The vacant position of National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has kick-started another round of infighting within the ruling party.
A report by Daily Sun, indicated that the tussle for the position has split the ruling party; as a faction of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Congress for Progressives Change, CPC, insisted on getting the vacant seat.
The current occupant of the Office, Mai Mala Buni, is presently the Yobe State Governor-elect.
Recall, that the CPC is one of the parties that made up the APC, in its merger in 2014. Others are the Bola Tinubu-led Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and the All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP.
At inception six years ago, following the merger that brought about the APC, the party positions were shared on pro-rata basis.
There were 32 positions then, ACN 9, CPC 9, ANPP 9, and the remaining shared among the smaller parties, who were part of the merger. However, the CPC bloc is complaining that just after one term in power of the APC, the party appears to have jettisoned the sharing formula.
One of the CPC Stalwarts, said that 90 percent of the members of the APC’s National Working Committee, NWC, as at today, are of the ACN bloc, adding that, technically, they have been totally eliminated from the affairs of the party.
He said: “Before our National Convention, we were marginalised no doubt, but today, what we have is total elimination. Our National Chairman is ACN, National Secretary, ACN, Deputy National Chairman (North), ACN, Deputy National Chairman (South), ACN, National Legal Adviser, ACN, Financial Secretary, ACN, National Vice Chairman (South-South), ACN, I can go and on.
“This is why I call it total elimination. We have been eliminated from the party.”
At the moment, the North-East zone of the party had been asked to forward a consensus Candidate to fill the vacancy created by the exit of Buni, but the Yobe State Chapter of the party is insisting on producing Buni’s replacement.
Interestingly, Yobe and Borno States are also in hot contest for the Senate Presidency. Senator Ahmed Lawan, who is the party’s preferred Candidate for the position, is from Yobe State, while his major challenger for now, Senator Ali Ndume, is from Borno State.
Yobe State APC Secretary, Abubakar Bakabe, in a recent interview, noted that the State has competent personalities to replace Buni.
His words: “We have all it takes to occupy that seat; we have a lot of experienced and intelligent party administrators who are interested in the position. So, definitely, one of our people would be sponsored to occupy that seat again.
“Going by the fact that Buni was able to leave an indelible mark, we feel it is proper for one of us to go and continue with the good job. Secondly, he only spent a year or less in his second term. So, we have to complete that term, because it is Yobe State’s quota.”
Reminded that party Stakeholders from Borno State are already appealing to Ndume to drop his ambition for Lawan, he insisted: “We (Yobe) want both of them, because Borno has occupied a lot of seats at the Federal level. In Yobe, we consider whoever occupies that seat from Borno as our own, because we were carved out of Borno State.
“I see no reason why they cannot concede to us to produce the Senate President and the National Secretary of the party, at the same time. In this government, they have Chief of Army Staff, National Security Adviser, Chief of Staff to Mr. President, EFCC Boss, and many others. We in Yobe have not complained, because we considered them as our brothers.
“So, I think we need both positions, and I believe they would concede to that. Ndume would soon concede, because even the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has expressed his solidarity and support for Ahmed Lawan’s ambition.
“I will like to call on Borno people to rally around Lawan for the Senate President, because he is an experienced, committed, and intelligent person. He has all it takes to hold that position; he is an orator and quite disciplined. That is why even the President and the party endorsed him, a gesture which I think other Senators should consider and vote him.”
He was however, quick to add that should the party decide otherwise, by micro-zoning it to Borno, the Yobe State APC will not be opposed to it.
“We are very disciplined and organised; whoever the Leadership of the party endorses, all of us would support him”, he stated.
Meanwhile, there is serious outcry among some members of the APC, over an alleged move by some Leaders of the party, to foist an unpopular National Secretary on the party.
Those fingered in the plot are the party’s National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; National Leader, Bola Tinubu; and Governor of Borno State, Kashim Ibrahim Shettima.
Chieftains of the party who raised the alarm, said that the trio are planning 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.