A look at those still stranded in APC
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, displayed political courage when he beat a quick retreat and returned to the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He damned the refrain among some APC members that the party anticipated that he would move.
For instance, shortly after the former vice president’s exit from APC, President Muhammadu Buhari was compelled, half in earnest and half in jest, to commiserate with the national chairman of the party, Chief John Oyegun, on the loss of such a high political net worth member.Although the APC leadership has failed to say so, it is believed that apprehensions over the possible defection of its prominent members are part of the reasons why the party continued to foot drag on holding its mid term convention.No doubt, some prominent players seem to be stranded in the party.
Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso
PRIOR to his defection from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the former Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, was the arrowhead of opposition within PDP to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition.When he defected, APC rewarded his effort by gifting him and his associates in the legendary Kwankwasiyya movement with the structure of the party in Kano. The former governor had in addition to effortlessly winning the election for Kano Central Senatorial district, succeeded in swelling the number of votes that accrued to APC.
It would also be recalled that apart from taking part in the APC’s debut presidential primary, Kwankwaso played prodigious roles in the party’s 2015 victory in Kano. Also, for reasons bothering on 2019, Kwankwaso and his political godson, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, fell out of favour and thus began what was seen as a proxy political battle of supremacy, with some elements in the Presidency as more than passive observers.
Although the then Resident Electoral Commissioner for the state, Munkaila Abdullahi, was said to have debated the final vote tally, he could not live to shed further light on the outcome of the March 28, 2015 poll, because a mysterious midnight fireconsumed him alongside his wife and two children. Nonetheless, it is on record that Kano delivered more votes to President Muhammadu Buhari in that election than his home state of Katsina, a feat, which could partly be attributed to Kwankwaso’s yeoman’s job.
Recently, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje was quoted as saying that there can be no talks of reconciliation between his grassroots following of Gandujiyya with the Kwankwasiyya group. What that means is that Kwankwaso’s political future in APC hangs in the balance, as even his presidential aspiration is bound to end as a mirage when the altar of right of first refusal to President Buhari is raised.
Senator Shehu Sani
SENATOR Sani is a committed rights activist. Like Senator Kwankwaso, he represents Kaduna Central Senatorial district and is enmesh in a running battle with his state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.The senator was prevailed upon to yield the governorship slot to El-Rufai to avert a divisive primary election in 2014. Shortly after the main election was won by APC, both men took to each other’s jugular, as the senator criticized the governor for embarking on what he considered as elitist projects, particularly sacking beggars from the streets.
Both governor and senator do not see eye to eye on every issue ever since, culminating in the recent plot by Governor El-Rufai to throw up a possible displacement for the senator in the person of Uba Sani, a political adviser to the governor. The purported rejection by APC local council chairmen and endorsement of the governor’s aide is a sign that the Senator’s days in APC are numbered. Where does be go from there?
Senate President Saraki
IT is not yet clear what his next political move would be, but for the President of Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, all eyes in APC are on him to move. It was perhaps in allusion to that perception that the Senate President promised to make public the direction of his political future before the end of this month.
Saraki is one of the prime movers that swung victory to the side of APC in 2015. He has a solid base in Kwara, where he was governor for eight years. As President of Senate, Saraki has had it rough in the hands of some leaders of APC, who not only believe that he mounted the saddle against their design, but also supported the presence of opposition senator as his deputy.
Speaker of House of Representatives, Dogara
IN Bauchi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara enjoys a tainted peace with the governor, Barrister Mohammed Abubakar. It is most unlikely that Governor Abubakar would support Dogara’s political progression in APC.
Senator Kabir Marafa
SENATOR Kabir Garba Marafa represents the people of Zamfara Central Senatorial zone. He is struggling for political space in APC with Governor Abdulaziz Yari. Marafa stunned Nigerians when he disclosed that the governor maintains a militia that has become above the law in Zamfara State.Although Governor Yari is serving his final term in office, the battle between him and Marafa may endanger the Senator’s political interest in the APC, as such for now the Senator could be listed as one of those stranded in APC.
Dr. Usman Bugaje
In Katsina State, Dr. Usman Bugaje and his parallel political structure in Akida, are waiting on the wings to see what happens to the soul of the party for the governorship primary, where they hope to be recognised at the expense of Governor Aminu Bello Masari, before making a final exit.
Bugaje, who was once political adviser to Atiku Abubakar, set tongues wagging when he rejected his ambassadorial nomination by President Buhari, saying: “I have so much in my hands already, especially the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), which is the only broad platform in the north driving development. I want to remain at home and continue the struggle for development and good governance.”
Governor Samuel Ortom
THE massacre of some innocent citizens in Benue State irked Governor Ortom so much that he did not mind the implication of mass burial of 73 corpses in public on the image of APC. Believing that the Federal Government was not empathic enough, Governor Ortom and other bigwigs in Benue APC have been enjoined by stakeholders to “stand firm and rise above partisanship” to confront the terror against their people.
Similarly, the state chapter of APC noted with regret that “if being classified as “North” will always mean Benue people and other nationalities of the Middle-Belt will continue to be marginalised, victimised and enslaved in Northern Nigeria we can no longer accept to be “North”.The state chapter disclosed that its members were in agreement with the governor to seek new political alignments since the reward they got for voting and supporting APC against PDP is the attack by the herdsmen, while the government stands aloof. If the position of Benue APC is anything to go by, it could be understood that Ortom, Senators Barnabas Gemade and George Akume, as well as, other elected and appointed officers are likely to end up as some of the deserters from the party.
Senator Julius Ali Ucha
SENATOR Ucha, who was the 2015 governorship candidate of APC, has not been finding it easy with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party over the attempt to displace the Ebonyi State executive committee led by Ben Nwobashi, which is loyal to him.Although the Ucha group has a matter pending in court, national chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, has been dealing with Pastor Eze Nwachukwu as state chairman. Nwachukwu is loyal to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, whom the Southeast leadership caucus recently recognised as their leader.
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