Preparations ahead of the March 26 National Convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress party are already being finalised as names have been penned down by powerful forces within the party for each position, SaharaReporters has learnt.
Some of the names being thrown up by the cabal have further dragged the party into internal wrangling as some of the candidates do not sit well with the plans of other caucuses within the party.
The March 26 convention had remained uncertain until Friday when an FCT High Court issued an order vacating the restraining injunction against the 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 Mai Mala 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.
How Convention Will Pan Out
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Friday, top sources in the party listed the names being considered for some of the available 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 infamous former Deputy Governor of Osun State, while Abdullahi Adamu is a former Nasarawa State two-term governor and serving senator.
During the week, SaharaReporters reported how embattled Governor Mai Mala 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 Buni 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 came into 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.