Barely 10 days to the lifting of the ban on political campaigns by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to be in a dilemma on how to wriggle out of its internal crisis to facilitate the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and ratification of the campaign council list of its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
This is as the National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, is said to be facing a tough battle keeping his job even as some aggrieved former presidential aspirants have refused to throw their weight behind Tinubu.
Though spokesman of the party, Felix Morka, told Daily Sun that all is well with the party, recent developments, however, proved otherwise as no NEC meeting has been held since the emergence of Tinubu as presidential candidate.
The development has led to concerns and anxiety among the various stakeholders. They are bothered that the party is yet to put its house in order and announce date for its NEC.
Some have queried why President Muhammadu Buhari, who is expected to preside during the meeting, is leaving for the United States of America, to attend the United Nations General Assembly function.
It is a situation that contrasts the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which recently held its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, where the membership of Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, was ratified. A vote of confidence was also passed in the embattled national chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu.
Sources in APC said Abdullahi Adamu, who is expected to consult with President Buhari and announce a date for the NEC meeting, seems to be foot-dragging.
“Adamu is perturbed that governors and other organs of the party could force him to resign during the NEC meeting, to pave the way for a Christian national chairman.”
The source said last week’s discreet meeting between Tinubu and members of National Working Committee (NWC) led by Adamu was part of moves to build a support base for his seat.
Though the source declined to reveal if Tinubu has changed his position on the continuous stay in office of Adamu, he, however, said Buhari’s endorsement of the move is still hanging in the balance.
He said: “We are running against time. Campaigns are about to start and the APC is yet to put its house in order. Adamu who should be at the forefront of leading a serious reconciliation, is busy fighting to remain in office.
“Since the emergence of Tinubu, APC has been in one form of trouble or another. There is no single former presidential aspirant who has openly endorsed Tinubu. Even governors who supported him during the primaries are laid back. Many of them are secretly working for Atiku. We know. At least, NEC meeting will resolve these crises. APC needs a united house to go into this election.”
In his response to some of the concerns raised, Mr. Morka told Daily Sun: “APC has not set a day for its NEC meeting. When that is announced, we will definitely make it public. For now, no date has been determined for the NEC of the party to meet at this time.
“What rift between Tinubu and other presidential aspirants? There is no rift to be characterised as such between Tinubu and other aspirants. There is no rift to discuss. Like other parties, everyone is entitled to hold an opinion, that’s the nature of our democracy.
“I’m not aware that former presidential aspirants are not supporting Tinubu. As far as we know, they’re behind Tinubu. You saw Ahmad Lawan speak in Gombe State talking about Tinubu? What is there to give you the impression that they’re not supporting Tinubu?”
Dismissing claims that Osinbajo and other former presidential aspirants were still aggrieved, the spokesman said: “Campaigns haven’t started, INEC has not lifted the ban on campaigns. To suggest that senior members of APC are not campaigning is not true. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is a busy man. There is no rift. All the aspirants are fully committed and we will win the elections next year.”