The road to the special convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to elect its presidential candidate was tinged with hazy permutations, melodrama and political machinations.
Pundits and party chieftains pointed to one direction for the heightened drama: President Muhammadu Buhari.
The development aggravated the tension ahead of the convention as various interest groups used the president’s silence to intensify horse-trading and peddle the name of the president to sell the candidature of their preferred aspirants.
The Tide source reports that the battle to succeed President Buhari had been fierce and tension-soaked in the ruling party. From the 23 aspirants who were screened by the John Oyegun-led screening committee, the electioneering had been breath-taking as members of the party studied the body language of Buhari who once said he had a preferred successor but failed to name him.
Up to the last minute of the electioneering, the President kept members of the party guessing on his preferred successor, with different contradictory statements, saying at one time that he had a preferred candidate and at another recanting the claim on his successor.
So many chieftains of the party were apprehensive over the president’s indecision amidst speculations that he might want to have his way.
He did that during the race for the chairmanship of the party. He settled for Senator Abdullahi Adamu at the eleventh hour amidst grumbling from party stakeholders, including the Governors of the party. But he had his way. Adamu emerged as the consensus candidate and was eventually affirmed at the convention held on March 26.
But while many aspirants were banking on the president’s endorsement to win, pundits said that pasture was a miscalculation as the President was not known to put a spirited fight for anyone.
As far back as January this year, Buhari granted an interview to Channels Television where he hinted that he had a favourite to succeed him but he would not reveal the name.
He said he was “open to the emergence of anyone,” but later, when pressed, added that he had one person in mind but he would not name him so that he would not be eliminated.
Pressed on whether he had any favourite in the APC, he added: “No. I wouldn’t because the person could be eliminated if I mention it. I better keep it secret.”
Earlier in the interview, Buhari said: “I am not interested in who becomes the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as I am open to the emergence of anyone.
“No. Let him come, whoever it is. The only important thing (is) I made sure that on record, nobody should ask me to come and give any evidence in any court.
“Otherwise, whoever it is, he will be in trouble. Because all the important things are on record. I made sure about that. Important issues are all on record.”
Days after the conduct of party primaries for other elective positions in 2023, the President met the party’s Governors under the aegis of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), urging them to allow him to pick his successor.
Buhari at the meeting on Tuesday May 31, stated that state Governors were given the opportunity to pick their successor, so they should also allow him to do the same at the federal level.
Buhari said, “In keeping with the established internal policies of the party and as we approach the convention in a few days, therefore, I wish to solicit the reciprocity and support of the governors and other stakeholders in picking my successor, who would fly the flag of our party for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.
“We gave governors re-election tickets or opportunity to pick their successors; allow me pick my successor.”
The APC national chairman on Monday flew a kite when he announced Senate President Lawan as the consensus candidate endorsed by President Buhari. The announcement was greeted with a flurry of angry reactions, especially from the camp of 13 other aspirants in the race.
His announcement came after Governors of the party from the North backed power shift to the South.
However, the kite failed to fly anywhere as the President, through a statement from Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu countered the national chairman, saying Buhari had not anointed anyone as his preferred candidate.
Shehu expressed the president’s determination to ensure that “there shall be no imposition of any candidate on the party.”
He quoted Buhari as speaking during a meeting with the Governors at the State House, Abuja, saying the party is important and its members must be respected and made to feel they are important.
The President said he had a clear mind about what he was doing and asked the APC governors to feel the same. “You were elected as I was. Have a clear mind as I have. God gave us the chance; we have no reason to complain. We must be ready to take pain as we take the joy. Allow the delegates to decide. The party must participate, nobody will appoint anybody,” he said.
A public affairs analyst and political scientist, Gbade Ojo said, “All eyes being on Mr President is making him a dictator. In a democracy, Mr President doesn’t have to dictate who should be his successor.”
According to him, if the president’s favourite is not the preference of majority of the party’s members, the person might suffer legitimacy crisis.
Eze writes for Daily Trust.
2023: Vote Out APC, PDP Youth Leader Urges Nigerian Youths
The National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Muhammad Suleiman, has enjoined Nigerians, especially youths to troop out, collect their Permanent Voters Cards and vote out the All Progressives Congress which he said has brought nothing but misery to citizens.
Suleiman made the appeal at a media briefing ahead of the PDP PVC collection sensitization road show, scheduled to commence in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said, “Indeed, we can no longer deny or pretend that we are now at the start of the lowest point in our national life.
“The youth of our country have become weary of the future. It is on this note that we call on all Nigerians to go out and get their PVC because this is the only tool to unseat them, these monsters are the corridors of power.
“The rate of insecurity is alarming and calls for urgent national attention. Ladies and gentlemen, the Nigerian students have been out of school for over five months, with no solution in sight.
“The APC led federal government has paid deaf ear to the plight of the Nigerian students, thereby forcing them to roam about the street and become vulnerable to negative tendencies.
“It is therefore imperative for the Nigerian youth to go out and get their permanent voters card in order to use their vote to unseat the wicked APC led federal government. “
The youth leader further said, “The persistent insecurity that has plagued the nation now for a while with no solution in sight is another manifestation of the complete incompetence and abandonment of government by the All Progressive Congress-led federal government.
