By Suleiman Umaru
The road to Abdullahi Adamu, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria and one-time governor of Nasarawa state becoming the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, was said to have started last February when President Muhammadu Buhammadu Buhari, a retired Army general, met with the governors elected on the platform of the party .
The katsina born Nigerian President may have known that the National Convention if not properly handled may polarize the party. This may have informed why he has told the APC governors and the founding fathers of the party at the different meetings on the need ‘’to agree on a Consensus arrangement for the Chairmanship position of the party’’.
The retired Army General was said to have requested George Akume, a former governor of Benue state and now minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Tanko-Al-Makura and Aziz Yari, both former governors of Sokoto and amfara states respectively to withdraw from the race to pave the way for Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa , to be the party National since the position has been zoned to the north central geo-political region. Senaator Sani Musa, Saliu Mustapha and Muhammed Etsu , were advised to withdraw from the race as Senator Adamu is the party Consensus Candidate for he Chairmanship position.
The six APC Chairmanship aspirants may have bowed to the Presidential pressure to cave in as they were aid to have forwarded their of letter of withdrawal, which was said to have been signed by Akume, one of the aspirant to the party National Convention Committee. There was fear in party circles that if the seven aspirants were to face the 7,000 delegates accredited to vote during the party National Convention on Saturday, March 26, 2022, it would polarize the party.
The President may have taken advantage of the meeting with the founding fathers on Thursday, March 24, 222, which Ahmad Lawn, the Senate President had said was to take a final decision on the Unity list for the party National Executive. The Unity list comprises of 54 officials. Adamu, who is Buhari’s choice for the APC National Chairmanship position and other aspirants were said to have been returned unopposed at the party Convention.
Many believe that what had happened at the Ruling APC National Convention at the Abuja Eagle Square on Saturday, March 26, 2022,, Abuja, were the Nigerian President had produced the list of those to serve in the party National Working Committee, NWC, which was robber stamped by the APC governors, and founding fathers, before presentation to the party delegates at the party Convention was not different from what he did in 2019, in selecting those to be in Leadership of the National Assembly. The fallout was the emergence of Lawn, as the Senate President and Femi Gbajabiamila, as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
They noted that with Buhari’s Choice of Senator Adamu as the National Chairman of the APC, he has effectively taken over full control of the machinery of the party that he can dictate on who becomes the party Presidential Candidate in the 2023 general elections. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the a former governor of Lagos state ,who has a deal with the Nigerian President may have known about the political ingenuity of the Daura born Politician that he is not giving him a breather until he gets the ticket. pPolitical analysts believe that with the choice of the former Nasarrawa state governor as the National Chairman of the APC, and Iyiola Omisore as the National Secretary, who has the backing of Tinubu, the former Lagos state governor, the coast is now clear for him to clinch the APC presidential Candidate in the 2023, general elections. Party sources said he may have Rotimi Amaechi , a former governor of Rivers state and minister of Transportation, who has taken a Chieftaincy title in Daura, Buhari home town, who has a Presidential ambition to contend with.
Amaechi, though not a founding father of the APC, was at the Presidential dinner hosted by the President for the party founding fathers to thank them for their support and Cooperation over the last seven years. The minister may have been invited to the Presidential dinner because his closeness to Buhari, who Farouk Umar, the Emir of Daura, had described as a ‘’trusted loyalist’’.
There is no gain saying the fact that both not for the fact that Tinubu had worked for the party since its formation till date, the Nigerian President would have thrown his weight on Amaechi, to be the party Candidate in the 2023, general elections and dam the consequence.
The former Rivers state governor close Associates believe that all hopes are not yet lost for him becoming the party Presidential Candidate as the President is still very much interested in him .The President’s speech at the APC’s , National Convention speaks volume. He had enjoined Senator Adamu Led Leadership ‘’to promote internal Democracy and give equal opportunities to the aspirants.
He was said to have further advised the party National Working Committee, NWC, ‘’to ensure that the party primaries are not influenced by ‘’highest bidders’ going into the 2023 general elections’’. He may have alluded to Tinubu, who has the resources to buy his way to clinch the party Presidential ticket.
Political Observers see what is currently happening at the APC, as a battle between the defunct Congress for progressive Change, CPC, with Buhari as the arrow-head and the Alliance for Democracy, AD, which has Tinubu, as the Leader over the choice on who becomes the party Presidential Candidate.
Given that the defunct CPC has Virtually taken over the APC structure, clearly shows that that whoever had the support of the retired Army General support would emerge the APC Flag –bearer I the 2023 , general elections. Let us hope that the former Lagos state governor and political strategists would not be frustrated out of the party at the last minute by the party Leadership and power brokers who owe their loyalty to Buhari.