EXCLUSIVE: Convention: Ruling Party, APC Cabals Confused As Peoples Democratic Party Defectors Look Set To Take Key Positions
Several bigwigs in the ruling All Progressives Congress party are currently worried as it appears that all its key national positions are being left for politicians and leaders who had defected from the Peoples Democratic Party.
SaharaReporters learnt that there is confusion among the APC top shots as former PDP heavyweights seem to be on track to hijack and control the ruling party which could lead to its being ousted from power in 2023.
Top sources within the party mentioned more than five key names being considered for national leadership positions in the party ahead of the March 26 national convention who are former warlords in the PDP.
SaharaReporters earlier today reported that top sources in the party listed names being considered for some key positions ahead of the March 26 National Convention.
One of them said, “The party is considering Adamu Abdullahi for chairman. Also, Dayo Isreal, a candidate of ex-Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, is being considered as youth leader.
“But three other youths are opposing him; Iyiola Omisore is being considered as National Secretary or Ife Oyedele (an electrical engineer and political associate of President Muhammadu Buhari) of the former Congress for Progressive Change. Tokunbo Afikuyomi (former Lagos Commissioner for Tourism) is also contesting as Deputy Chair, South-West.
“Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani is being penned down for the Deputy Chairman, South-East.
“Tinubu may be on his way to crash the party because he’s been practically shut out of some of the choices. The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi is said to own Adamu Abdullahi while Senator Ali Ndume is Amaechi’s cheerleader and in support of his ambition. Amaechi is close to Adamu Abdullahi, the chairmanship aspirant.”
Omisore is a former Senator and former Deputy Governor of Osun State, while Abdullahi Adamu is a former Nasarawa State two-term governor and serving senator.
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Friday, one of the top sources said the APC cabals are worried about how former PDP leaders had infiltrated the ranks of the ruling party.
He said, “How APC National Convention is turning out is that the party is considering Adamu Abdullahi for chairman. But there are worries that former PDP people will control our party.
“The Adamu Abdullahi is from PDP. There is also Victor Gaidom, who is to represent the South-South. Also, Yakubu Dogara is PDP. The Omisore being considered for National Secretary is PDP; even Kenneth Nnamani to contest from the South-East is also PDP.
“This is the reason why they want to drop Omisore and replace him with Ife Oyedele, who was with the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).”
“Also, Senator Ali Ndume who is Amaechi’s cheerleader is from the PDP. There are already plans to stop Omisore. The ruling party is worried that it cannot have too many former PDP defectors as leaders of the APC,” another source hinted.
Omisore was in the PDP for several years. Also, Abdullahi Adamu was in the PDP.
In recent times, David Umahi and Ben Ayade – governors of Ebonyi and Cross River states – had joined the APC and would be attending the National Convention, although they and their states had traditionally been PDP.
So also, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State who joined the APC last year was formerly with the PDP and won his election on the platform.
Already the crisis rocking the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led caretaker committee had yet to die off completely, as the committee appeared to have lost the trust and confidence of most APC bigwigs nationally.
During the week, SaharaReporters had reported how embattled Governor Buni and chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) caretaker committee, on Thursday, returned to Nigeria following a medical trip abroad.
Buni had reportedly taken control of the party, according to a statement by Mamman Mohammed, the governor’s director general of press and media relations.
According to the statement, the Yobe governor had asked APC members to support the party ahead of its March 26 national convention, while urging them to shun issues capable of hindering the party from success.
“Put the recent events in the party behind you and work towards a successful convention,” Buni was quoted as saying.
“The success of the party remains paramount and needs the support of every member. As we head towards the national convention, the party needs the support of every stakeholder and member to succeed,” he had said.
The APC leadership crisis started in late February when Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello took over the affairs of the party. Later, a letter surfaced that Mai Mala had delegated him because he had travelled abroad for a medical check-up.
However, some governors, including Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, afterwards said it was President Muhammadu Buhari who ordered the removal of Mai Mala Buni, who took office in June 2020.
The move comes as the party plans to hold its national convention on March 26, where leaders would be elected at the national level despite a court order to adjourn.
But on Friday, an FCT High Court issued an order vacating the restraining injunction against the March 26 convention of the APC.
The APC had slated March 26 for its national convention where it would elect leaders into key national offices of the party.
However, shortly after necessary committees for the convention were set up, an order restraining the party from going ahead with the planned convention had surfaced.
The restraining order was issued on November 18, 2021, by Justice Bello Kawu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court.
The suit, filed by one Salisu Umoru at the court had the APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Buni as respondents.
However, Justice Kawu on Friday held that a member of a political party could not sue the party.
He said the order of November 18, 2021, had been overtaken by a recent Supreme Court judgment on a similar matter.
The court fixed March 30 for the substantive suit.