Intra Party War Pitches Buhari/Tinubu/Atiku Groups
PDP Convulses As Notches Fight To Escape Emasculation
NASS Polarised As Senators Re-enact War Over Saraki
By Sam ADEGBE, Abuja
The leadership and parties concerned may deny the existence of any rift, but it is common knowledge that all is not well with the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, as top notches of the party fight for the control of its soul ahead of the 2019 elections, nay the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which has been convulsing since it lost the 2015 elections.
The APC has been scheming to emasculate the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, but political analyst are already predicting that both the APC and its arch rival, PDP may be heading for implosions in the face of emergent power tussles and seeming irreconcilable differences amongst key stakeholders.
Already, the APC is engulfed in crisis at several state levels, with stakeholders polarised along pro Muhammadu Buhari, pro Bola Tinubu, or pro Atiku Abubakar camps, with each trying to undo the other by hijacking the party hierarchy, even as top notches of the PDP fight hard to revive their battered home.
Investigations reveal that, while parties in the coalition that gave birth to the APC are already seeking for alternative partners against 2019, some prominent members of the PDP are deserting the party en-masse, while others have been reported to be mulling the idea of a name change as well as logo for the PDP, following its defeat in the 2015 election; the shock of which they are yet to recover from.
Recent reports indicate that, the salient war between President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Ahmed Tinubu on one hand, and between the President and Atiku Abubakar on the other have started to manifest openly and that may cost the APC a lot of fortunes, given that, the duo of Atiku and Tinubu, may be forced out of the APC, if President Buhari insists on running for a second term.
nationalTRAIL gathered that, people close to President Muhammadu Buhari, have been ruminative over the reference being made to Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the National Leader of the APC, and not the President, while the party constitution confers leadership of the APC on Governors at the State level. To them, it is inappropriate to regard Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the national leader, which has tended to give him powers to manipulate party decisions at the expense of Buhari’s interests.
Analyst are of the view that, the President had dropped many ministerial nominees believed to have been picked by Tinubu, even so, the denial of James Faleke to take over as Governor of Kogi State following the death of Prince Abubakar Audu, even as Audu’s running mate may not be unconnected with the tussle between the two APC leaders, knowing Falake to be Tinubu’s man.
Atiku Abubakar who has never hidden his ambition to run in 2019, may be compelled to seek for an alternative platform should Tinubu maintain control of the party leadership at the National level, and may be tempted to take out his pound of flesh against President Buhari in 2019 in his fight to actualise his long time ambition.
Several actions of the President, point to the fact that, he is bent on asserting his hold onto the leadership of the APC, as references being made to Tinubu as the national leader of the party has often made him uncomfortable just like his followers. The battle of making Buhari as President, the national leader is certainly going to be resisted within the party.
At the state level, the APC in Kaduna, Kwara, Kogi, Kano, Lagos, Kebbi, Ondo, Ogun, Ekiti and Imo States, are sharply divided along loyalty to either the President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu or former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, each of who are battling to take control of the soul of the party. With President Buhari fighting to secure his second term, Atiku Abubakar fighting to upstage the President in 2019, and Tinubu seeking to maintain hold on party, the stage seems set for the battle.
nationalTRAIL findings reveal that, in Kaduna, Governor Nasiru el-Rufai, is slugging it out with Senator Shehu Sani, as Buhari’s man, Governor Kashim Shettima fights to undo Mustapha Baba Shehuri: a Buhari associate, while Governor Bindau Jibrilla and Atiku Abubakar struggles against former Governor Murtala Nyako and his group, Governor Yahaya Bello fights the mainstream APC in Kogi, even as Governor Abdullahi Ganduje is said to be at daggers drawn with his erstwhile boss, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso. Fayemi and Fashola are seen as slipping through Bola Tinubu’s fingers, just as Dakuku Peterside now sees Rotimi Amaechi as an enemy.
Sources told our correspondent that, even the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo does not seem to enjoy the absolute confidence of President Buhari any longer, because of his closeness to Tinubu, ditto some of the ministers whose appointments were at Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s instrumentality, or Atiku Abubakar’s instance.
Buhari who proceeded on a five day vacation last week is said to still be dictating the pace of activities, even after handing over to his vice to act in his absence because of the seeming suspicion that has crept into the alliance. Some people feel that the President’s vacation may not be unconnected with some developments that may unfold in the country, which his trip may provide an alibi against.
nationalTRAIL reports that, politicians, especially serving and former Governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives; irrespective of their political leanings may have commenced moves to massively drift into a new party, preferably into an already existing weak party and use same as their new platform, against the APC and the PDP, which may only exist in name by 2019.
A meeting of like minds in Dubai recently, which was followed by another one in Kaduna and later at a private residence in Abuja, may have already drawn a blueprint for the emergence of a mega party, that can emasculate both the APC and the PDP.
These developments are coming at a time the National Assembly, particularly the Senate is engulfed in its own fresh crisis following last week’s verdict by the Supreme Court which ordered Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, to face the Code Of Conduct Tribunal over alleged false declaration of assets, with Senators resuming the battle over leadership, in the event Saraki throws in the towel, or is shown the way out.
Bukola Saraki, is the arrowhead of an alliance between some APC and PDP Senators, which emerged in the heat of the leadership crisis that bedeviled the National Assembly at inception. That group has remained together, and is working to ensure own survival in the unfolding political quagmire.
Reports indicate that the embattled Senate President has come under fresh pressures to throw in the towel, and concentrate on his trial, a development that may throw the red chamber back into the leadership tussle that held up its activities for months, when Saraki and other principal officers of the senate were nominated against the preferences of the powers that be.
Our correspondent reports that, senators are divided along pro Saraki and pro Ahmed Lawan groups, with the later insisting that the Senate President must vacate his seat on moral grounds, to, pave way for the election of another set of leaders for the red chamber, while Saraki’s group fights back.
Feelers indicate that the coming together of the Bukola Saraki/ Yakubu Dogara groups in the National Assembly with the disgruntled elements in the executive could set the stage for the implosions of both the APC and the PDP, and the emergence of a new alliance.