…From The Party Primaries
Do you know that there is a Cabal that controls the way things run in APC? There is. And we can tell you that authoritatively. Like in most political parties and groups, there are usually cliques that determine what happens. In the case of APC, they are the ones who determine what happens in the party. They dictate the tune.
City People gathered that this group of APC leaders, made up of some serving Governors, Senators, House of Reps Members, and other big players in the party have been plotting who the party should pick as their new Chairman & Presidential candidate. We can also reveal authoritatively that there are strong indications that this Cabal controlling the APC has concluded to use Zoning & Consensus policy. Already, 4 aspirants are jostling for the post of Chairman. And they are all from the North. The Mafia also want to determine who the presidential candidate of the party will be. They have already pencilled down the candidate who will pick the ticket for the party.
We have it on good authority that this group do not favour Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to pick the ticket. They feel he is too strong a candidate for them to control. They will prefer a less strong candidate who can be controlled by the party members.
City People gathered that Tinubu himself is very aware of this and he has set up his own structures to battle this Mafia who wants to edge him out, using Zoning arrangement and Consensus as their tool. What they plan to do is to gather Consensus around their own preferred candidate, who is not Tinubu.
This ongoing political plot in the All Progressive Congress APC ahead of the February convention has shown that the cabal is hell-bent on ensuring that the National leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not get the ticket for the presidency at the primaries. The latest resolve of the party to deploy the strategy of a consensus candidate for the APC presidential primaries is a pointer to this fact.
Before now, there have been conflicting positions between federal lawmakers and the state governors on the provisions of the reviewed Electoral Bill. President Buhari, after receiving the bill for assent for more than 30 days, refused to sign on the ground that all the systems of voting should be included, which means that party members may also use indirect or consensus style at the primaries. He vetoed the Electoral bill and sent it back to the National Assembly over the restriction of political parties to direct primaries. A couple of weeks ago, President Buhari clearly indicated his preference for a Consensus candidate and the Cabal began to promote the idea. In the end, both chambers of the National Assembly, the Senate and the House of Representatives had to remove Compulsory direct primaries from the bill.
While the House gave options of parties adopting direct or indirect primaries, the Senate included Direct and indirect primaries as well as the consensus model as suggested by the President during his Channels Television interview, a few weeks ago.
During the interview, Buhari said the lawmakers should include Consensus, besides direct and indirect primaries.
He said, “All I said (is that) there should be options,” he said. “We must not insist that it has to be direct; it should be consensus and indirect.” The battle which is to be won or lost by either of cabal or Asiwaju took a new turn as the two chambers are yet to agree on the inclusion of consensus.
While the House of Representatives amended Clause Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 which is Clause 84 of the electoral bill, by inserting the indirect primary option. The Senate, however, adopted Clause 84(2) as recommended by the Committee of the Whole and approved direct primary, indirect primary or consensus as the procedure for the nomination of candidates by political parties for elections. The Senate’s move, it was learnt, was based on the request by the President. However, it was not a smooth ride for the bill at the House. There was tension in the House as members were divided on whether to amend the legislation or override the President’s vote. In the heat of the debate the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, called a few ranking lawmakers to discuss the way out of overriding Buhari’s veto
Those who met with Gbajabiamila included the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase; Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa; Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu; Chairman, House Committee on Finance, James Faleke; Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson, among others. Although the Senate has concluded on their decisions, key stakeholders in the Green chambers are of the opinion that Consensus will subvert popular will, and its antithetical to democratic principles. A close source holds that Consensus is a deliberate attempt to scheme Tinubu out of the calculation,
Judging from experience, a Consensus has occasioned a litany of litigation in Nigeria’s electoral process. We call on the Senate to, in line with the popular will of Nigerians, adopt the position of the House of Representatives which now recognizes direct and indirect primaries as the procedure for the nomination of candidates.
Will the Asiwaju that we know, be caught off-guard with this plot? We will find out in a matter of weeks.
City People can authoritatively reveal that many of those who are members of this highly influential Cabal enjoy the confidence of Mai Bunu, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee running the party now. In a recent interview with Channels TV by Seun Okinbaloye, Jigawa Governor revealed that their plan is that days to the APC Convention, the leadership of APC will galvanise and mobilise towards having a Consensus candidate.
We gathered that there is also disquiet in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the zoning list of the party, which emerged last week ahead of the February National Convention and the 2023 general polls.
The list, which was said to have been released by Yobe State Governor and Chairman of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee indicated that the party had zoned the presidential ticket to the South and Vice Presidential slot to the North.
It also showed that the Senate President would come from the South, while the Speaker of the House of Representatives would come from the North.
According to the list, the APC National Chairman would come from the North, while the party’s National Secretary would come from the South among others.
But reacting Buni in a statement by his Director-General Press and Media Affairs, Mamman Mohammed, said the list was fake, adding that the party had not taken any decision on zoning.
Despite the denial, some party chieftains told Daily Trust that the zoning list was drafted and kept secret to protect certain interests until the time was ripe to make it public.
A chieftain of the party from the South, Chief Jackson Lekan Ojo insist that the list, which was disowned by the top echelon of the party was Genuine.
He said, “The zoning arrangement has been done, and they kept it a secret. The list was leaked, but they denied it because they want to zone the presidency to the South-South and they are still keeping it to themselves who they are giving it to”.
“The position of Vice President will come from the North East, that is Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Mai Mala Buni. What they wanted to do was to reach a Consensus, but they were really perturbed by the way the zoning list leaked to the public”.
“The way the list leaked made some members from other blocs to Restrategise. That is why they came out to disown it”.
“If they alter it now, it is as a result of its leakage to the public. So, I can tell you on authority that the list that came out was the mind of the Caretaker Committee and the major cabal”.
Another source revealed that “the game plan is simple. Some of the Caretaker Committee Members have an axe to grind in the build-up to 2023. So they are scheming to realise their ambitions”.
He added, “you can’t rule out the possibility of the purported zoning being genuine and drafted by a cabal at the National Secretariat of the party”.
The Director-General of Press and Media Affairs to Governor Buni, Mamman Mohammed, told Daily Trust that the Yobe Governor was not aspiring to be running mate to a presidential candidate from the South-South.
He said, “that is absolutely false. The idea of who should get what at the party level or 2023 has never been discussed. In fact, it has not even been contemplated.
“Who and who met? We come to understand that some people are pushing unnecessarily so that they can have their way. But nobody has discussed this”.
“The purported list was said to be issued by the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, but the same Chairman said it is not him.
So, we come to realise that some people are trying to fly a kite to see how it will favour them; a kind of agenda-setting for the party.
“You have a problem on the ground you are trying to solve it. You are trying to unify the party to have a common front.
How do you start igniting another crisis having a zoning formula without widely consulting critical stakeholders?
“It involves wide consultations by bringing all stakeholders on the ground. Over 41 million people have registered so why would the Chairman sit and unilaterally share offices? It’s absolutely false”.
Other chieftains of the party however said its leadership was more concerned about resolving the internal crisis bedevilling the state chapters, consulting critical stakeholders and inaugurating state executives before constituting the zoning committee, publicity sub-committee among others ahead of the convention.