In the next three weeks, the flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress will emerge. The party has fixed its primary election for May 30 and June 1st.
So far no less than 24 politicians in the ruling party have stepped forward to contest for the party’s sole Presidential ticket.
The leading candidate in the pool is Bola Tinubu. Tinubu is considered the favourite because of the report that APC may likely settle for a South West candidate, and the leading South West candidate is Tinubu.
Tinubu is also highly rated because of his influence on the party and the fact that he has a lot of supporters across the country.
Some analysts believe that the only hurdle that could stop Tinubu from getting the presidential ticket is if the party impose a consensus candidate on the party.
A few weeks ago, an initial move was made by some elements in the party to decide on APC’s presidential candidate through a consensus arrangement, but the move was successfully rebuffed.
However, there are complaints from within APC that the consensus arrangement may have been reintroduced through the backdoor, following the decision to force aspirants to sign a so-called withdrawal letter.
The withdrawal letter which is part of the presidential nomination form is a condition unilaterally imposed on the aspirants that they agree to willingly withdraw from the Presidential race in the best interest of the party.
The problem is that non of the aspirants were consulted before such action was taken.
As one that has been tipped as the favourite in the contest, Tinubu should be more worried about this development because he stands a better chance of winning under a democratic process than in a consensus arrangement.
Based on the report, Tinubu has a huge number of supporters in the party, many of whom are delegates. Also, his support base cuts across all the regions of the country, however, if the decision to determine the flagbearer is taken away from the delegates and handed over to a few powerful people in the party, there is a likelihood that he may end up the loser.
This is imperative because any of the power that is in APC does not support Tinubu’s political ambition. This is one of the major reasons why they sacked former National Chairman of APC Adams Oshiomhole, a known Tinubu loyalist.
But it is a bit too late for Tinubu to act. There are reports that he may not sign the withdrawal letter. He has also asked other contestants not to do so. This is a good decision, but can it stand the test of time?