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
2023: Tinubu’s Loses Support As Senate President Wants Youthful Leadership After Buhari
Senate President Ahmad Lawan may have joined the forces within and outside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the ambition of the party’s leader, Bola Tinubu to succeed President Mohammadu Buhari, as he canvases for a post Buhari youthful leadership in the party.
According to the Senate President, the APC must begin to plan ahead to sustain the goodwill and legacies of the present administration by ensuring its leaders hand over power to competent youths.
ThePageNews recalls that while President Buhari is believed to have been inactive as a result of ill health occasioned by old age, the only known person in the APC, to be nursing the aspiration to succeed Buhari for now, is Tinubu who will be over 70 years by next presidential election.
In a statement by his Special Assistant (Press), Ezrel Tabiowo, on Monday night in a speech delivered to close the First Progressives Youth Conference 2021 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Lawan said the party ”must begin to plan ahead to sustain the goodwill and legacies of the present administration by ensuring its leaders hand over power to competent youths in the All Progressives Congress.”
Lawan who posited that the APC may face challenges after the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari from office in 2023, noted that by handling the affairs of the party to the youths, the party would be able to retain its appeal and nationalistic outlook beyond the 2023 general elections.
He said: “Whether we like it or not, the truth is, President Muhammadu Buhari remains the person with the bulk of the support we get across this country in APC.
“[And] when he leaves, he would still have some roles but I dare say that it is after he leaves office that APC will face its challenge.
“Yes, we have to know our value then, and the value of APC presently is APC minus President Muhammadu Buhari. Whatever it is, that is the value of APC.
“So, we need to do a lot to build this party, and we need our youths more than ever before for them to continue with this legacy that this administration has established all over the country.
“That means we have to see ourselves as brothers and sisters regardless of where we come from.”
The Senate President added: “Our tribe or even ethnic group, our religious persuasion should not matter when it comes to uniting this country.
“[And] as APC, the onus is on us to provide security and an economy that will bring growth and development to give people the kind of life that is meaningful.
“We can ask others to join us but we are the ones to do it, so we need all hands on deck.” the statement read in part.
Ondo PDP Raises Alarm Over Jegede/Aketi Appeal Court Judgement Papers
The Ondo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has raised the alarm, over what it described as antics to deny it certified copies of Wednesday’s judgement, to enable it approach the Supreme court in approved time.
TheAdo-Ekiti sitting in Akure, delivered judgement on the Appeal filed by PDP and Eyitayo Jegede, SAN against Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN on Wednesday, 16th June, 2021. The five-man panel of Honourable Justices read their judgements one after the other.
In a statement issued in the Ondo State capital on Thursday and signed by its Publicity Secretary, Kennedy Ikantu Peretei
State Publicity Secretary,
the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ondo State Chapter said it is surprised that, its application to the Office of the Registrars, Court of Appeal to get Certified True Copies of the Judgement has been met with some kind of bulk passing between officials of the Court in Ado-Ekiti and Akure.
In view of the fact that, the Supreme Court has only sixty days from the date of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, to dispose of this matter, the party warned that any attempt to play games or to apply delay tactics will amount to nothing but sabotage and a calculated attempt to subvert the course of justice.
”Our party hopes that the Registrars of the court will discharge his duties timeously as required by law” the statement concluded.
Aliyu Babangida Is A Sinking Ship And Should Not Drag Governor Wike Into His Predicaments.
We the People’s Democratic Party North Central Support Group Alliance Forum wishes to condemn the recent comment made by the battered former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu over our highly revered governor of River State, Governor Nyesom Wike.
Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have dignified him with a response, following the response of the party in the state, dissociating itself from such careless and reckless statement. But to make our position clear, setting the record straight and making our voices heard on the matter, we make this salient and sincere response for the records.
It is no longer news that the frustrated former governor, who is looking for who to transfer his frustration and aggression to in other to gain cheap fame, worked against our party, during the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 and never denied the same.
For the unpopular former governor to have referred to Governor Wike as a dictator, it shows how lowly he reasons; this may have caused his level of inferiority complex since he can not match up with the capacity and track records of His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike, governor of River State.
Recalled that the battered former governor Babangida Aliyu’s selfish ambition to bury a party he killed in the state has stalled the democratic congress in his state simply because he insisted that he will unilaterally handpick party excos against the popular wishes of party members in the state.
We do not have any doubt, however, that his ordained and handpicked excos will help him bury the party in the state come 2023 as we are very sure that in his characteristic manner, he will play his usual anti-party game.
Former governor Babangida Aliyu, who has been accused of diverting ecological funds of the Federal Government, released to Niger State in 2014, to the tune of about N1.940 billion should be more bothered about facing his criminal charges of eight-count money laundering charges.
We will advise that the jobless and out of favour former governor should stop holding onto straws by looking for cheap popularity and sympathy by attacking Governor Nyesom Wike. Instead, he should come out boldly to request help from Nyesome Wike the people’s governor.
As it is now, our dear party needs more unity and peace rather than utterances that can divide the party if truly we are serious about salvaging our dear nation from the present clueless government come 2023.
We are calling and encouraging the leadership of our great party to disregard unserious entities, spurious and disaffection statements and entreaties, their pranks of supporting the NWC, while they are intentionally putting the party apart will never see the light of the day. Aliyu Babangida played this sinister script in 2015, he is at it again against the run-up of 2023.
PDP North Central Support Group Alliance Forum
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