With few months to the commencement of activities leading to the forthcoming 2023 presidential election, there appears to be some form of unease within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the rumoured presidential bid of the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso.
Sources within the ruling party told our correspondent that the former minister remains the major concern amongst its major stakeholders in the APC’s bid to retain power come 2023.
A two term governor of the Kano State and a former federal lawmaker, Kwankwaso had in the past contested the presidency twice on the platform of both the APC and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015 and 2019 respectively.
Although the former federal minister has not yet signified his intention to contest, stakeholders in the APC has been having sleepless nights regarding the likelihood of Kwankwaso picking the PDP’s ticket, which they see as portending grave dangers for the APC.
The apprehension of the APC leaders might not be unconnected to the fact of the rising profile of Kwankwaso being a cult like figure like the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari in the North, a development that portends grave dangers should the PDP zones the ticket to the North.
“The followership of Kwankwaso in the North can only be compared to that enjoyed by General Muhammadu Buhari in the North before the 2015 general elections,” a source said, adding that no political party worth its salt would toy with the possibility of having the former governor within its fold in the build-up to the forthcoming election.
The fear of the APC leader is further made worse by the agitation from southern members that the ticket be zoned to their area in the interest of a purported agreement reached at the formation of the party 2014 that power must oscillate between the two regions.
“As we speak today, there is general apprehension within our party no thanks to the rumoured presidential aspiration of Rabiu Kwankwaso. The situation is throwing our party off balance because of the agitation that the presidential ticket be zoned to the South.” A source within the party told our correspondent recently.
Another issue, which sources stated have been agitating the APC leadership for some time is the Spartan lifestyle of the former governor in and out of power which has remained untainted for many years.
Variously, Kwankwaso remains one of the few former governors or public officials who have not had any serious brush with the various anti-corruption agencies over his stay in office hence it would be difficult to hold him down with allegations of financial sleaze in the buildup to the polls compared to his major challenger for the ticket, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Unlike Atiku, Kwankwaso is a relatively young man in the Nigerian political filament compared to others who are close to eighty years old.
To curtail his rising profile of the former Minister of Defence, Sen Kwakwanso has become the toast of the leadership of the APC who have been wooing him to their party ahead of the forthcoming poll.
Some members of the APC are said to have reached out to the former minister with a view to return him back to the APC which he was a founding member with a view to bring him on board as the third force in the already divided party.
“We know the importance of Kwankwaso in the nation’s political circle. We know how potent his Kwankwassiya Movement is not only in the North but across the country. We are making concerted efforts to bring him back on board to see how we can make him the flag bearer of the party in 2023,” a source within the party said.
Another staunch member of the ruling party, APC who doesn’t want his name made public revealed that if PDP field any candidate outside Kwankwaso, APC would win easily without stress.
Findings reveal that the cult-like followership of the former Kano governor prompted one former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to begin moves to wrest the presidential ticket of the party from sensing the possibility of Kwankwaso turning the table against him.
Top members of the PDP see Kwankwaso as the viable alternative to Atiku whom many see as having passed his prime with less appeal to the grassroots compared to the Kano born politician.
Though the third popular northern candidate seems to be Sokoto State governor, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal who is said to come a distant third in the ranking, the race for the ticket of the PDP seems to have been narrowed down to Atiku and Kwankwaso.
“PDP is desirous of staging a comeback to power and the only viable politician who can make that happen is Kwankwaso. He has that grassroots appeal that no party can deny or toy with. We know this in the PDP and we won’t joke with it.” A member of the National Working Committee of the party stated recently.
Sources within the PDP stated that though the party has not stated expressly where the Presidential slot would be zoned to but the calculations are that wherever it would be, Kwankwaso would feature prominently in the arrangement either as the major or junior partner in the ticket.
Kwankwaso recently won in a poll that was recently conducted by some members of PDP, who sampled members on their preferred candidate to pick the party’s presidential ticket in 2023.
The poll showed that Kwankwaso is projected to beat the likes of Atiku Abubakar, Tambuwal, former Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido for the much coveted ticket.
By Abdulmalik Suleiman
Group Alerts PDP Leadership Over Fayose’s Excesses
A group, Concerned South-West Professionals(CSP), has called on the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to call former Ekiti State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, to order, saying his antics were capable of ruining the party in the South-West geopolitical zone.
According to the group, the former governor is on assignment in the South-West to create division within PDP in order to actualize the presidential ambition of his new godfather in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bola Tinubu.
In a statement released in Lagos and signed by its publicity secretary, Alhaji Ismail Adeyemi, the group said any attempt by the national leadership of the PDP to merely look on while Fayose decimates PDP in the South-West would not augur well for the party.
The statement read: “An ex-governor who could not deliver his state to PDP during the last governorship election in Ekiti is going about, hobnobbing with the opposition, casting aspersions on the only PDP governor in the South-West, Mr. Seyi Makinde, and organising parallel congresses.
“Nigerians cannot have forgotten how Fayose consistently opposed former Governor Olusegun Mimiko while the latter served as chairman of the PDP Governors Forum towards the end of his (Mimiko’s) tenure and succeeded in driving him out of the party with his recklessness and bigotry.
” Fayose treated Mimiko, who had been in politics long before him and was his senior in age, with utter scorn, assassinating his character and pouring invectives on him.
“Yet when Fayose succeeded Mimiko as chairman of Southern PDP Governors Forum, nobody struggled with him for that particular position.
“For him now to be going about maligning Governor Seyi Makinde beats the imagination, although we are not surprised because his history of dictatorship, crudity and self-aggrandizement is well known.
