Unless reason prevails and major stakeholders in the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) act cohesively, a fresh crisis capable of making a major bloc of the aggrieved to break away is looming.
APC had been enmeshed in a web of intra-party schisms precipitated by power play over the control of power levers in the party ahead of 2023 elections.
Sunday Tribune reliably gathered that a lot is dependent on the outcome of party’s national convention scheduled for this weekend, even as contending forces are readying their troops to go all out for a win.
It was gathered that overt moves by a cabal close to the presidency to scuttle the presidential aspiration of one of the gladiators is escalating tension in the party. Multiple sources said should the cabal win the battle, the losing side will resort to its Plan B which is to dump APC for another platform.
The aggrieved camp, it was learnt, has opted to promote the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as the platform to realise the aspiration of its members if they are shut out of APC. “The choice of SDP is not fortuitous. It was borne out of the party’s rich history in the country’s democratic journey. They settled for an existing party because of the hurdles the other side may place in their way if they want to register a new party.
“Just recently, we got to know that the National Assembly in the new Electoral Act Amendment Bill forbids INEC from registering a new party before 2023 elections. These people appear to be ahead of their competitors in terms of strategy,” said a source in the party.
It was gathered that the decision of the erstwhile governor of Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni, to rescind his decision to get the guber ticket of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), after dumping PDP, and opt for SDP is intricately connected to the grand plan.
“Oni was convinced that APGA is only popular in Anambra State and not even in the whole of the South-East. The party will not resonate with the electorate in Ekiti. So, he was told to consider SDP which the people of Ekiti and South-West will easily connect with.
“He is not going to do it for the fun of it because he has been promised some cash backing to further energise his campaign and ensure SDP puts forward a strong showing in Ekiti gubernatorial election,” the source said.
The grand plot to use SDP, it was gathered, is not solely an agenda from the South of the country, as aggrieved APC members from the North are also keying into it.
A source told Sunday Tribune that even those who may lose out in the power game in the opposition PDP, following what was described as the “vice grip of its governors on the party structure” are already being wooed to join the movement to SDP. A former vice chancellor of a federal university in the North-Central part of the country is said to be coordinating efforts at birthing a third force to APC and PDP, although Sunday Tribune could not confirm as of the time of this report if the plan fits into the SDP agenda.
Meanwhile, uncertainty has dogged the planned national convention of the APC, about a week to the make-or-break event. As of yesterday, the APC has yet to constitute a convention committee and the sub-units that will work together to organise the exercise.
Among others, issues of zoning of party offices and finding appropriate candidates endorsed by the leader of the party, President Muhammadu Buhari, are yet to be resolved.
Buhari is expected to return to the country today after his trip to Belgium for the EU-AU summit and he is expected to meet the APC governors on Monday night.