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APC Primaries: How a sect of the APC is planning to sabotage Tinubu

APC Primaries: How a sect of the APC is planning to sabotage Tinubu

Some leaders of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), have been plotting against Senator Bola Tinubu, the APC’s National Leader, to keep him from running for president, even though he is willing to see how popular he is among party members. 

At the insistence of the political parties, INEC granted a six-day extension of the June 3 primary election date, which was originally set to expire at midnight on Friday. Before extending the deadline, the election official had turned down a request from the parties for more time.

Extensions were sought by a variety of political groups for a variety of reasons. All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders are thought to have been plotting to sabotage their National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, by bringing in former President Goodluck Jonathan into the contest.

Senator Adamu Abdullahi, the party’s national chairman, is said to have received the former president’s presidential candidacy and expression of interest papers directly from him. As early as 2015, the governing APC revealed evidence of fractures among its leaders when Dr. Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara State, battled Tinubu’s group to become Senate President.

Before Tinubu’s appearance, Tinubu’s supporters and a portion of the party’s leadership headed by Chief Odigie Oyegun had designated the incumbent Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, as the party’s favored candidate. Saraki, on the other hand, stunned these stakeholders by using his popularity among PDP senators to beat Lawan in a sleight-of-hand maneuver. Both President Muhammadu Buhari’s apparent lack of interest in the Lawan project and Oyegun’s apparent lack of personal devotion to the project are thought to have contributed to Saraki’s Senate victory. As soon as Saraki came on the scene, the APC leaders launched a supremacy battle that resulted in Saraki’s corruption allegations being dropped. Tinubu’s supporters joined forces with the Presidency and part of their party’s leadership to challenge Saraki at this moment.

Plots against Saraki gained momentum when Tinubu’s supporter and former Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, took over as APC chairman from Oyegun. When assassination attempts were made on the previous Kwara State governor, only political savvy could save him.

Even though Saraki served his full four-year term as Senate President, neither the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) nor the courts were able to find him guilty. After his defeat in the general election, he was not re-elected in 2019. After the 2019 general election, Lawan was appointed as Senate President by the party under Oshiomhole, with Saraki out of the picture. Many governors, presidency officials, ministers, and other party leaders with an eye on the presidency in 2023 were dismayed by the closeness that developed between the Oshiomhole-led party leadership and Tinubu. They knew that Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, also wanted to be Nigeria’s president in 2023. Since Tinubu’s followers ran the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC), Oshiomhole’s closeness to Tinubu led to a new plan to take down the NWC. The idea that Oshiomhole had too much control over the activities of the party was also part of the plot. During a contentious virtual meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), the party’s anti-Oshiomhole and anti-Tinubu factions gained control in June 2020 and ousted the NWC, and formed a caretaker committee. A former senator named John Akpanudoedehe served as secretary to Yobe State Governor Mai-Mala Buni, who headed the caretaker committee.

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The Buni-led caretaker committee, whose six-month term was set to expire, continually extended its term in an apparent effort to devise new tactics to limit Tinubu’s power ahead of 2023. Buni and his team moved the party’s National Convention several times so that Tinubu’s men wouldn’t be able to take control of the coming NWC. Tinubu’s supporters would have swept the board if the APC’s National Convention had taken place as scheduled. Many people also thought that Tinubu would have been the party’s presidential candidate if the APC’s primary had been free, fair, and unaffected by outside forces.

There are rumors that Buni and his committee waited longer than necessary to hold the national convention so that Tinubu wouldn’t become the next president. They thought that his committee was set up in the first place to take over the party and stop Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom’s plans. Other alleged anti-Tinubu plans include a failed attempt to induct African Development Bank President Dr.Akinwumi Adesina into the race, as well as a continuing covert effort to entice Jonathan to run.

Extending sales of APC presidential forms, altering candidate screenings, and extending the deadline for remaining primaries are just some of the other plans against former Lagos State Governor Goodluck Jonathan. Many APC members think that Tinubu would win an open, free, and fair primary, but the leaders of the party in power are determined to stop him. It doesn’t seem likely that the ruling party will be able to stop him without hurting itself in the process.

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