APC CRISIS AND THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTION
By Tajudeen Hamzat
As Nigeria moves closer to 2019 and preparations for the critical general elections intensify, there is increasing concern over whether the ruling APC can truly mend in the midst of the wars of attrition currently going on among several leading stakeholders.
Troubled by the spate of crises and their potential impact on the party and polity, President Muhammadu Buhari has empanelled a committee chaired by the party’s ‘National Leader,’ Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to help douse the fires.
One of these fires would be in the Middle Belt, whose peoples are aggrieved over the failure of the APC-led Federal Government to stridently combat the herdsmen menace that is impacting on their local agrarian economies and societies. Notably angered is Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom, who has been pushed by the imperative of the moment and the realities of local politics to take positions that are clearly antithetical to those of the federal authorities and presumably his party.
Another such hotbed is Kaduna State where a faction of the party which is linked to Senator Hunkuyi had reportedly suspended the incumbent Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, who in turn has responded by promptly demolishing the secretariat building being used by the faction and revoking the accompanying title deed to the property in question ‘in the public interest.’
Even before this demolition, the faction of the party loyal to the governor had equally announced the counter-suspension of Senator Hunkuyi for six months from the party, even as it also expelled 28 other members of his faction. before the Hunkuyi flank expanded so widely, El-Rufai had been locked in a running battle with the second of only three of the states’s senators, Shehu Sani, which had also devolved into a rioutous gale of purported suspensions.
Even the South West where Tinubu the new-found reconciliation czar comes from has not made any pretence over the fact that even it has been smirking over the poor treatment meted out to Tinubu and the region by president Buhari and his kitchen cabinet cabal since the APC’s coming to power in 2015. it is in the midst of all of these acrimonies that the Tinubu committee is having to work. And clearly, it has only a few more weeks to deliver!
Though, the President, Muhammadu Buhari has yet to openly declare his intention to run for a second term but there are already widespread speculation that he is almost inexorably being positioned to be the flag-bearer of the ruling party in the next election.
But as observers are reading ‘the tea leaves,’ should these fires remain burning, they will introduce additional challenges for the candidacy of a president that is still struggling on very many other fronts to persuade voters as to why he should be trusted with ‘four more years.’ Tough call indeed.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ‘National Leader,’ APC