APC post-election crisis: Northern leaders draw battle line with Tinubu

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The post-election power struggle in the ruling All Progressives
Congress (APC) is creating new battlefield and deepening the chasm
between the two prominent legacy parties in APC – the Congress for
Progressive Change (CPC) led by President Muhammadu Buhari, and the
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) led by Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu. The
peripheral allies in the APC project – the All Nigeria Peoples Party
(ANPP) and remnants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leans on the
major legacy parties for survival. In the post-2019 general elections
power struggle, northern leaders in the party appear to have drawn
battle line with APC national leader, Tinubu.
In the present composition of the power equation of the APC, the CPC
legacy party has the President while the ACN legacy party has the Vice
President.
The struggle for the leadership of the two chambers of the National
Assembly – the Senate and the House of Representatives – is dominated
by the ANPP and PDP allies while the ACN is also seeking a double
share of power in the party government by contesting for the Speaker
of the House of Representatives. Apparently, the ACN may be fighting
for balance of power in the north/south dichotomy in sponsoring
candidate for the Speaker of the House as the north is in general
competing for the Senate President. Thus, mobilization of support and
oppositions is beginning to take ethnic or regional inclinations.
It would appear that the APC national leadership controlled by the ACN
is being suspected by other party stakeholders to be adopting a subtle
game of party supremacy and a disguised support for President Buhari
to impose particular candidates for the senate president and speaker
of the House of Representatives, and beguiling President Buhari into
the grand plan. The support for the Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed
Lawan, of the ANPP faction, for the senate president is being
suspected as diplomatic ploy to seek support for the House Majority
Leader, Hon, Femi Gbajabiamila, for the House Speaker in the Ninth
National Assembly.
However, Senator Ali Ndume, former Senate Majority Leader of the PDP
extraction in the APC alliance, has expanded his campaign into the
depth of the CPC with seeming attributes of anti-Yoruba contents.
Thus, some northern APC leaders opened attacks on the APC national
leader, Asiwaju Tinubu, over his endorsement of Lawan from north east
for senate president and sponsorship of Gbajabiamila from south west
for the House Speaker.
The northern leaders deploying their political machine on duty appear
to have got the youth wing of the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) to launch
the first open salvo at Tinubu.
Accordingly, the AYF criticised the APC national leader, Tinubu, over
perceived plot to manipulate the National Assembly leadership for
personal advantage in his 2023 presidential ambition.
More so, party sources revealed that while the Kaduna State Governor,
Malam Nasir El-rufai, is yet to make an official statement, he and few
other northern governors have vowed not to take order from the ACN
leader on who gets what from the APC.
The AYF had in a statement in Kaduna jointly signed by the National
President, Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, and National Director of Public
Affairs, Bello Abdulhamid, declared: “To any right thinking and close
observers of the polity, this unfolding development showcases Bola
Tinubu as anti-North and is selfishly paving his way to have a total
control of the APC and its tidings as well as influence the decision
of the Party Chairman, all as a build-up to the 2023 elections.”
The Arewa Youths had further declared: “AYF has received with
surprise, the recent position of the National Leader of All
Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, dictating who
will emerge as the Senate President as well as the Speaker House of
Representatives for the Ninth Assembly.
“We are also amazed by the statement credited to the Party Chieftain
where he was quoted to posit that Party officials not comfortable with
the choice and dictate of the party as orchestrated by him and some
party officials are free to leave the APC.
“So much so that we consider this statement as unbecoming of the
National Leader; also, we believe that these dictatorial tendencies
are undemocratic, unethical, not in line with international best
practices, politically incorrect and in bad taste.”
The AYF subsequently, protested: “An elder who is supposed to toe the
path of amicable resolution and embrace the spirit of reconciliation,
particularly, amongst the contestants, is openly found to be
overbearing and divisive by all intents.
“The Arewa Youth Forum, therefore, maintains that this singular
action, especially, as it affects the National Assembly, smacks of the
problematic issue of influence of godfathers, which overtime has been
a serious draw back to the tenet of good governance because the so
called ‘godsons/daughters’ are in shackles, enslaved and captive to
the whims and caprices of their bosses; hence, the desirous and ever
needed delivery of democracy dividends through good governance is
stunted and threatened.
“For the record, each and every Distinguished Senator and Honourable
Member of House of Representatives-elect have rights to aspire and
stand for Election into various offices, and as well have votes to
cast, subject to the laws guiding this exercise in the National
Assembly.”
Moreover, some other northern leaders have also objected the zoning of
the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the south west which
already has the slot of the vice president. They accused APC national
chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of promoting ACN agenda in the power
competition. Some of the leaders from the north west demanded that the
north central be given the slot of the House Speaker.
Meanwhile, Senator Ndume has resisted all pressures to step down for
Lawan as Senator Danjuma Goje from Gombe State did in the senate
president race.
The northern leaders have warned of the consequences of imposing
leaders of the two chambers of the National Assembly on the lawmakers.
The northern leaders appear to have succeeded in pushing Tinubu to the
defensive.

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