Serious underground tussle is ongoing within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the control of the chairmanship ticket of the party which was made vacant by the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee. The power play is being propelled by permutations over the issue of 2023 presidential succession by various influential forces within the party.
As the National Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) settles down to grapple with its assignment to reposition the party, some plots are being perfected to rezone the chairmanship outside the South-South. Until his ouster, Comrade Adams Oshiomole held the position on behalf of the South-South geo-political zone. By convention and existing traditions, another candidate from the South-South was expected to take over and complete the tenure.
Investigations have, however, revealed that based on the political permutations for Buhari’s successor in 2023, some interest groups are pushing vigorously for the rezoning of the chairmanship slot to suit their political interests. Such moves run against the grain of existing wisdom and is perceived as being capable of creating more crises in the party.
It is believed that a prominent leader of the party from the South West who is interested in the 2023 presidential race, is scheming seriously to have the chairmanship slot zoned to the South East to preclude the zone from the presidential race.
A party stakeholder in Abuja, Chief George Ohikere, stated: “The race for 2023 has started with the current permutations on the chairmanship. The plot to zone the chairmanship to the South East is to thwart the presidential aspiration of the zone and make it dead on arrival”.
On the other hand, a particular party strong man from the South-South who is also believed to harbour presidential ambition is also pushing for the chairmanship to go to North Central to pave way for his aspiration. Based on all these cold calculations, pressure is being mounted on the Governor Buni-led Caretaker Committee to move the chairmanship slot outside the South-South. These moves, however, are being resisted by well-meaning party leaders who believe that retaining the slot in the South-South would ensure unity, equity and stability in the party. Influential party leaders like El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi are said to be in support of the retention of the chairmanship in the South-South. As the days unfold, it will be seen how the APC would be able to navigate through the turbulent political waters.
Many concerned party stakeholders, however, believe that if the chairmanship ticket is zoned out of South-South, it would re-ignite further crisis in the party, contending that it would have a negative impact on its electoral fortunes.