Nigeria: 2019 - APC Set to Ease Out Anti-Buhari Leaders
- Pressure mounts on Tambuwal to contest in PDP
- Divided loyalty a concern to party
- APC Senators set to defect
INDICATIONS have emerged revealing that the All Progressives Congress, APC, may witness a major shakeup in its leadership at party level and executive arm of government given plans to make those perceived as not disposed to President Muhammadu Buhari’s rumoured re-election bid ineffective.
The plot, Saturday Vanguard learnt is to pave the way for those considered loyal to the President to take over sensitive positions of authority.
To achieve these, it was gathered that the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party may soon be replaced with a caretaker committee which would organise the National Convention scheduled to hold in June 2018.
The party had last year, resolved to hold an elective national convention this year after much dithering.
In its effort to hold a mid-term non-elective convention last year, the ruling party settled for the new date which would coincide with the terminal date of the current NWC.
Loyal to Different Power Blocks
The NWC led by the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Oyegun was elected on June 13, 2014, and is expected to complete its four -year tenure in June 2018.
The party was under pressure last year to organise a mid-term non-elective convention in line with its constitution.
However, an APC source, who revealed the current plot to Saturday Vanguard, said the core objective is to ensure that those loyal to the President take over the leadership of the party after the convention.
The rationale for the plot, the source, said is the party’s belief that most of its leaders are loyal to different power blocks instead of the President.
“At all the leadership levels which include the party, the executive and the legislature, those at the helm of affairs are loyal to different power blocks that put them there. This does not make for cohesion and it does not allow the President to be in control of party affairs,” the source said.
Continuing, the source said the President is determined to correct anomaly at all levels, adding that the federal executive council will soon be rejigged to position those, who will work for the party’s re-election. Saturday Vanguard also learnt that pressure is being mounted on Sokoto State governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal to dump the APC and contest for the presidency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
The choice of Tambuwal was said to have become necessary given the resolve to present someone younger than Buhari should the President decide to run.
To make that possible, a source said that plans had been concluded to microzone the position to the North West where the President and Tambuwal hail from.
Alternative to President Buhari
It was explained that Tambuwal would have been an alternative to President Buhari should he decide not to run, but there are fears that kingmakers in the APC may not support him.
The role Tambuwal played in the emergence of the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara was mentioned as one of the factors that may work against him in the APC.
The source said: “Plans are in top gear for a former governor of Kano State and a present Senator, Rabiu Kwankwaso to dump the APC which he helped to form and return to his former party in order to contest for the Presidency on the platform of the PDP. He is also from the North West and belongs to the younger generation.
“Ahead of 2019 presidential election, arrangements are on for the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal to leave the APC for the PDP and contest for the position of President. We are really working on that and as time draws near we will see how events will unfold.
“In a related development, Saturday Vanguard gathered that some APC senators and House of Representatives members would dump the party soon following irreconcilable differences with their state.
Two senators, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity, said Senators would soon defect to the PDP given what they described as the absence of equity in APC.
The lawmakers said the prospective defectors are mainly from the North Central, North East, and North West geopolitical zones.