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2015: Buhari, Okorocha’s ambition unsettles APC

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IMAGE: Buhari And Okorocha »

10. June


Ahead of the final push for registration this week, the All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to be troubled over the ambition of two of its chieftains to run for the Presidency in 2015, Daily Independent has learnt.

APC is a merger of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) now seeking registration as a political party from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“I think some of us are jumping the gun; if this merger must succeed, we all need to make personal and collective sacrifices, but the past one week has been a source of concern to some of us.

“It is actually worrisome as we begin to hear stories about Presidential ambition of some of our leaders even before the conclusion of all arrangements concerning registration,” a former state Governor, who is now a Senator told Daily Independent on condition of anonymity at the weekend.

He equally hinted that the reason for the cold feet developed by some aggrieved Governors in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could be traced to the “unpredictability of the concession the leadership of the APC might want to give them.”

But a member of the Merger Committee of the APC and National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Lai Mohammed, denied knowledge of any trouble in the APC as a result of the ambition of any of its members.

While former Head of State and Presidential candidate of the CPC during the 2011 general elections, Muhammadu Buhari, has severally given indications that he would run if he had the opportunity, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has also declared his intention to run in 2015.

However, Buhari, who insisted that he was “not too old to be President in 2015” assured that he would support anyone who emerges as APC Presidential candidate other than himself.

Okorocha’s intention was disclosed in Abuja by his deputy, Eze Madumere, in a chat with newsmen last week.

“I can tell you it is no secret; everyone knows that Owelle Rochas Okorocha ran one of the best races towards Aso Rock in 2003 and 2007. As I speak to you that has not left his mind, His Excellency will take a shot,” Madumere told newsmen.

Okorocha leads a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) which is part of the merger deal.

Our source said in Abuja at the weekend: “From the beginning, we made the followership to believe that the leadership of the new order will sacrifice time and interests to make the merger work; but things are taking new shapes which some of us think do not augur well for us as a new party that needs new members.

“If as an emerging party we continue to act in a way that indicates that we are only interested in what we will use the merger of parties to achieve for our individual selves, people will not just suspect us but they will misconstrue our good intensions.

“Now, two of our leaders have indicated interest to run in 2015, and the party structure will assume a new form as from next week; what assurance of effective incorporation do we have for those outside that are yet to join us?

“Basically, I think it is the unpredictability of the concession the leadership of the APC might want to give them that has delayed some of my former colleagues to openly declare to join, and from all indications, most of them are beginning to develop cold feet,” he said.

But the ACN spokesman said there was no problem within the APC regarding either leadership or the ambitions of members.

“I can tell you that those reports are mischief makers at work. At the outset, the paranoid PDP said the merger will not work; we have moved beyond that cynicism and they have come up with other stories about leadership tussle and now this one.

“All I can say is that the Nigerian media should be smart enough to discern between real situation reports and mischievous ones. This particular one is totally false and misleading.”

On the reported crisis over the interim leadership of the APC, Mohammed said there was no tussle over “who gets what and what goes where.”

“We are yet to get to the stage mischief makers are already planting for us. They should wait and see if the merger will uproot them in 2015 or not,” he added.

In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on its membership to disregard insinuations that its recent suspension of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and his Sokoto State counterpart, Magatakarda Aliyu Wamakko, from the party was a witch-hunt.

The party said it was “not unmindful of the feelings of members” over the suspension of the two Governors.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP insisted that its actions were meant to instill discipline rather than witch-hunting anybody.

The statement reads: “The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hereby assures all members that the happenings in the party in the last few weeks are part of the processes of instilling discipline within the party and not to witch-hunt any member whatsoever.

“The party is not unmindful of the feelings of members hence the need for this clarification.

“We assure that all the issues will be looked into and resolved amicably in line with the spirit of brotherliness and the guiding principles of our party.

“The PDP remains a strong, united and democratic family guided by the principles of equity, justice, rule of law and love for one another and will at the end of the day definitely come out stronger than ever before.

“We therefore urge all members to close ranks and totally disregard suggestions from envious enemies of our family that some individuals or groups are being targeted for certain reasons.”

Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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