The widely speculated 2023 Presidential ambition of a former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, has suffered a major setback, as President Muhammadu Buhari has tactically chosen to side with his opponents in the raging feud over the leadership control of the ruling APC,
The former Lagos State Governor is the reported major force behind the suspended APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Bola Tinubu also played a key role in the political merger of 2013, which created the now ruling APC.
Although, he is yet to openly declare his political plans for the next Presidential election in 2023, Tinubu is widely believed to be gearing up to succeed Buhari, whose second and final tenure ends on May 29, 2023.
President Buhari on Wednesday, publicly sided with a Faction of the APC that recognises Victor Giadom as the Acting National Chairman of the party.
Relying on a court order, Giadom, who was the Deputy National Secretary of the party, insisted that he is the rightful Acting Chairman of the party, based on a court order, and following the suspension of the Substantive Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
Some 18 members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party, who met after the court judgement penultimate Tuesday, endorsed the Deputy National Chairman of the party, Abiola Ajimobi, as the Acting National Chairman of the ruling party, causing a rift and Leadership division.
The NWC later declared Giadom’s seat as the Deputy National Secretary vacant, and on Monday, swore-in Worgu Boms as his replacement.
Nonetheless, in a statement through one of his Spokespersons, Garba Shehu, President Buhari declared that “the law was on the side” of Giadom.
Shehu added that the President would attend the National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting convened by Giadom, for today, June 25, to the surprise of many party Stalwarts.
Reacting, the Acting National Secretary of the party, Waziri Bulama, stated that the proposed NEC meeting called by Giadom, is in direct contravention of the party’s constitution, despite the President’s supposed endorsement.
“The constitution is very clear on the steps and circumstances of calling a NEC meeting. Chapter 14.2 of the constitution and Article 25 of the constitution are clear about who should convene the NEC and how. Any action outside of this is clear illegality”, he noted.
Bulama stated that the Secretariat is working to furnish the President and other Leaders of the party, with information to ensure that “they are not misguided into backing an illegality”.
It is unclear if the President has received the said communication from the party.
Furthermore, it was learnt that 7 Governors of the party are said to be teaming up with other top shots, notably the Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, in fighting against what they alleged to be a pro-Tinubu NWC, allegedly.
The State Governors said to be working along that line are those of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi; Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu; Plateau, Simon Lalong; Kaduna, Nasir Elrufai; Jigawa, Badaru Abubakar; Niger, Abubakar Bello; and Yobe, Mai-Mala Buni.
Tinubu is Oshiomhole’s major backer, and by siding with those destabilising and working to oust him, President Buhari has indeed served Bola Tinubu a severe political humiliation.
Besides, the forces working against Oshiomhole, are also majorly the same group of people committed to blocking Tinubu’s 2023 Presidential ambition.
On Monday, 3 of the group’s arrowheads met with President Buhari behind closed-doors.
Sources familiar with the intrigues in the ruling party, said that the proposed NEC meeting may seek to dissolve the current National Working Committee of the party.
In its place, according to the sources who asked not to be named, as they were not permitted to disclose the agenda, the meeting would seek to propose an Interim Leadership for the party.
The trio of Messrs Bagudu, Fayemi, and Buni, are said to be spearheading the search for those to be charged with leading the party in the interim.
Speaking on Wednesday night, Bagudu said that the concern of the Governors of the party, is to save the party from its present predicaments.
“A situation where the party is mired in crisis, where court cases are being filed all around, and people making all manner of claims, it is disruptive and destructive.”
Bagudu was non-committal on what the agenda of the meeting would be, but insisted that the aim is to resolve the crisis rocking the party.
He discounted the calculations for the 2023 general elections, from the action of the Governors.