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Friday, December 8, 2023

National Convention: Buhari’s dictatorship, 2023 schemings tear APC, zones apart



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*as members threaten court action

From Chuks Collins, Awka

The political schemings, selfish plots and brazen flouting of the party’s constitution and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guidelines within the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) has deepened at the weekend with the most recent where some key members accused President Muhammadu Buhari of single-handedly made the composition of the in-coming National Executive Committee of the party.

It’s well known that the party has been bogged down with key chieftains elbowing each other for who controls the incoming leadership of the party. The implication, political watchers noted was who would have upper hand in deciding the party’s next presidential flagbearer.

Buhari was observed to have tactically avoided formally naming or endorsing his successor but has resorted to handpicking the national Executive Committee of the party to indirectly enable him single-handedly decide who runs the APC 2023 presidential election to succeed him.

But a chieftain of the party who was piqued by the method said, “What is the essence of wasting time and resources on an elective national convention if the president and a couple of governors have constituted the exco in their spare time? We will challenge this legally in court,” he declared.

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Our investigation revealed that President Buhari personally endorsed all the plans and choices of candidates presented to him by a clique allegedly comprised mainly of some northern state governors/power brokers, Ministers and National Assembly members.

Some of the documents sighted by our reporters show that the president has signed off on Senator Abdullahi Adamu as National Chairman, Senator John Akpanudoedehe from the South-South geopolitical zone as National Secretary, and former Senate President Ken Nnamani from the South-East as Deputy National Chairman (South). The president also signed off on other key strategic positions that have been pinned down to specific geopolitical zones.

A source in the Kaduna State Government House, who craved anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue, confirmed the document saying that “Baba (President Buhari) endorsing the zoning formula and the candidates has closed any further debate on the matter.

“People will make noise even if it is their own brother that is given this position. So, someone must make decisions to end some of this back and forth at some point,” he said.

Analysis of the documents showed that the President first endorsed a set of documents setting out the zoning arrangements on February 25, 2022 while he endorsed Adamu and others on March 1, 2022.

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A party chieftain who is opposed to the arrangement lamented that as it is, a bad precedent has now been set to weaken nation’s democracy, stressing that “President Buhari has the right as the party’s leader to show the direction the party should go, but this aspect of one person sitting in a parlor and constituting the entire APC Exco is bad news for democracy in Nigeria. This is dictatorship baring its fangs and we cannot afford the luxury of silence.

Another chieftain expressed worry that President Buhari could have verbally directed those he wanted to be elected to the exco without committing ink to paper the way he did.

According to the chieftain from the northwest of the country, “I have seen the documents and my own worry is that the President should not have gone to the extent of appending his signature to the papers. This is the same signature he uses to conduct matters of the state and to now contemplate the same signature on documents that amount to illegality is demystifying the office of the President.”

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