Only one day after the Supreme Court upheld the deregistration of twenty two (22) political parties by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Commission appears to have inadvertently registered another People’s Democratic Party (PDP) into the existing All Progressives Congress (APC) without a formal application for merger.
For many Nigerians who have read the story about the new National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that emerged at the party’s National Convention yesterday, it is the registration of a new PDP by another means.
The belief among some APC members is that the emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the national chairman, a two-term former governor of Nasarawa State on the platform of the PDP, is an effective enthrustment of the APC machinery into the hand of the opposition without realising it.
Before the convention Saturday, it had been speculated that Ken Nnamani, a former Senate President, had been pencilled down as national deputy chairman.
Although Nnamani was dropped eventually, some other names that are PDP in “character and in learning” that emerged at the conention include Senator Iyiola Omisere, national secretary; Victor Gaidom, vice chairman (South-South); Beta Edu, national woman leader, among others.
A party Chieftain who spoke to our correspondent before the convention, on condition of anonymity, had said that the the anointing of Adamu by President Muhammadu Buhari was at variance with democratic norms and principles of party supremacy.
“His involvement in the process at the tail end is not healthy for democracy and party supremacy at all. Giving His Excellency, Abdullahi Adamu National Chairman doesn’t show reward for faithful party members who have paid their dues over the years,” the APC Chieftain said.
There was also ill-feeling that having Adamu as National Chairman was tantamount to giving the party back to the People’s Democratic Party which is just a fraction as compared to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) blocs that formed the party.
Adamu joined the APC in 2017 after he had been a two-term governor, one term Senator under PDP and Secretary, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party.
APC stakeholders under the ageis of APC Rebirth had also rejected the endorsement of Adamu as National Chairman over what they described as signals to return APC to the hands of the original PDP members.
APC Rebirth Spokesperson, Aliyu Audu said that the Senator representing Nasarawa West, is not deserving of the coveted seat in APC ahead of many other aspirants who have unwavering belief in the ideals of the party and have laboured day and night for its success.
“The lingering and now widespread speculation as to the plan to bring a former member of the People’s Democratic Party in the person of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the APC National Chairman in the forthcoming Convention, where loyal, qualified and competent foundation members of the APC are also in the race is not only an aberration but a violation of the established principle of APC which respects long term fidelity to the party and frowns at every vestige of injustice.
“We believe also that Senator Abdullahi Adamu, in his recent assignment as the chairman of the reconciliation committee is a case in hand. Even though he failed grossly in reconciling aggrieved members of our party, particularly from all the states he visited, Senator Adamu failed to accord recognition to the critical mass of young people in the party who are even more aggrieved by the people he consulted during the so called reconciliation process.
“Additionally, he does not possess the democratic credentials that should be exemplary of a National Chairman in a party like the APC, considering that he was one of the strong proponents of Obasanjo’s third term agenda. If that agenda had succeeded, the beneficiary may be sitting as a lifetime president today, but we wonder if that development would have deepened democracy so much as to have a progressive party like the APC which some interest now want to hand over to Abdullahi Adamu,” Audu had said.
The question on the lips of many watchers is, was it a coincidence that it happened that way?
Those who have been following political events in the country would recall that for sometime now, certain elements of the APC have been mounting pressure on former president Goodluck Jonathan, from Bayelsa, South-South to accept the offer to fly the ticket of the party in 2023 for a single term of four years.
Although Jonathan has made attempts in the past to debunk the rumour, it has stuck. And with the outcome of the APC National Convention, many are thinking that there must be an element of truth in what has been making the rounds.
Could it be that Jonathan was that Buhari’s preferred candidate that he said he would not want to mention his name to avoid assassination? Could it be that the positioning of the PDP elements in the high echelon of the APC is preparatory to the unveiling of the Bayelsa man?
The plan that was sold concerning the Jonathan adoption was that he would do one term of four years and vacate office for a Northerner to come on board in 2027. Is it possible that that plan is still on?
Another thing that has left many observers tongue-tied is how a ruling party that has consistently accused the PDP of bad leadership and of running the country aground within the 16 years it presided over the party, could turn around to hand over its party leadership structure to the same people it calls “bad leaders.”
After what happened at the Eagle Square yesterday, would the APC muster the courage to tell Nigerians that the PDP is bad?
APC as a party has oscillated from one crisis to the other. It has not remained stable. The last two years have been particularly traumatic.
Does it mean there is no one from the core APC family that is capable of successfully leading the broom association that is responsible for relying on “strangers” to rule over the party?
Some of those that joined the APC from the PDP are said to have some corruption baggage on their back, yet their “sins” were forgiven as soon as they crossed over.
It is either that certain elements of the PDP must have used Voodoo to hypnotise the aparatchiks in the APC to take over the party, or that the chief occupant of the Aso Rock has something up his sleeves.
Days ahead would unravel the real agenda of President Buhari in all of this development.