The race for national chairmanship of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) has begun to pick up momentum as aspirants double efforts in the scramble to woo party members across the country ahead of the party’s national convention billed to hold June this year.
This comes as intense horse-trading over which geo-political zone will produce the next chairman for the party has commenced in ernest.
some prominent APC members are already engaged in far-reaching consultations and lobbying in a bid to make a case for their candidate ahead of 2023.
The South South geo-political zone had produced the party’s national chairman since 2015 with former governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as its first chairman and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who also was governor of Edo State succeeding him.
So far, some southern party chieftains like Prof Oserheimen Osunbor from Edo State and a former governor of Cross River State, Chief Clement Ebri have embarked on various levels of consultation within the South South power blocs to actualise their chairmanship ambitions.
Ebri had in June 2018 sought the position of the national chairman at the party’s national convention but lost to Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
From the Northern flank of the country however, party chieftains like former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima; former Zamfara State governor, Abdulazeez Yari and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff are being speculated in certain quarters as having strong interest in the top seat.
It was also gathered that a governor from the North Central zone has commenced strong moves to get the chairmanship to his zone and possibly micro-zoned to his state.
A party chieftain who did not want his name in print said, “Everyone is waiting for where the chairmanship will emerge from. No one wants to say anything because it will seem as if you are undermining the efforts of the Caretaker Committee and their desire to bring reconciliation and stability to the party ahead of the convention.
“I am however afraid of the gathering storm because the issue of the chairmanship of the party and which zone gets to vie for the presidency are issues that will likely overheat the party. Already, zones are marshaling out their plans and wooing others to join, promising one thing or the other”.
some governors within the party are intensifying moves to tighten their grip on the party structure with the registration and revalidation exercise scheduled to commence on January 25, 2021 across the country.
This move, it is believed, will further set the mode for the convention where various offices of the party at the national level will be filled, an indication as to where the party’s political pendulum swings ahead of 2023.
We Are Repositioning PDP For 2023 – Aliyu
Meanwhile, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) and former governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has declared that efforts at bridging all shades of misunderstanding amongst PDP members will be fruitful and ensure a stronger party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Aliyu who stated this during a Nagarta Radio live programme monitored, revealed that the party’s National Reconciliation Committee headed by former Senate president, Bukola Saraki, had been working to address all issues that affected the unity amongst party members.
He hinted that the Saraki-led committee is replicated in state chapters where reconciliation, restrategising and rebuilding of the party are in progress to make it stronger and better.
The former governor noted that PDP remains the best and well organised political movement in Nigeria even as the leadership of the party is determined to ensure that the party will not misuse its chances again.
He expressed optimism that the various committees set up by the leadership of the party at national and states levels would address all social tiffs, indiscipline, wrangling, ensure respect for party rules and regulations, and reaffirm party supremacy above personal whims and interest.
Aliyu who is also a member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and a member of the PDP Election Review Committee noted with confidence that the PDP would bounce back to power at the centre and in most states in the next dispensation.
“Nigerians have seen and tasted the differences between what the PDP offered and what we have got in the last six years. We were ungrateful to God over what He gave us through the PDP and we opted for what everyone of us is now crying and lamenting over”, he noted.
The former governor argued that both PDP members and faithful of other political parties have seen the pains the country has been plunged into as a result of bad governance and maladministration.
Aliyu further urged Nigerians to give PDP a second chance to return the country back on strides of purposeful progress, development and national integration.
Anambra 2021 Governorship Poll Will Be Tough For PDP To Win – Obi
Meanwhile, former governor and vice presidential candidate of PDP in the 2019 election, Mr Peter Obi, has predicted a tough battle for PDP ahead of the Anambra State governorship election.
Obi who stated this yesterday during a meeting of PDP South East zonal working committee in Anambra State advised party members to embark on a vigorous mobilisation of support for the party across the grassroots ahead of the poll.
He particularly advised all PDP aspirants for the governorship election to commence grassroots mobilisation rather than concentrating on wooing delegates at the governorship primaries.
He added that it would be a waste of resources for whoever emerges as party candidate to fail the governorship election proper.
The former two-term governor of Anambra State under the incumbent All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), said Anambra is a PDP state but the conduct of party stakeholders was responsible for its inability to win the governorship seat which it lost in the 2003 polls.
“PDP has the potential to win the governorship of Anambra State, but potential is not win”, Obi stated.
He charged the leadership of the party in the 326 wards of the state to ensure that the party has a register of at least 500 bonafide members who are committed PDP members, stating that unless the party has committed supporters the coming guber poll in the state would be tough for the party to win.