Signs that the All Progressives Congress, APC, may be unable to go ahead with its planned convention at the end of this month are gradually emerging.
Although top leaders of the party still believe hosting a convention is possible, concerned party men and women fear the stage is not properly set.
Despite claims that the party has actually done well in patching up differences which have driven a wedge between major players, more issues are popping up on the road to the National Convention.
A sudden change in leadership has taken place. Governor Mai Bala Buni and his co -travellers in the Caretaker Committee have been kicked out.
Also hit by a sledgehammer, are members of a cabal that have been working behind the scene with Buni to shape or reshape the direction of the party.
Initially, attempts at a cover-up were made after Governor Sani Bello of Niger State emerged on the scene.
But political observers maintain everything is now in the open. What was dubbed fake news by Senator John James Akpanudodehe, Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, is now reality.
The events playing out has further exposed how fragile APC’s unity is at this time; how weak an outgoing president who is the leader of the party might become as time runs out and his grip on power slacks; and how camps within the APC, for their selfish interests are poised to bring their party platform to its heels.
Reports say President Muhammadu Buhari might be aware of the events which led to the removal of the Buni led committee.
Some of the reports are even claiming that the President was equally in the know of the plan to bring Bello to the APC National Secretariat.
Locked in a political closet:
The defeat of the President’s bid to expunge or modify section 84(12) of the Electoral Act has thrown a spanner in the works.
Strategists within the APC, we have learnt, are already studying the situation which has been thrown up as political gladiators fight for the soul of the party.
The president’s move to get the National Assembly to deal with the new section of the Electoral Act was intended to pave the way for appointed officials, or the ‘anointed one’ in his administration who may be eyeing higher office.
The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi and his wife, Damejudith
What the National Assembly has done by rejecting the request, analysts think, is to lock the door in the face of officials inside the government who have established interests.
The clock ticks:
From the day the President initialled the reworked electoral act, the clock began to tick.
Those who are serving in government have at least 30 days before a convention or party primaries to resign.
“Those who are serving in government may not be able to leave office within time to take part as delegates in the forthcoming APC convention”, a source has revealed.
According to what we have learnt, moves are being made in some circles to drum up support for the extension of time.
Insiders wonder how Bello and all those working with him will be able to put the convention together.
“I wonder how we will make it to the convention without healing these deep sores. Buni and his friends schemed and schemed and there is a chance, they are still scheming.
“Make no mistake about it, there are booby traps on the way, landmines to avoid in order to avert a major explosion, all kinds of obstacles to surmount.”
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State is quoted as saying, ”Someone went to court and secretly got an injunction that APC must not hold its convention, and Buni hid the injunction, kept it as a time bomb but we have unraveled it, it will be vacated.
“APC will not go down because of the inordinate ambition of some governors. All of us will remain in Abuja until we conclude the convention……”
Will the APC convention hold on the 26th as planned, or will the fear of an implosion lead the Bello team to ask for extra time?
A knowledgeable member of the party who spoke to this publication noted, “There ISA feeling that Bello and his people need extra time to conduct to convention. For me, we are already in extra time.”
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