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Amid Confusion, APC Heads Towards National Convention

A Myriad of challenges with internal and external dimensions are currently facing Nigeria under the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC). Worrisome food inflation, prolonged fuel shortage, the Academic Staff of University (ASUU) extended its strike by two months and many more. In the midst of all these, the national electricity grid continues to collapse like an epilepsy patient.

While households and businesses grunt under these heavy burdens, the government of the country and members of the ruling party seem to be more concerned about holding on to power in 2023. The messy power tussle in the party could only leave one wondering if the abysmal state of things in the country is not a larger picture of happenings within the ruling party?

After the sack of Adams Oshiomhole as the National Chairman of the APC, a Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) headed by the governor of Yobe State, Mala Buni, was put in place with the sole task of organizing a national convention for the party. Almost two years down the line, this goal has not been met. Many concerned party members believe Governor Buni is not sincere and ready to organize the party convention despite announcing the 26th of this month as the date of the convention after several postponements.

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On the 7th of March, what is similar to hijacking the party’s leadership happened when Niger State governor, Sanni Bello, took over as Acting Chairman of the party amid rumors that the President had ordered the sack of Mala Buni. Some governors of the party openly condemned Buni and showed support for Sanni. As a matter of fact, Governor Akeredolu of Ondo State described the few governors supporting Buni as ‘yahoo yahoo’ governors. Similarly, his Kaduna counterpart, Governor El-Rufai, claimed that Buni plans to secure a court order to thwart the planned convention.

No flame without fire, the energy and positive steps Sanni Bello took gave some credit to El-Rufai’s claim. He pruned down the 1,700 sub-committee members to 200, and he served notice for the APC NEC meeting. While the party seems to be on track for the convention, the country’s electoral body, INEC, rejected a letter of invitation sent by Sanni Bello to be present at the party’s NEC meeting on the ground that the letter of invitation was not signed by Mala Buni and John Akpanudoedehe, who were the recognized Chairman and National Secretary of the party.

As the uncertainties rocking the party deepened, Mr President broke his silence and threw his full weight behind Mala Buni to continue to steer the party’s affairs. He wrote to the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Gov. Atiku Bagudu. He directed governors of the party to desist from attacking Mala Buni and allow him to proceed with all the required preparations to hold the party convention. 

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With Mala Buni back in power, governors that have openly criticized him will not go to sleep. Time ticks down, party leadership tussles remain unresolved, legal suits challenging the convention are not yet withdrawn, states’ crises are lingering, and March 26th appears sacrosanct. The zoning arrangements released by the party to make the emergence of consensus candidates easier have not been strictly followed by aspirants. For instance, the party had zoned the party’s chairmanship to the North-central. Still, former governor Abdulaziz Yari from Zamfara, a North-western state, is one of the aspirants who picked the nomination form.

With all these red flags, how the party’s ship will escape the iceberg on the 26th is a big worry for all the members and supporters of the party.

What are your thoughts?

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Afeez Azeez

Afeez Azeez

A trained linguist who is extremely passionate about issues affecting ordinary Nigerians.

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