These are not the best of times for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). After the rancorous primaries recently held across the nation, governors elected on the platform of the party are at daggers drawn with the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomole. President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance that he will not intervene in party matters has also contributed, to a greater extent, to the rancour that threatens to scatter the broom into shreds. In the present circumstance, the decision of the party to grant automatic ticket to its loyal lawmakers is turning out to be APC’s major albatross. Last week, Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, stormed the presidential villa twice to protest the decision of the party to grant automatic ticket to Senator Shehu Sani. When he saw that all his visits to Aso Rock was not yielding the desired results, the Kaduna governor went ahead to conduct a primary election in which his preferred candidate, Uba Sani, was declared the winner. But the party stood its ground, insisting that Shehu Sani remains the sole candidate for the APC in the Kaduna Central senatorial primary election.
The closest governor to President Muhammadu Buhari today is the Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, yet he is battling to take control of his state. His preferred candidate in the APC gubernatorial primaries lost. Last week, he was in the villa twice to see the president and even met the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, who is from Ogun State. On Monday this week, Amosun again stormed Aso Rock to see the president. In spite of all the efforts he has made, the party is yet to resolve his issue. Now, there are reports that the governor is threatening to leave the party. The Zamfara fiasco leads the pack of shame from the primaries. Because of Governor Abdulaziz Yari selfish tendencies, the APC will not field candidates for all elective positions in the 2019 elections in the state. The wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, during the weekend knocked Adams Oshiomhole, over the controversy and irregularities that characterised the just-concluded primaries. According to her, the party appeared to have granted automatic tickets to some aspirants, while denying others the opportunity to contest even though they had coughed out huge amounts of money to purchase nomination forms. In a series of tweets on her verified Twitter handle, @aishabuhari, Mrs Buhari regretted that despite coming from Labour background, which requires staying on the side of the people, Oshiomhole presided over impunity. She therefore called on Nigerians to resist the sham called APC primaries.
She tweeted: “It is disheartening to note that some aspirants used their hard earned money to purchase nomination forms, got screened, cleared and campaigned vigorously, yet found their names omitted on Election Day. These forms were bought at exorbitant prices.“Many others contested and yet had their result delayed, fully knowing that AUTOMATIC tickets have been given to other people. All Progressives Congress, being a party whose cardinal principle is change and headed by a comrade/ activist whose main concern is for the common man, yet such impunity could take place under his watch”. During the week, five APC governors met president Buhari evidently for him to step in and resolve the controversy trailing the party primaries. The governors led by the Progressive Forum chairman, Rochas Okorocha, said the APC is seeking reconciliation of all aggrieved members because the party could not afford to go into the general elections as a divided party. Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting with the president, Okorocha expressed optimism that most of the crisis would soon be resolved, noting that there would be no more defections from the party.
He said, “We have also looked at issues concerning our primaries. In every democracy expect some kind of disagreements and we have kindly requested that something be done to bring all warring factions together so we can have a united party to face the challenges ahead and we are happy that that will soon take place. “Most of the problems have been resolved except for one or two states where we have issues. Where it becomes more difficult, we asked for Mr President’s intervention in the matter”. On what specifically the governors are asking for, he replied: “Reconciliation. What is important to us is that we must not go into this battle a divided family and we want to make sure that all governors are intact, all National Assembly members are intact while going into this battle. We will never speak differently. We will speak as united leaders of the party”.On the crisis in Zamfara State, Okorocha said, “Zamfara is one of the issues we have raised also”. As the deadline for substituting candidates expires next week, Nigerians are waiting to see how the governing party unknots the plot in the political farce called primaries. As it stands, the public perception about all the wrangling in APC is that what is happening to the party is self-inflicting.
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