Following the successful outing of the All Progressive Party, APC convention held on Saturday, March 26, 2022, there are clear indications that the party will adopt the same template of a consensus candidate for the presidency.
Recall that the battle was intense since 2021 between the two major factions in the party as to the acceptance of a consensus candidate and the regular votes by delegates. While the party zoned the chairmanship to the north-central, there were over 8 aspirants who were ready to contest for the post of chairmanship from the region, but their aspirations were cut short by a superior interest of President Buhari.
The President had informed the key members of the caretaker committee and the progressive governors’ forum about his choice of Adamu Abdulahi over the other aspirant. Although the governors and some of the committee members advised the president against Adamu and suggested that the delegates were given the chance to practice their freedom to be voted for, Buhari remained stiff with his position and the entire party grudgingly followed through.
Until the convention day, none of the aspirants accepted to throw in the towel and support Buhari’s imposed chairman, it was a couple of hours before the commencement of the convention that the aspirant jointly released a statement, accepting the candidacy of Adamu Abdullahi. The major concern of political analysts and spectators is what will become of the party should President Buhari adopt the same system to handpick a presidential candidate.
Before now, there has been an unwritten agreement that the presidency will be zoned to the south at the end of President Buhari’s second term. It was also revealed that Buhari had made a pact with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that he will work with him to succeed the President in 2023, an agreement that was reportedly reached in 2015. It is also on good account that Asiwaju supported Buhari in all his policies and never countered him in any way since 2015. He has never frowned or protested against all his directives, knowing fully well that there is an agreement.
Most APC members are saying today, that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has never been President Buhari’s choice of successor. Although the President has on many occasions given the impression that he’s not interested in whoever comes to replace him after he leaves office, his recent body language has shown that he’s very much concerned about who wins the spot in 2023.
It has also been revealed that President Buhari deliberately picked former Nassarawa Governor and senator, Adamu, who is known to be rigid, stiff and cannot be approached by anyone for negotiation or consolidation. He trusts Senator Adamu will not entertain any unceremonious permutation that may be against the interest of his benefactor, President Buhari, but will only ensure that he carries out the bidding of the president. He will also be sure to protect that system that brought him to power, Consensus.
Some sponsored coalitions are already coming out to insist that a similar rancour-free consensus template used at the convention, should be adopted for the emergence of APC presidential candidates, adding that President Buhari should be given the honour of directing a consensus arrangement to produce the party’s flagbearer.
Now that it is clear that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not the anointed candidate for APC, Nigerians are looking at the possibility of Vice President Osinbajo, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Petroleum Minister, Timipre Sylva or Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi.
From the list stated above, there are high indications that Osinbajo will get a good slot because Ogun State, where he came from, does not have a significant office during the consensus. When one looks critically at the consensus list, it is noted that the two states attached to Asiwaju have tangible offices; Senator Iyiola Omisore who is from Osun State was elected as the party National Secretary, and Abdulahi Dayo Israel who emerge as the national youth leader is from Lagos State. The Zonal Organizing Secretary (South West): Lateef Ibirogba is also from Lagos State. Tolu Bankole who was picked from Ogun State was given Persons with Disability (PWD) Leader. Some political enthusiasts believe that Ogun didn’t get any juicy office at the party convention because it’s been slated to clinch the presidential ticket.
As a northerner who is acquainted with the emirate structure of authority, President Buhari and Senator Adamu are likely to believe that the consensus system of adoption will be served effortlessly, but sources within the party have hinted that it will be difficult to impose a presidential candidate on the party in the guise of consensus.
“What is consensus in an understanding that is not shared by other contestants to an office? A few of these leaders just sit back in their comfort zones, pick certain individuals loyal to them and tag their candidacy consensus.
“How do you explain that 5 or 6 promising aspirants are contesting to an office and you conferred a cheap advantage on one by merely listing his name on a self-designed unity list? Is that democracy?
“We know their plot is to apply the same system in May and we are waiting for them. They will meet the shock of their lives”, the source tells City People. Whichever angle the APC decide to take to elect their presidential candidate, it is certain that the party will not be the same after the primaries.