By DESMOND EKWUEME
There is huge tension over the forthcoming National Convention of the All Progressives Congress. According to a member of the Convention Committee, there is uncertainty surrounding the event as the party has been deeply fragmented by events of the past few weeks.
“We are in a state of confusion as I speak. There is no direction nor purpose. There is no coordination of the party’s activities following the developments of the last few weeks. We have never been this fragmented. I just hope this won’t be the last convention of our great party”, our source says. He did not want his name in print.
June 23 has been scheduled for the National Convention of the governing party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). It is just 14 days away. It has all the trappings of a political war since it would determine the future of not only the APC but also many party members.
The ongoing face-off between the executive and legislative arms of government, talking about the cold war between the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki which degenerated to the withdrawal of the security details of Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara will grossly rub off on the convention.
Critics opine that the Offa Robbery which has been linked to Saraki who was initially invited by the IGP but later asked to write to explain all he knows in response to the confession of one of the gang leaders of the robbers was a ploy to stop Saraki from attending the convention which will ratify President Buhari’s second term bid.
Though, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has stepped into the matter alongside the Attorney-General of the Federation it is believed that the last of the matter has not been heard as it was meant to relax the political muscles of the Senate President before he was again taken unawares in a new swoop.
These developments also led to the breakdown of talks between President Buhari and the group known as New PDP. The group comprises of APC members who were formerly of PDP but crossed over before the 2015 election. It is believed that there efforts contributed to the landslide victory of the governing party in that election. They pulled out of talks with Buhari on ground that DSS personnel assigned to Saraki and Dogara had been withdrawn among other issues.
Already feelers within the party indicate that there may be an implosion. This is further buttressed by the events of the last few weeks.
With less than three weeks to the convention, the National Secretary of the Convention Committee, Senator Benjamin Uwajimogu resigned his appointment. Sources say, Uwajimogu’s resignation was not unconnected with his role in the Restoration Coalition in Imo APC which is sweeping Okorocha’s political dynasty away. More so, it is said that Uwajimogu is loyal to Oyegun but and sad about the plan to edge him out as National Chairman.
It is alleged that Okorocha was working against the national officers of the party from South East which include the National Vice-Chairman, National Auditor and National Organizing Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso. But with the recent vote of confidence passed on these officers by the National Caucus of the region in Abuja, it is left to be seen how the convention will accommodate all these interests, intrigues, twists, turns and power play.
Only last week, Buhari feared that the opposition had so much money for 2019 election. Perhaps, he may have to settle the challenges that this convention will pose before looking ahead the 2019 poll.