- The battle for tickets in the All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken a turn for the worse
- The party chapters across the states of the federation are enmeshed in crisis over primary elections
- The ruling party might be heading for implosion as aggrieved chieftains swell in numbers by the day
A report by Vanguard indicates that the battle for tickets in the APC, worsened on Monday, September 10, as different factions in the party across the country took battle positions ahead of the party’s primaries holding later this month.
According to the report, the war cries were especially raised in Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Rivers, Cross River, Delta and Yobe states.
Despite the political tension that enveloped Lagos state in recent days, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday, September 10, picked his nomination form for re-election apparently signalling an end to the doubts about his second term.
His re-election bid had kept political stakeholders on edge as it was alleged that the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had raised the flag against his bid.
However, despite the apparent rapprochement between Ambode and Tinubu, factional chairman of the APC in Lagos, Fouad Oki, was unrelenting as he called on the national leadership of the party not to conduct the direct primaries in Lagos.
Oki in a petition to the National Working Committee (NWC), said that conducting the primaries “will spell doom for the party and expose it to avoidable litigation.”
He accused the national secretariat of the APC of “carrying on with impunity and has, so far, been dealing with the impostors and renegades that emerged from the illegally conducted congress in Lagos state.”
In neighbouring Ogun state, the crisis arising from the consensus arrangement spearheaded by Governor Ibikunle Amosun took a new twist after Olumide Osoba, son of former governor of the state, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, raised the alarm that some unknown persons were threatening his life for rejecting the inclusion of his name in the consensus list of the APC.
To further buttress the division in the Ogun APC, the state commissioner for commerce and industry, Bimbo Ashiru, resigned his appointment in the cabinet of Governor Amosun to pursue his governorship ambition on the platform of APC. His declaration was despite the governor’s presentation of Adekunle Akinlade as the consensus candidate.
In Ondo state, the two factions of the party produced two parallel lists of National Assembly candidates, on Monday, September 10.
The Ade Adetimehin-led faction, which occupies the party secretariat presented forms to aspirants for the National Assembly while the Idowu Otetunbi faction did same at its factional secretariat in Akure, the state capital.
In Yobe, opposition continues to mount against the state governor's choice to succeed him.
Alhaji Ibrahim Geidam had picked the national secretary of the APC, Mallam Mai Mala-Buni, as his successor, but his choice has received strong opposition from another party chieftain, Ibrahim Bomoi, a former senior director of treasury in the Federal Capital Territory Administration who vowed to oppose the move.
Bomoi went ahead to open his campaign office in Damaturu, the state capital, on Sunday, September 9, to underscore his seriousness.
In Delta state, the bid by a faction of the party led by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Chief Great Ogboru to push for indirect primaries received serious opposition from some party chieftains. Among those who opposed it was governorship aspirant and economic guru, Professor Pat Utomi who in a statement sent to journalists, called on the party leadership to intervene.
He said that the decision of the Omo-Agege/Ogboru faction to forge ahead with indirect primaries was not taken at an all inclusive forum. He further affirmed that some members of the party were either locked out or not invited for the meeting where the decision was taken.
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In Rivers state, the crisis for supremacy between the Rotimi Amaechi and Magnus Abe led factions is getting heated by the day.
The Abe faction had called for direct primaries while the Amaechi led faction which recently threw up Tonye Cole as its consensus governorship candidate has opted for indirect primaries.
Meanwhile, the APC chairman in Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas Sanusi, has charged members of the party volunteers in the state to strive beyond the target of five million votes set by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections.
Sanusi spoke through a representative on Sunday, September 9, at the Coronation Hall, Kano Government House, during the inauguration of the state chapter of APC Volunteers.
He tasked them to ensure that voters of President Buhari would cast their votes in favour of Governor Ganduje and vice versa, insisting that APC as a party is one and a singular family.
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