The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is said to have been thrown into an apprehension over it’s continued existence at the expiration of the tenure of president Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. The party is assumed to be jittery as to whether they will be able to muster the votes as well as present a credible candidate that will defeat the resurging People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 Presidential elections when Buhari bows out of the scene.
The anxiety may have stemmed from the fact that the party was built around the famous integrity of Mr Buhari and was only able to convince Nigerians to bring the 16 years of PDP’s rulership to an unceremonious end while giving the new party the opportunity to form a government at the centre owing Buhari’s impeccable candidature.
Analysts have also recalled how the APC, a merger of about five opposition parties including some disgruntled elements in the then PDP led by Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje also joined the merger party which later rode to power on the widespread acceptance of then General Buhari especially in the Northern region which houses over 60% of the electoral strength of the country.
We recall how Buhari’s integrity and the change mantra was constantly brandished by the then opposition party as their most viable political weapon during the heated electioneering periods, it stuck like a leech and became folklore. Even the month of February slated for the 2015 elections was christened Fe-Buhari by the overwhelming supporters of Mr president. For the first time in Nigeria and indeed Africa’s political history, the name of an individual was louder and carried much political punch than a party. APC merely hid on the political goodwill Buhari commands in the Northern region to clinch political power.
The greatest question the ruling party has continued to grasp breath so as to give a reassuring answer is who will lead the party to such an overwhelming acceptance in 2023? Which individual within the party commands a cult-like fellowship in the North like the president as to grant the party a seamless victory come 2023?
The party is said to be further cowed by the fact that President Buhari even without having a councillor save a sitting governor on his side in 2007 when he contested presidential elections under the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) garnered whopping 12 million votes. This is a huge number for an individual without both the human and financial resources that are invaluable to such an electoral contest in our clime.
The above facts and the current brewing political tussle that is currently going on behind the scene in the APC has forced the party to swing into the political market with the necessary financial muscle to get as many politicians as possible to its fold. The once boisterous chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomole cowed by the fears of 2023 Presidential elections has even taken to berating APC members in states like Benue where the party lost its control in the 2019 governorship elections. The party chief heaped blames of the Party’s loss of the state’s control on a certain selfish politician who he said took control of the state dictatorially and forced Samuel Ortom out of the party.
A chieftain of the party who spoke with TheNigerian News also pointed to the fact that APC is said to be seriously in fear of its declining support base which is deducible from the party’s monumental loss of many states in the 2023 general elections, declining from controlling about 24 states prior to the 2019 elections to 20 states with Zamfara still staggering. The PDP rebounded from 11 states to 15 states. The party scribe noticed that it was President Buhari’s personality that saved APC at the centre in the 2019 elections as the Nigerian people resolved to vote his party out of power which was reflected in the general elections where only Buhari of the APC was overwhelmingly elected.
TheNigerian News also gathered yesterday from a reliable source who should be in the know that there is a desperate attempt to woo some governors to the APC. The national leadership of the party is gathered to have started the campaign with the Governor Ortom of Benue state who left the APC in 2018 to seek reelection under the platform of the PDP. He was the first and only politician in Nigerian who switched between parties within four years just a few days to the election and went on to be returned elected in both instances. The meeting between the president and the governor a few days ago is understood to have been arranged to water the ground for a smooth political discussion for his possible defection to the APC fold.
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