By Clifford Ndujihe
FOR critical blocs and stakeholders in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the battle for the national chairmanship of the party is becoming a fight-to-finish.
President Muhammadu Buhari, APC governors, and some critical leaders had early in the week agreed on the North and South swapping positions they have been holding in the last eight years. This means the North will produce the National Chairman of the party while the Presidency will go to the South in 2023.
However, there are contestations over what part of the North should produce the national chairman.
Some governors and stakeholders claimed that the party hierarchy has zoned the chairmanship to the North-Central. However, Vanguard gathered that some governors with some members of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC, want the North-West to the produce the national chairman. The plot to scuttle the agreed zoning of offices was still being pursued by members who we gathered are doing so for their own interest.
Indeed, a northern APC governor told Saturday Vanguard that President Buhari is in support of the chairmanship going to the North-Central, yet some party stalwarts are against terest.
Indeed, a northern APC governor told Saturday Vanguard that President Buhari is in support of the chairmanship going to the North-Central, yet, some party stalwarts are against the move.
Said the governor:“The group is against the party’s preferred zoning of all offices. They want to rezone the national chairman and secretary. Contrary to what has been agreed upon. The reason is because of the ambition of the new group in the CECPC.”
According to the northern governor, notable members of the new group are two Southern governors, a North-Central governor, and a trusted minister from the South.
“The strategy is to continue to postpone the convention. To hold it on the same day as the presidential primary” the governor claimed, alleging that one of the members of the CECPC wants to be president or vice president.
Asked what the CECPC members did after the meeting with Buhari that gave them out as planning to rezone all offices, he said one of the members of the committee “wants to be president or vice.”
On what the said CECPC member or his group is doing now to actualise this, the governor said: “President Buhari didn’t really know that the convention had been postponed. The President said a member of the committee lied against regarding zoning the chairmanship this the North-West.
The meeting was short. And President Buhari reconfirmed to them the zoning as presented by North-West governor.
Indeed, the battle in the APC is leading to aligning and counter-realigning forces. Governors and ministers in North-Central, North-West and North-East who want to be Vice president in 2023 do not want their zone to produce the national chairman so as not to hurt their chances.
Thus alliances are breaking rapidly over what a source described as “ agenda within the agenda”
A host of southern ministers and governors are eyeing the presidency.
“The initial Alliance was to sponsor Goodluck Jonathan. That has collapsed. They wanted it because Goodluck would have spent only four years and power will return to the North,” another source said.