By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor and Levinus Nwabughiogu
Despite the seeming drift in the top leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor otherwise neutral top officials of the party will openly intervene normally reliable sources in the party have disclosed.
The hesitance of the president, Saturday Vanguard gathered is also coming in the light of a strong division in the National Working Committee, NWC of the party as a number of party chieftains are said to have expressed strong reservations on the official positions taken by the party.
A number of party activists also do not want the president to intervene as they believe that the crisis is weakening the hands of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has reportedly been steadfast in sticking to the official positions taken by the party.
The drift in the party came to a head in the two chambers of the National Assembly on Thursday when the Senate shoved aside the party’s directive on the nomination of principal officers of the Senate and presented senators elected by the party’s different caucuses of the party. The attempt by Speaker Yakubu Dogara to also do a similar thing in the House led to a free for all that inevitably put the party in bad light.
The developments nonetheless, the party on Thursday night stuck to its guns that its nominees must take office as principal officers of the National Assembly.
One reason being given for the president’s reluctance to intervene was his initial pronouncement that he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody.
“Directly intervening would mean that the president is taking sides with one side,” a source disclosed. Even more, some associates of the president see the ensuring development as playing out positively for the president as the squabble between the party and a prominent national leader on one hand against the National Assembly leaders does not do the president any harm, rather he could benefit from it as it weakens the hands of the national leader,” a source disclosed.
Meanwhile, some top party officials mediating in the crisis, Saturday Vanguard learnt, have also told the president that the crisis could be to his advantage as it is increasingly weakening the hands of Tinubu who is believed to be strongly in favour of the decisions taken by the party leadership.
With the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives out of the grip of Tinubu, the national leader of the party, associates who want to build a strong political base for the president say that the developments provide an opportunity for the president to be his own man, cut out of the image of the national leader.
President Buhari had after the election of Saraki and Dogara as Senate President and Speaker respectively said that he would have preferred that the party’s decisions came to fruition, but that he would nevertheless heed the decision taken by the National Assembly.
“The president is trying to be a loyal party man, but this crisis will turn out for his good as it destroys the power base of the national leader (Tinubu) in the National Assembly,” a source privy to the development disclosed on the condition of anonymity.
Some high ranking members of the party, it was learnt, have also tried to sell that idea to the president.
Sources in Abuja also disclosed to Saturday Vanguard that Senator Saraki has had attempted a back-door contact with the president since his emergence.
Speaker Dogara, how-ever, according to a source is yet to do the same essentially because some associates of the president had almost totally destroyed him in the eyes of the president. Meanwhile, the NWC is said to be divided on the party’s insistence that only those nominated by the party should be appointed as principal officers of the Senate and the House of Repres-entatives. “We know that they cannot go anywhere with what they are doing and we are just allowing them to go on with what they are doing,” a dissenting member of the NWC said.