APC Convention: Power Brokers and Presidential Candidates Go Bankrupt

As the horse trade between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) leading gladiators reaches a crescendo, TAIWO AMODU highlights continued interaction of forces 48 hours before the epic battle.

After months of failed attempts to hold a convention to produce substantive national officers to steer party affairs ahead of the next general election, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will convene its top leaders, power brokers and ordinary loyalists on Saturday. The power contending blocks of the amorphous platform leave nothing to chance. Governors seeking re-election in 2023 and presidential candidates are aware that the ruling bloc that produces strategic national officers will decide who gets what at the presidential convention and field candidates for gubernatorial elections. and the National Assembly.

The survey revealed that the battle for the convention is between virtually two power blocs: the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led by a former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, and the Congress for Progressive Change ( CPC) of President Muhammadu Buhari. It has been learned that the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) have since dissolved into the CCP bloc.

Ahead of the epic battle to come on Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari, governors and presidential aspirants are the men to watch, just as some presidential forces, acting like foot soldiers, could play crucial roles in decisive moments.

Southwest: Tinubu holds the ace

Weeks before the convention, the zonal governors and former Lagos State Governor Tinubu appear to have reached a consensus on who gets what. Party sources claimed that despite their differences, reason prevailed in preventing the defunct CPC from choosing the Southwest-zoned national secretary.

An ally of President Buhari keen to become an anointed choice for the post of national secretary, Ife Oyedele, was thwarted as Tinubu and South West governors tactically zoned the strategic office out of state. Wave. Rotimi Akeredolu, the Governor of Ondo State has since introduced a former APC President in his state, Isaac Kekemeke as National Vice President (South West), leaving Oyedele stranded. The office was zoned in Osun State, with the governors conceding to Tinubu’s preferred choice, Senator Iyiola Omisore.

In addition to choosing the national secretary, Lagos is set to produce a national youth leader in the person of Dayo Israel. Tinubu will also produce the zone organizing secretary for the zone.

In the “Unit List” of the zone, Oyo State will produce Southwest Zone Women Leaders and Special Zone Leaders. The South West Zoned Deputy National Auditor has been micro-zoned in Ogun State which will also produce the South West Zonal Secretary. With micro-zoning, Rinsola Abiola lost in the race for national youth leadership. The South West Zone Youth Leader will emerge from Ekiti State, which will also produce the national ex-officio member.

South-South: Battles of Amaechi, Sylva, Omo-Agege

A former two-term Governor of Rivers State and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi is facing the battle of his life in his region ahead of his bid for the presidential ticket. In the oil-rich region, the leadership struggle pits him against two stalwarts of Bayelsa and Delta states: former Bayelsa Governor and Minister of State for Petroleum, Timpire Sylva, and Vice President of the Senate, Ovie Omo Agege.

While the senator representing Delta Central has settled for the South-South zoned National Publicity Secretary, Amaechi and his Petroleum Ministry counterpart Sylva are vying for the composition of the South-South National Vice President. Party sources said Amaechi was backing a former Deputy National Secretary of the National Executive Committee (NEC) led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Victor Giadom for office, while Sylva threw her weight behind the former Deputy National Secretary to advertising, Yekeen Nabena. In the same area, Cross Rivers State Governor Ben Ayade appointed his health commissioner, Dr Beta Edu, as the national women’s leader.

Presidency and anger of governors

Buhari’s endorsement of a former Nasarawa state governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, for the post of national president is an open secret. It was recorded that the President reiterated his choice to the Governor of Yobe State and Chairman of the APC Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC, Mai Mala Buni) when the latter visited him in the United Kingdom. United last week.

Some of the governors continued to complain about Buhari’s choice dismissing Adamu as too old for the post, not open to new ideas and too authoritarian. The office is zoned in the North-Central States, with two aspirants hailing from both Niger (Senator Sani Musa and Etsu Mohammed) and Nasarawa State (Tanko Al-Makura and Senator Adamu), the States of Benue and Kwara having a seeker in the person of George. Akume and Saliu Mustafa.

The investigation revealed that two north-central governors weren’t exactly happy about the office being zoned in the region. Party sources have revealed that Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello is aspiring to be a presidential candidate while Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello is planning to be a vice presidential candidate. .

Three days away from the convention, governors and power blocs are already wooing Senator Abdullahi.

The Southeast Governors of Imo and Ebonyi are also talking to each other to support Senator Adamu as the area will produce a National Vice President (South).

In the North West, regional governors are also watching Buhari’s body language on his choice of National Organizing Secretary. Immediate past chief executive of the Progressive Governors Forum, Salihu Lukman has joined the race for national vice president (Northwest), a development that has polarized the ranks of governors in the zone.

North-East: the battlefield of Buni

For the geopolitical area of ​​the Governor and President of Yobe State, APC CECPC, Mai Mala Buni, there is no war of attrition or ongoing battle. The zone will produce only one National Auditor for the National Working Committee (NWC) and its National Statutory Vice President (North East). The investigation showed that a sitting governor in the area, Governor Buni and the former governor of Borno State and one of Tinubu’s foot soldiers in the North, Kashim Shettima, are plotting for the vice ticket. -president who could be zoned in the area during the presidential convention.

The North East zone includes the states of Borno, Yobe and Bauchi–, Adamawa, Gombe and Taraba.

Three of the states control the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP): Bauchi, Taraba and Adamawa. Despite the calm, Bauchi State stakeholders in the APC have since petitioned President Buhari and the APC CECPC Chairman, Governor Buni. In the petition signed by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, former Bauchi State Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, outgoing Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and 26 others, they gave a micro-zoning kick from the National Vice President, North East, to Borno State. APC leaders argued that Bauchi was excluded despite his contributions to the APC. They further claimed that Borno State had been adequately compensated by the federal government for board appointments and several positions in the Buhari cabinet. The Bauchi leaders cited National Security Advisor General Ali Mohammed Mongonu; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (GMD), MeleKyari; the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali and the Chief Executive of the North East Development Commission (NEDC). Thus, they called on the APC leadership to rethink and treat Bauchi State fairly and equitably.