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EDITORIAL

APC Undoing Itself In Ogun, Imo And Zamfara

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The post-primary election crises bedevilling the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will no doubt jeopardise its electoral chances in certain states.

Chief among them are Ogun and Imo states where Governors Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha have vowed to work against the governorship candidates of the party in their respective states.

The two governors are at loggerheads with the leadership of the party over their failure to install their preferred governorship candidates as the party’s candidates in the February 2019 polls.

The APC top hierarchy rejected the primary that produced  Abdul-Kabir Adekunle Akinlade, Amosun’s anointed candidate. It also affirmed Senator Hope Uzodimma as its candidate in Imo rather than Uche Nwosu, Okorocha’s son in-law.

With the resolve of Amosun to work against Dapo Abiodun and the mass exodus of his loyalists and supporters to the Allied People’s Movement (APM) on which platform Akinlade hopes to realise his governorship ambition, there is indeed a huge question mark over the future for the APC in the forthcoming poll.

It is a similar scenario in Imo State as Okorocha and his supporters, along with Nwosu, have defected to the Action Alliance (AA) where they hope to realise Nwosu’s governorship ambition.

Whereas the national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is still optimistic that his party would win election in those states, the fact is that elections are won with political structures and these governors who control the APC structures have taken them elsewhere.

Thus, the fates of APC candidates, Dapo Abiodun and Uzodimma, in the respective states hang in the balance without the support of the incumbent governors.

APC’s troubles in Ogun and Imo are not as ruinous as that of Zamfara where the party has shut itself out of the coming general elections despite being the party in power. In Zamfara, the party does not have governorship and House of Assembly candidates for the coming polls. The party failed to conduct its governorship/House of Assembly primaries within the timeframe set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Thus the party has completely left the turf for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties.

Sadly for the party, this is a self inflicted injury as its inability to produce candidates for the polls is a fallout of the protracted crisis between Governor Abdulaziz Yari and major stakeholders of the party in the state.

The predicament of the ruling party is further aggravated by the defection of three governors to the PDP due to crises connected to the primaries.

Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) returned to the PDP following frosty relationships with their erstwhile political godfathers and former governors of their states, Senators George Akume and Aliyu Wammako respectively.

Governor Abdufatah Ahmed of Kwara State also followed his political godfather and Senate President Bukola Saraki back to the PDP.

This newspaper recalls that this was how PDP shot itself in the leg ahead of the 2015 general elections when  internal wrangling forced five governors on its platform to quit the party under the leadership of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. In the end the PDP was toppled at the polls.

As a newspaper, we wish to point out that despite the principle of party supremacy, it is in the interest of the APC that its leadership find a way to pacify the aggrieved members.  The ongoing reconciliation moves across the country should not be cosmetic. Only recently, the party’s leadership threatened aggrieved members to withdraw litigations filed against the APC from courts or face sanctions before President Muhammadu Buhari stepped in to affirm that such persons had the democratic rights to seek redress in court.

There should be sincerity of purpose and genuinely aggrieved members should be brought on board the ship.

A situation where aspirants purchased nomination forms at prohibitive costs and even engaged in campaigns, only for the party to return sitting office holders without elections is not only unfair but also untenable. There is no way those edged out in this way will campaign for those foisted in their stead if they are not placated and compensated adequately.

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC should act on the recommendations of the reconciliation committee with sincerity of purpose and make the party come out of its current challenges stronger.

Oshiomhole also needs to exercise restraint in his utterances in order not to add salt to injury. No matter his convictions, he must realise the party needs all its members pulling in the same direction at this critical stage of the electioneering process if it hopes to win in 2019.


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