Disquiet in APC over alleged move to foist national secretary
There is subtle but serious outcry among members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over an alleged move by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in collaboration with the incumbent governor of Borno State, Kashim Ibrahim Shettima, to jettison the party’s National Convention’s norm for the election and selection of executive officers in regard to the vacant position of National Secretary.
The election of immediate past National Secretary, Mai-Mala Buni as Governor-elect of Yobe State, which left the position vacant is generating crisis within the party. Some members, especially from Yobe State, have accused the national chairman, Tinubu and Governor Shettima of arrangement to concede the vacant position to their preferred candidate from Borno State instead of allowing Yobe to produce the Acting National Secretary pending when the party would hold its convention.
Two aspirants from Borno State are currently seeking to replace Buni as against the party’s usual norm that the state from where the outgoing occupant of the positron should produce the replacement. Waziri Bulama, who had previously contested for the position during the 2018 National Convention, but later stepped down for the Governor-elect and former Presidential Liaison Officer to National Assembly, Kashim Ibrahim Imam.
While Shettima had written Oshiomhole recommending Bulama, some members of the party are faulting the governor’s recommendation, saying that Yobe State ought to produce the replacement. Citing the case of the incumbent Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji lai Mohammed, who was the party’s National Publicity Secretary until his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, the source from the party said, “When Mohammed, who hails from Kwara State left the position, he was replaced by Bolaji Abdullahi who is also from Kwara and no sooner had Abdullahi defected to Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) than the incumbent national Publicity Secretary, Lanre Isa-Onilu, took over in acting capacity. He is also from the same state.”
The source wondered why the party is trying to adopt a different strategy in the current case of the national secretary that Yobe, from where the outgoing occupant of the position, cannot produce his successor.It was also gathered that the leadership of the party is mere playing game by pushing ahead the name of Bulama just to test the ground and feelings of the people but that the real candidate is Imam, whom Tinubu, Oshiomhole and the governor of Borno State are trying to install ahead of the game plan for 2023.
Another question members of the party are asking is, why the rush by Shettima to forward the name of Bulama to Oshiomhole, not minding the interest of the people of Yobe State? According to the source, “There must be a secret agenda to shortchange Yobe State in the party’s zoning arrangement despite the fact that Yobe is considered to be more strategic to the party than Borno State in the calculation of the Northeast geo-political zone.”
As a matter of fact, an elder member of the party from the Southwest region disclosed to The Guardian that the way and manner Tinubu and Oshiomhole, in collaboration with some of their cronies in the North, are working towards hijacking the machinery of APC is becoming worrisome to many Northerners who seem to be uncomfortable. He said they (the northerners) have been sounding it clear to resist the national leader if it comes to 2023, judging by the way things are going.
He said, “This is one of the reasons the party is having it very tough to sell the candidatures of Senator Ahmed Lawan as its preferred candidate for the Senate President and Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives among the lawmaker simply because majority of the northerners are uncomfortable with the excesses of the national chairman and his ally, Tinubu.”
It was also gathered that the reason some northerners are miffed by the two names already taunted to replace Buni is because of their perceived closeness to the national leader.“One of them was Tinubu’s contemporary in the senate before and they have also worked together,” the source said. “If such person should now emerge as national secretary and considering the importance of the position to the party, it would add more to the influence and power of the former governor of Lagos State in the party.”
In another explanation, The Guardian gathered that close allies of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and his counterpart in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, are also not comfortable due to the influence the likes of Tinubu have in the National Working Committee (NWC) based on the fact that if that should be the case, their second term chances may be jeopardised like the incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, suffered when he was denied second term ticket last year by Tinubu through the cooperation of the NWC.