The recently conducted ward congresses of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may have just exposed the weak links in the party as the crisis may further push the national convention into 2022.
With some party stakeholders gearing up for a fight to finish for the control of the soul of the party ahead of the 2023 general elections, the ward congresses were the starting point for the battle for who controls the party ahead of the planned national convention.
Findings reveal that on one hand, governors, who are currently calling the shots in the party, are scheming to hijack party structure from the ward level even as other party bigwigs are also worried about their relevance after the congresses.
Already, following the crisis that doted the congresses, especially in Ekiti; parallel exercises in Lagos and Ogun, and rumbling in Akwa Ibom, Osun and Delta, among other states, power blocs both in the pro and anti-Mai Mala Buni-led have returned to the drawing board.
Again, the minority judgement of the Supreme Court in the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State versus Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP and the dust it raised as regards the eligibility of the Buni-led caretaker committee to conduct party business is yet to settle.
According to a party chieftain opposed to the continued stay of the caretaker committee, “Despite the party’s reaction to the Supreme Court judgment which we narrowly escaped losing, I congratulate Gov. Akeredolu of Ondo State who is an exceptional governor.
“We would have lost that state but for God. However, we are not prepared to take any chances anymore. We cannot keep playing this game with or party, with our future, with our lives. Enough is enough. We believe that within the APC, we have capable hands, former leaders regardless of generational differences at this point who can manage the affairs of our party. Why must it be one individual or the other?
“At this point, I think it is a bit selfish for us to expect a sitting governor who has several issues to stop manage in his state because we have a lot of insecurity in the country, we expect him to also man a party like the APC. I do not think we are being fair to him. Gov. Buni is doing his best but as a party we are unfair. We have people who are not doing anything who can do handle this party and protect it.
“Why should we rush and go ahead with the congresses or convention or whatever else is going on. Let us follow the law because our party will not muscle or bribe the judiciary. We should not expect favours from the judiciary if we do not do the needful. So, it is for that reason that we are asking the entire Caretaker Committee to immediately step down and put people that can carry this party forward.”
Another source close to the CECPC is of the opinion that governors cannot be washed away because of the role they are currently playing to stabilise the party.
“You can’t fight the governors because they are the ones funding the party. If a governor says there won’t be a congress in the state, the party will support him, else he will fall out with the structure and there will be issues.”
Already, the presidency is working out modalities to forestall any internal political issues that may arise from the conduct of the ward congresses especially after the Supreme Court ruling last week, on the fate of the current APC national caretaker leadership led by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
Since last week, senior party leaders have been holding consultations with party leaders and governors on a solution that will save the party from future legal booby traps and at the same time, provide an acceptable template to all within the APC.