For the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), this is not the best of time. Factionalization everywhere. President Muhammadu Buhari acted wisely by appointing former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinibu to intervene and mediate the crises.
Tinibu stands shoulders above other party members in resolving the crises currently rocking the APC not only because of his stature as national leader of the party but also because he was central to these crises.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), which is an amalgam of three political parties – the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN): the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is a patch work of expedient whose sole target was how to wrestle power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Aside of that, they seem to have had nothing in common. And everybody knows that it is a timebomb which can explode at anytime.
The first sign of disunity among members of APC came during the inauguration of the National Assembly, when some members of the party in both chambers, teamed up with the opposition PDP members to come from behind to hijack the leadership of the two houses. In the Senate, in particular, while APC produced the President, PDP settled for the deputy.
Both the leadership of the party and the Presidency were deeply shocked at what had happened, but they were helpless.They had put up strong resistance, all to no avail.
In desperation, they decided to go to the jugular of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and dragged him to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false assets declaration. Till today the case is still hanging at the tribunal, going front and backwards.
On the part of the Presidency, it was not easy for them to form a cabinet. For close to six months they continued tinkering over who should be part of the team. At the end of the day, the team they assembled was not what many people had expected. A lot of people felt disappointed. Many people, including some senior members of the party, still wear long faces because they had not been appropriately rewarded for their efforts. At a stage, even the wife of the President, Aisha, was forced to burst out that many people who laboured for the party had been abandoned.
Another sore point was the gubernatorial elections in Kogi and Ondo states which were to pit the APC national leader, Bola Tinibu, against the executive committee of the party at the national level.
In Kogi State, following the death of APC gubernatorial candidate, Abubakar Audu, before the conclusion of the election which he was leading, Tinibu had thought that Audu’s running mate, James Faleke, who was Tinibu’s crony, would automatically inherit his votes. But the APC executive committee, and perhaps, the Presidency thought otherwise. They went and fetched Yahaya Bello who came second during the gubernatorial primaries to come and inherit the votes. In the end Yahaya Bello became governor while Faleke was left in the cold. Tinibu was thus hit below the belt.
Tinibu was to suffer another humiliation in Ondo state when his preferred candidate for the governorship of the state was allegedly rigged out in the party primaries by the executive committee of APC working in concert with the Presidency. In spite his many protests nobody listened to him.
These apart, in most state chapters of APC, the party is sharply divided. In Imo State, for instance, APC is split between Governor Rochas Okorocha and those opposed to the planned imposition of his son in-law as his successor. In Kogi state, Governor Yahaya Bello is trading punches with Senator Dino Malaye. Same with Governor El Rufai of Kaduna State and Senator Sani as well as Governor Yari of Zamfara State and Senator Kabiru Marafa.
Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State has sworn never to have anything to do with his former boss and ally, Senator Kwankwaso. I hear that Kwankwaso has already kicked off his 2019 Presidential campaign.
In Oyo State, Governor Abiola Ajimobi is having a serious face off with the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu. Just the other day, it was reported that Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State had chased out his party chairman out of government house, while Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State seems to be gradually turning his back on the APC following the Fulani herdsmen attack on his state and the criminal inaction of security agencies.
In Enugu State, in Bauchi State, in Kwara State, in Niger State, in Ebonyi state, etc., APC members are all up in arms against each other. And more cracks are developing almost in all the state chapters of the party.
So, this is a no mean task for Senator Tinibu. He must start work in earnest if APC will not go into 2019 elections as a divided house, which will not augur well for the party.
But as the saying goes: “physician heal thy self”, which means that Tinibu must start the mediatory role from himself because he had injured many party members and was himself also injured by many other party members.