By Issa Itopa Lucky
The last seems not to have been heard of the crisis in the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC). The latest is the controversial nationwide ward congresses of last Saturday.
According to feelers, while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo SAN among many other minds versed in legal practice, in the APC hierarchy were against the congresses holding any yet in the wake of the much-talked-about banana peel of the Supreme Court judgement on Ondo, that is still being reviewed and given numerous interpretations across truth and partisan interest lines; Abubakar Malami SAN, Attorney-General of the Federation was for the holding of the congresses already.
As it played out, the ward congresses took place. The congresses were nothing short of crisis, as parallel congresses took place across wards across the States.
Ordinarily, the party is in court shortly before Saturday, July 31, being the day the APC ward congresses took place, as some members of the party have taken the party to court over the legality of the Buni-led caretaker committee, but as popular of the APC, even without recourse to such fact of any court injunction stopping the process, the party went ahead. There are rumours that the ward congresses may later be cancelled and re-scheduled for a later date, if Osinbajo’s perspective of how things ought to be done in the party, is anything to go by.
Perspective as to the future of APC is getting controversial by the day. Reading of facts is rather seeming skewed, hence denying the real truth per instance its substance.
When Festus Keyamo called for the disbandment of the Buni-led caretaker committee as the first step the party should take in addressing the technical concerns the Supreme Court raised in the case of Jegede vs Akeredolu (2021), some prominent members of the party like Magnus Abe were quick to shut Festus Keyamo down under the guise that Festus Keyamo was indirectly coming for the Buni-led caretaker committee because the outcome of the ongoing politics within the APC structure does not favour Festus Keyamo.
Ordinarily, it would have been possible for Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation, who seems to be strongly backing Governor Mai Buni as acting Chairman of the APC, to give in to counsel on such subject matter, except for the subtle possibility that Malami and Buni who are of the CPC bloc of the party need to finish their (CPC) complete takeover of the party (APC) structure, hence any action that would puncture the confidence in the Buni-led committee especially in giving in to the counsel of anybody from any other bloc aside that of the CPC, even Osinbajo himself who is from the ACN bloc, would be a limitation to the CPC bloc’s plan to takeover the party (APC) administration ahead of 2023.
On this basis, the party is literally stuck in between conscience, legality and reality concerns.
On the side of conscience, the Buni-led committee can still reverse itself and hands off the party’s administration hence fulfilling all righteousness, and have the party go back to the days of Oshiomhole who was the last known Chairman of the party elected at a national convention of the party as the extant laws permit of the party on issues of the leadership formation of a political party.
On the contrary, if the party really does not want Oshiomhole back in office as its leader, it can go back to having a NEC who will now elect a caretaker committee Chairman for the party who shall not be a sitting Governor, at least, for the constitution of Nigeria and of the APC itself is clear on how a sitting Governor must not hold any Executive position anywhere while as a sitting Governor.
Head or tail, Buni cannot say he has not thus far carried out executive roles while as the caretaker chairman of the party while yet as Governor of a State in Nigeria.
The extent of internal wrangling in the APC is doing nothing much else than raising question as to how the various tendencies within the party will be resolved before 2023.
There is the big question of who flies the party’s flag in 2023 when Nigeria goes in for its next presidential poll, even across States, permutations as to who gets what ticket ahead of State and Assembly elections in 2023, is already ongoing.
To this end, the party must soon enough be done with its congresses and hold its national convention already and set the stage for the main politics which is the politics of 2023.
As for the ward congresses held recently across States by the APC, the rate at which there were parallel processes, sets the stage already for very controversial days ahead in the party. For instance, which faction exactly in the Kwara APC will represent Kwara APC when the APC eventually goes for its much-anticipated national convention? Lagos APC allegedly had parallel congress too. In Delta APC, Keyamo is crying foul already. In Akwa Ibom APC, Godswill Akpabio is crying foul already. The crisis in Kwara APC, Lagos APC, Delta APC, Akwa Ibom APC are just few examples of the various States where APC is not settled within itself at the moment.
The days ahead are indeed filled with intrigues as the struggle for the soul of APC lasts, even as the APC continues to hope it is legal to have Buni-led caretaker committee around all the while.