolition of homes and property belonging to ordinary citizens without providing alternatives to them For the Senator, Governor El-Rufai is detached from the masses, is ultra-conservative, rightist, elitist and capitalist.

A suspension shrouded in confusion

The three members of the Tudun Wada ward who purportedly signed the 11-month suspension letter, secretary of the ward, Ahmed Abdulhamid; the Public Relations Officer, Auwal MaiAnguwa and ex-officio member, Aminu Alilan, all denied carrying out such action.

We wonder, so who did? The men claimed the letter was forged and though, they held a meeting to discuss the senator’s actions, no conclusions were made.

Despite this, the suspension was upheld till yesterday when it became full blown and indefinite.

Senator Shehu Sani may be expelled, eventually

In May this year, Senator Sani launched another attack on the person of the governor. He called him “a timid short man, a hypocrite and a rotten egg who goes around betraying every leader he kneels to“. At this time, he was threatened with an expulsion from the party.

In his response to yesterday’s indefinite suspension, Senator Sani did not hold back again. He called the governor “a bespectacled pygmy, a dubious progressive and a bogus representation of change“. The APC is yet to respond to this but it should be noted that the controversy has gone beyond the state chapter of the party, so an expulsion may be considered for the erring senator.

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