2023 Presidency: Frictions in APC deepen over battle for Buhari’s successor


  • CPC may dump party after Buhari administration  

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had been contending with silent internal rivalries that is gradually intensifying frictions and deepening the gulf between the competing factions for a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. Party sources revealed to National Daily that the main rivalry had been between two major legacy parties in the APC – the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) led by President Buhari; and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubhu. The CPC, the sources said, is expanding its influence to coopt some ACN members, making overtures to another legacy party in the APC – the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and negotiating with some members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for an alliance to form a new mega party under the guise of building a Third Force in the polity. The CPC was also said to have coopted the nPDP faction in the party to strengthen its forte.

While the APC National Caretaker Committee led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State has been working assiduously to reconcile warring party members, some of the reconciliations were said to be cosmetic as the frictions over the tussle for APC 2023 presidential ticket continue.

There are emerging fears that the ruling APC could disintegrate after the second tenure of President Buhari in 2023. The CPC faction were said to be bent on retaining the president in the north in 2023. They were said to be aware of an agreement purportedly between President Buhari and Tinubu at the formation stage of the APC to hand over power to Tinubu in 2023 after Buhari’s second tenure but have resolved to undermine the agreement. The APC stalwarts in the CPC faction were alleged to be working towards pulling out of APC in 2023 and use new party platform, preferring an alliance with a faction of the PDP to form a Third Force, to contest the presidential election in 2023.

The party sources further said there is latent rivalry between the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Governor Buni, over APC vice presidential ticket if the party decides to zone the president to the south in 2023.

Other APC leaders, who include Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, including Governor Umar Ganduje of Kano State, among others, were alleged to have developed high suspicion on Tinubu, and are working out means to deny him the party’s presidential ticket.

Some APC leaders were said to have held a meeting at the State House, Abuja, a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, APC members in the southwest have continued to galvanise regional support for Tinubu. Speakers of the State House of Assembly in APC controlled states in the south west, both past and present, assembled in Ibadan, Oyo State, to deliberate on mobilizing support for Tinubu for the 2023 presidential ticket.

Other political movements have been working on the same project and scheming to penetrate the north for Tinubu’s support.

Party sources said that tussle between the CPC and ACN for the 2023 presidential ticket of the APC does not have any reference to the south east demand for the presidency in 2023.

More details in subsequent reports.