• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

Intrigues as Tinubu’s men fight for control of APC

After the unceremonious exist of Abdullahi Adamu and Iyiola Omisore, former national chairman and secretary of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) respectively, in what appeared to be a palace coup last week, close associates of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu are positioning themselves to fill the positions.

Observers believe that the exit of the two leaders from the party has given birth to a new power bloc, loyal to the President to take charge of APC and the bloc would be the determinant of how things are shared in the ruling party and Tinubu’s administration.

Right from the first day, when President Tinubu assumed office it was obvious that Adamu’s days as national chairman of the APC was numbered considering that the President was never his choice for the APC’s presidential ticket.

For many observers, Adamu’s travail did not come as a surprise considering the role he played days before the APC presidential primary, when he attempted to impose Ahmed Lawan, former Senate President on the party as the presidential candidate.

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Adamu was never Tinubu’s candidate for the position and also did not back Tinubu’s presidential ambition. Even during the campaign, party chieftains said he did little towards the President’s eventual victory at the poll.

So, the Nasarawa-born politician, who was handpicked by the former President Muhamamdu Buhari for the APC’s chairmanship position was never in the good books of those close to the President since then.

President Tinubu’s right-hand men felt uncountable working with him. In recent days, there have been reports of Adamu not backing the President’s policies fully.

APC Vice Chairman, North-West, Salihu Likman, had severally accused Adamu of running a one-man show in office, in contravention of the constitution of the party, aside allegation of lack of transparency in the management of party fund.

Some analysts said he should have been more careful with the recent utterance concerning the National Assembly election where he openly rejected the executives of the legislative arm of government, even when it was obvious that President Tinubu hand-picked them.

“Adamu’s removal is expected because of the intrigues that predated the APC presidential primaries and the 2023 general election. Adamu was never Tinubu’s candidate for the position.

“In politics, you cannot eat your cake and still have it. It is obvious that Tinubu and the APC governors do not like the leadership of Adamu and so they have to remove him but not persecute him. Some even see him as a PDP man,“ Kunle Okunade, political analyst, said.

Adamu and Omisore’s exit in APC has perhaps, handed over the full control of the party to President Tinubu, his loyalist and close associates.

For now, it appears that the fight for who will replace the position of the two leaders in APC, is in full swing as reports indicate that several chieftains of the party and close associates of the President are making frantic moves to emerge the anointed candidates.

In recent days, there have been permutations on where the President may likely pick Adamu and Omisore’s successors from.

In the last few days, several individuals have put themselves forward, but former governors of Kano and Nasarawa states, Abdullahi Ganduje and Tanko Al-Makura respectively, are the front runners who are jostling for the national chairman seat.

Some insiders said that President Tinubu may have settled for Ganduje as national chairman.

Although, some APC chieftains were reportedly kicking against Ganduje on the grounds that the North West, where he comes from already occupies the Offices of the Speaker, House of Representatives and Deputy Senate President.

Before now, there were speculations that Al-Makura would replace Adamu.

It emerged in the last four days that Ganduje’s name may have been dropped from Tinubu’s list of ministerial nominees in order to pave the way for him to become the national chairman.

“President Tinubu has settled for the former Kano State governor, Ganduje, to replace Senator Adamu as the party’s national chairman.

“The President had listed Ganduje as one of the nominees for ministerial appointments but, because of his trust and confidence in the former governor, President Tinubu had to change his mind and asked three state governors to persuade Ganduje into accepting the new assignment,” a source said.

Meanwhile, some chieftains of the party are not comfortable with the unceremonious exit of Adamu and Omisore from the party, noting that it can create division within the APC and further polarise the party ahead of the coming off-cycle gubernatorial elections in some states.

They warned that the President should handle the issue carefully, considering that election into the National Assembly had also created division among some leaders of the APC.

“I hope the President and his people know what they are doing; we can’t afford to be creating more crises when we should be putting our house in order.

“Don’t forget some leaders are not happy with the way Tinubu imposed leaders at the National Assembly and have vowed to fight back.

“I don’t think this is the time for the President to be doing this. Someone like Omisore played a key role during last year’s governorship election in Osun; it was the bad governance of the governor that made him lose and we would still need him,” a chieftain of the party from the South West, who pleaded anonymity, said.

Gbenga Ogunwale, political analyst, said that President Tinubu may have moved against Omisore because he felt he was no longer relevant.

“For Omisore, I believe his removal would have been expected because he has lost relevance and has no further value to bring to the camp of the President, so they may have remembered that he is Omisore whom they hated so much; so it was time for him to go,” he said.

Ogunwale added that even though the removal of Adamu may cause disaffection among some leaders, he does not see a much deeper crisis.

He noted that it is President Tinubu’s policies and implementation, and how he runs his government generally that will determine the future of the APC and not the removal of the party chairman or the other party official.

According to him, “The crisis in the APC is expected, because they have killed the elephant and sharing always brings out the worst in people.

“We generally play politics of winner takes all in this clime and since the South West has grabbed the presidential seat, there is a need by key leaders to push through to the front role and in the process they will step on toes.

“So, expect more crisis until the sharing is over and everyone needs to sit down to work.

“As for Adamu, it is expected considering the role he played during the primary when he attempted to impose Lawan on the party as the presidential candidate.

“Though his removal will cause some disaffection, it will only be storm in a tea cup; he does not command such level of respect to challenge a figure like Tinubu even if he was not the President and being President, and the one that dispenses favour, I doubt if Adamu’s removal will raise much dust even among his closest supporters.”