APC Has Fraudulent Members — Ikimi
There are indications that the estranged pioneer member of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Tom Ikimi, may leave the party if his grouse with the leadership of the party is not resolved.
Ikimi spoke with Punch on Friday, saying his absence at both the inaugural meetings of the party’s Board of Trustees and the National Executive Council, was in protest.
“Did you see me at the meeting or the caucus (BoT) meeting,” he queried in text message to our correspondent.
While responding to Punch’s further probe through text messages and series of telephone conversations, Ikimi said he had decided to remain in his house.
He said, “I received their invitations for the meetings, but I did not attend. I did not attend because I saw no reason why they should even invite me for their meetings when they did not address all the fundamental issues that I raised after the convention.
“Have you seen me attending any of their meetings since after the convention?”
Further phone conversations by our correspondent with him went thus:
SUNDAY PUNCH: Does that mean you have left the party?
Ikimi: I have not said so, I only said I did not attend the meetings.
SUNDAY PUNCH: That means your status in the party is uncertain. Nigerians want to know sir.
Ikimi: Wetin I go do when wayo people don drive me commot for the party wey dem talk se na their own? (What will I do when fraudulent people drove me away from the party they claim belongs to them?)
SUNDAY PUNCH: That means you have left the party. Which party are you joining now?
Ikimi: I have not said so but I remain in my house. I cannot be running after anybody. I’m in my house.
The former Foreign Affairs Minister has been at loggerheads with the leadership of the party, particularly a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who he (Ikimi) had openly accused of turning the party to his private empire.
Ikimi is among the 74 newly-appointed members of the party’s BoT; but he did not attend the inaugural meetings of neither the BoT nor the NEC held on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
The National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Lai Mohammed, did not respond to Punch’s text message inquiry, requesting for his comment.
He also did not answer his call.
If he eventually leaves the party, Ikimi will be another key figure in the party who will be leaving the APC after the defection of a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, to the Peoples Democratic Party, about a week ago.
But a leader of the APC in Abuja, who pleaded not to be named, said Ikimi was only seeking attention.
“He is only seeking attention. And some of our governors and even the chairman of the party have spoken to him but he called their bluff.
“Ikimi himself has sent a governor to us, asking us to raise a delegation to beg him. But we cannot do that because we don’t want him to go to the world and start saying we are begging him.
“If he says he is leaving the APC, will he be going to the PDP, where Chief Anenih is already the leader?”
The source said Ikimi became a member of the BoT by virtue of being a former chairman of a political party — the National Republican Convention.
According to the source, Article 12.2 (v) of the party provides that a past chairman of a political party, which has produced a president, vice-President, governors, members of the National Assembly and members of the House of Assembly, is an automatic member of the BoT.
The source added, “There is no big deal about his membership of the BoT. He only became a BoT member by the virtue of being a former Chairman of the NRC. The NRC won seats in the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly. That was what made him a BoT member, not because he is Ikimi.”