“Fayose is on record as pouring invectives on elders of the party, some of whom are old enough to be his father, and it is astounding that members of the NEC and NWC of PDP have kept quiet while he continues to stoke divisions and rancour in the party.”
CSP added that governance is not a matter of age, as many governors have parents and even grandparents but everybody respects their authority.
“By undermining the governor of Oyo State, Fayose is insulting the party executives as a collective.
“He should be called to order before his divide and rule tactics cause chaos in PDP,” the group said.
Call PDP National Legal Adviser to order, Makinde tells NWC
…says South West zone ready for congresses
Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Thursday, asked the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to call its National Legal Adviser to order to ensure rancour-free zonal congresses in the party.
The governor said: “I specifically put on notice that the National Legal Adviser of PDP has not done well. When the issue of the party structure in Lagos came up, I met him personally and advised him that, look, we have alternative dispute resolution mechanisms in this country, especially when its an internal affair of the PDP.
“I came here to brief you, first, on the meeting of the South West caucus of the PDP that was held here two days ago and also to discuss briefly the happenings within the PDP National Working Committee as it relates to upcoming South West zonal congress of the party.
“At the meeting, we reaffirmed the zoning arrangement for the positions of the South West zonal executives, and also each state, by now, has been able to put together a unity list, which we intend to take to the congress proper. “But yesterday, I heard of disturbing news that our National Working Committee is planning to postpone the South West zonal congress because some people went to court to complain about the location for the conduction of the congress.
“There are three things that are coming out of the court move. One, I want to say that PDP has moved from allowing within its fold, reactionary elements to hold sway. Maybe in the past, it was possible for elements within PDP to collude with the National Working Committee to file cases where they are the plaintiffs and defendants. And they also try to corrupt the judicial system in Nigeria. That will not be allowed because this is a PDP that is getting ready to take the mantle of leadership in this country. We want to provide leadership that is above board for the country and we cannot be seen within PDP to do something that will compromise any aspect of governance in Nigeria.”
“As the only serving PDP governor in the South West Nigeria and a very interested party in the growth and development of our party, we do not foresee a parallel congress. That is why we are putting members of the National Working Committee of the party on notice that they must do what is right in this instance and I believe they will do what is right.”
“There are three things that are coming out of the court move. One, I want to say that PDP has moved from allowing within its fold, reactionary elements to hold sway.
The governor further stated that the South West should be allowed to conduct its congress around the same time the other zones would be conducting theirs.
“The engagement is ongoing with the leadership of the party at the national level. If the rest of the country are having their zonal congress, I don’t see anything that will be different with the South West.
“But if they are toeing the path of ‘arrangee’, that would mean they are taking PDP back to an era that we should have forgotten about in this country.”
Defections: Oyinlola May Emerge PDP Chairman As Secondus Faces Sack
Indications have emerged to the effect that the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) may sack its National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus ahead of the 2023 Presidential election, following the spate of defections that have hit the party.
A PDP top notch who should know, told ThePageNews that the party’s leadership may be zoned to the South west as the SouthSouth where Secondus hails from is being considered for the presidency by the party.
To this end, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun state, it was gathered, may replace Secondus as the PDP national chairman.
Dark clouds are believed to be gathering over the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as bigwigs of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) poised to whittle its structures down ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Pundits say the political strategies being adopted by the APC ahead of 2023 are far-reaching and would require concerted effort in the PDP if it is to survive.
This, it is argued, is part of the party’s effort to prove as wrong the impression that President Muhammadu Buhari’s exit at the expiration of his tenure in 2023, would lead to the collapse of the APC.
Some APC bigwigs had predicted during the reign of Adams Oshiomhole, as the party’s national chairman, that the party would cease to enjoy federal power after President Buhari’s tenure.
However, with Oshiomhole’s abrupt exit from the APC headquarters following the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in June 2020, the strength of the party, its modus operandi and agenda for 2023 have changed.
The APC is “waging a war” against the PDP, which reigned for 16 years after the return of democracy in 1999, after years of military rule.
When APC won the general election and “seized” federal power in 2015, many PDP leaders left for the ruling party, ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The same scenario is playing out ahead of the 2023 poll as top PDP leaders are jumping ship. Political alignment and realignment have begun in the country in the form of defections.
A few months ago, the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee received some PDP bigwigs who jumped ship into its fold.
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; former national chairman of the PDP, Senator Barnabas Gemade and Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, have dumped PDP for APC.
Others are; National Assembly Chief Whip Jimoh Ibrahim, former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr Danladi Kifasi, Sen Isa Hamma Misau, Alhaji Salisu Takai, Senator Elisha Abbo from Adamawa State, and many others.
Majority of the defectors attributed their decisions to alleged poor handling of issues and injustice in the PDP, a claim that was rebuffed by the opposition party.
With the political twists and turns, the polity is twitching while the main political actors in the APC have been relentlessly meeting and wooing bigwigs in the PDP.
Recently, there was widespread rumour that APC top leaders were in talks with former President Goodluck Jonathan to dump PDP and pitch tent with them in the ruling party. That was, however, debunked.
Similarly, a former governor of Ogun State who was Campaign Manager for PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the 2019 general elections, Otumba Gbenga Daniel, defected to the ruling party on Tuesday. Also, a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika, on Tuesday joined the APC. Many House of Representatives members have also crossed over to APC.
Sources within the party mentioned that the gale of defections had triggered a move to sack the party’s national chairman.
The Chairman, Secondus has been surviving sack moves since the party lost the 2019 general elections, and after Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State defected.
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