Scheming by three blocs has placed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in a fresh dilemma over the zoning of top positions ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Society gazette recalls that the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee was dissolved in on June 25, 2020, and the Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary National Committee was constituted with a mandate to conduct the party’s national convention within six months.
But on December 8, 2020 the tenure of the caretaker committee was extended to allow for membership registration.
The failure of the APC leadership to settle on the zone to produce its national chairman and presidential candidate is reportedly responsible for the delay in organising the convention of the party.
Top party sources and lawmakers had disclosed that the tenure of the caretaker committee would be extended by another six months next week.
It is believed that if the North produces the chairman of the party, the South will take the presidential ticket and vice versa.
It was gathered that scheming and machinations by various blocs to produce the national chairman of the party to place them in a better position in 2023 was one of the factors delaying the conduct of the national convention.
The three main blocs in the party are – the bloc of the Presidency, National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s camp and that of the governors, who are members of the party.
A former governor told DailyTrust that if the zoning arrangement of the party for 2023 is not properly managed, it would split the party.
“One of the reasons for the delay is to enable us to get our house together because, by the time the zoning arrangement is announced, fresh issues will come up. We need someone that has reasonable experience, maturity and is well-grounded to take over our party. Someone who can call anybody to order, bring all forces together and organise the party,” he said.
A ranking lawmaker and member of the party blamed the APC governors for the delay in organising the convention.
“They want to produce the next chairman of the party at all cost. They are the most influential bloc in the party, hence they are manipulating the system to favour them,” he said.
He said the statement of the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Senator Atiku Bagudu, that the presidential ticket and the chairmanship seat are opened to all is part of the gimmick of the governors.
Bagudu had in May this year said, “APC belongs to all Nigerians. Everyone, from every part of the country, is free to aspire for any position in the party in line with provisions of our party’s constitution and the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.”
An ally of the president from the North West told DailyTrust that Buhari was fully aware of the scheming.
“They are scheming and we are watching. The governors’ bloc thinks they have to retain the control of the party for 2023 reasons. They are the most powerful clique in the party and they are the people controlling state apparatus of their party.
“But, I am sure that it is the intervention of President Buhari that will address the situation,” he said.
A party source however warned that extending the timeline for the caretaker would spark legal issues that would nail the party in the 2023 poll.