“We call on all well meaning Nigerians to take up their destinies in their hands and activate the office of the citizen by going all out to get their permanent voters cards.”
He assured Nigerians that the PDP on its part was prepared to give Nigerians quality leadership at all levels when given the chance.
Also speaking during the event, the PDP National Woman Leader, Prof. Stella Effah-Attoe, urged Nigerians especially women to collect their PVCs.
She said, “Your PVC is your power to determine your future and the destinies of your family members.
“Take it seriously and use it wisely. No one will use his own hands to destroy himself. It is not enough to register.
“Please ensure that you physically collect your PVCs. On Collection of your PVCs, it is not enough to dump them in your drawers and wardrobes, ensure that you make effective use of the PVCs by coming out en mass to vote in the forthcoming General Elections in 2023”.
Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Umar Damagun, in his remarks, said the PDP was now more than ever before resolute in its determination to provide leadership for Nigerians to rescue the nation from the precipice which the APC has led it to over the last seven years.
C’River PDP Guber Candidate Unveils Ex-TV Broadcaster As Running Mate
The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Cross River state, Sen. Sandy Onor has unveiled ex-Channels ace broadcaster, Emana Duke Ambrose-Amawhe as deputy governorship candidate for the 2023 elections.
The Tide source gathered that there has been internal squabble on the selection of a deputy governorship candidate but her unveiling has put all that to rest as the party can now forge ahead in unity with its quest to take over leadership of the state in the 2023 general election.
Speaking during the unveiling at the PDP Secretariat, Mary Slessor Rd, Calabar, Monday, Sandy said in the quest for a deputy governorship candidate they consulted stakeholders widely in a bid to ensure that everyone was carried along and on board with the decision to pick Emana as running mate.
He said that there were no 100 per cent decisions in politics adding that everyone would sooner or later accept the choice they have made because of the painstaking consultation they embarked on.
His words: “When you make up your mind to lead it means you are ready to serve, leadership is service. The decision to pick Emana was a “double-barrel proposition” considering her youthfulness and gender.
“In taking the decision, there was no segment of the party that was not reached; men, women, youths, leaders, elders amongst others.
“We came to the conclusion that there is need to brighten up and strengthen our ticket. If you are a politician, you will know that you can’t mobilise without women.
“Since the time of Cecelia Ekpeyong as deputy governor, we have not been carrying the women along again. So, we came to the conclusion that we need to carry our women along again.
“To simply put it, all the men who available for the position were adequately qualified but we thought that we should not be selfish. Women cannot just be chair leaders all the time, they need to be given a pride of place.
“We needed a double-barrel proposition, a woman that can appeal to the youths, a mother, visionary and a deep intellect who will be determined to work to change Cross River for good and take the state to where it ought to be.
“We find all these qualities in Ambrose-Amawhe. She has momentum, vision, resilience, integrity and character. She is a woman of double-barrel proposition,” Onor said.
In her acceptance speech, Emana described her nomination as victory for every hard-working woman, stating that she was ready to go on the journey with her principal to rescue the State from lack of governance.
“Women must be resilient and never give up on their dreams, the ticket does not belong to me, it is yours, it belongs to the people who have only given it to me to hold in trust for them.
“Let us keep aside our misgivings, and take back our dear state, Sen Sandy Onor and myself cannot do it alone, we need your support, we need you to achieve a new Cross River of our dreams,” she stated.
Osun PDP Alleges Police-Assisted Harassment By APC
The Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress of using the police to harass its members.
A press statement signed by the Caretaker Chairman of the party, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, said members of the party in Ijebu-Jesa and Eti Oni in Oriade and Atakumosa East Local Government Areas respectively were victims of the APC harassment.
According to him, police being supervised by a member of the state cabinet, forcefully arrested PDP members and inflicted on them bodily harm, even without any warrant of arrest to justify such cause of action.
The statement read in parts, “Reports reaching the state secretariat of our great party, the PDP, indicate that a serving Commissioner in the government of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has been taking police operatives to private homes of PDP members in some local governments in the state to forcefully arrest them without any just cause.
“Specifically, police were reported to have invaded private homes of innocent members of our party members in Ijebujesha and Eti Oni in Oriade and Atakumosa East local governments respectively, effecting the forceful arrest of our members and inflicting on them bodily harms, even without any warrant of arrest to justify such cause of action against harmless citizens.
“More worrisome is the fact that, the police chose the dead of the night to invade citizens homes, embarking on sporadic gunshots, thereby subjecting the victims and their relatives to unnecessary psychological trauma.”
But while reacting, Osun APC Publicity Secretary, Wole Adunola, dismissed PDP’s claim saying, no state Commissioner was working with the police to harass anyone.
“The said Commissioner is not working with the police neither is he an intelligence officer and will not put his life at risk going to thugs, wielding gun in their homes at night. So, they should tell the world how their thugs disrupted PVC distribution in Ilesa and suburbs,” Adunola concluded.
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