From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The cold war raging in the All Progressives Congress (APC), especially between the APC progressive governors and the Presidency over zoning of the party’s positions and the 2023 presidential ticket deepened at the weekend.
Contrary to speculations that the governors were sharply divided in support of two frontline presidential aspirants, a reliable source told Sunday Sun that the major disagreement within the party currently is the insistence by the governors that one of them must emerge the party’s candidate for the 2023 presidential election.
Referencing what transpired during the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the source claimed that the progressive governors are pressuring President Muhammadu Buhari to endorse the arrangements for one of them to emerge as the presidential candidate of the ruling party ahead of other contenders.
Our source equally disclosed that there are indications that the northern caucus of the party has finally conceded the presidential ticket to the South, adding that the final agreement is that while all the party positions hitherto held by the North will henceforth automatically shift to the South and vice-versa, the North-central will produce the party’s national chairman in the planned February national convention.
“The governors are hell-bent on one of them emerging as the party’s standard bearer for the 2023 presidential poll and they are not bulging on it. They have taken their resolutions to Mr President, including the appeal that he endorses the plans for one of them to pick the presidential ticket of the party. The governors had specifically reminded Mr President on the need to toe the line of former President Obasanjo in the 2007 presidential election by supporting and possibly influencing any of them picking the ticket for the 2023 poll.
“However, you know the kind of person Mr President is. Expectedly, the governors did not get a desired categorical response from him. It is certain that he will not brazenly or autocratically impose any candidate on the party members, but he will certainly play a vital role in influencing who gets the ticket,” the source submitted.
Explaining further the political undercurrent and dynamics ahead of the 2023 general elections, our source said that despite the insistence of the majority of the governors on one of them picking the ticket, there are, however, some of them equally supporting the proposal for former President Goodluck Jonathan to be given the ticket with one of them becoming his vice.
“Again, there is some level of division in the camp of the governors because while some of them are rooting for frontline contenders like Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu and/or the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, there are an insignificant number of them rooting for former President Jonathan with one of them as the vice president, just as greater percentage of them are favourably disposed to one of their own getting the ticket,” the source said.
On the zoning arrangements for the party’s national leadership positions, our source disclosed that what is perhaps becoming certain was that the leadership of the party in the North may have settled for production of the party’s national leadership positions, conceding the presidential ticket to the South.
“Although it is too early to confirm the permutations of which zone will get the presidential ticket or where it will be micro-zoned, what is, however, certain is that the leaders of the party have unanimously agreed that all the party’s leadership positions formally occupied by the South should go to the North. That must be the reason the North-central has been tactically endorsed to produce the party’s national chairmanship position.
“With this arrangement, it is therefore easy to conclude that the North has also conceded the presidential ticket to the South for now. But I must have to add that this agreement is not yet cast on the marble because there are still several contending forces that may change the political dynamics, especially the tricks by the opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Whatever resolutions we arrive at now will be highly dependent on how things unfold in the camp of other political parties because we are not operating in isolation,” the source said.