BusinessDay

APC Presidential primary and the ‘Ides of March’ in June

After months of cocktail of wheeling and dealing, horse-trading, postponements and hide-and-seek, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will today officially announce its flagbearer for the Presidential election scheduled for February next year.

Egos will surely be bruised and tears of regret will be shed. And depending on how the party handles the exercise, it may rub off negatively on the broom association. For some of the aspirants, it promises to be their “Ides of March” in June!

The leadership of the party had played a mind game with the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over where to zone the presidential slot and the choice of candidate.

Following the emergence of Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, who contested against the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, the APC knew there was fire on the mountain.

The party continued to weigh options on who possibly to field to march the national appeal of the Adamawa-born Atiku.
The search has led to several high level meetings, most of which were nocturnal held inside the womb of Aso Rock and presided over by the President himself. Up till last night, such meetings were still being held.

There have been lots of intrigues as the President pleaded with the governors on the party’s platform to support him to choose a consensus candidate. This request attracted angry frown from many quarters.

Read also: APC presidential ticket: Adamu in the eye of the storm

Nevertheless, some names are still being bandied as the anointed ones. The body language of the chief occupant of the Presidential Villa appears not to synchronise with the “I have no preferred candidate” claim.

A few days ago, some of the aspirants flew off handle in their reaction to the drama and unfolding events that they believed were adversarial, and by so doing attracted reprimand from the party aparatchiks.

The intervention of some Northern leaders, including serving and former governors to the effect that the ticket should be zoned to the South appears to have reduced tension.

But Abdullahi Adamu, who in March became the national chairman of the party purely on the orders of Buhari, on Monday flew a kite by single-handedly announcing Ahmad Lawan as the consensus candidate.

In reaction to that costly joke, Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo State and chairman of Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF), who is still grieving from the terrorist attack on worshippers in a church in Owo on Sunday, described Adamu’s pronouncement as “flight of fancy.”

“My attention has just been drawn to the expensive joke purportedly enacted by the National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu. The speculation is rife that the Chairman took a flight of fancy and decided to make a pronouncement beyond his competence,” Akeredolu said.

As the primary holds today, it is going to be tantamount to the “Ides of March” against some of the aspirants.
When heroes in movies, books, television shows are faced with the “Ides of March,” it is always a bad omen.

The immortal words, “Beware the Ides of March” are uttered in William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar to the leader by a fortune-teller.

Some of the aspirants who have sworn to swim or sink in the competition today, despite obvious intimidation and mines laid on their paths would discover that they have come face to face with the “Ides of March” in June.

Some hours from now, the picture will become clearer. Observers are watching.

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