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Abdullahi Adamu’s failed coup

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The next 24 hours is crucial to the survival of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Will the ruling party overcome the challenge of picking a presidential candidate without risking an explosion?

Yesterday, the national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, stirred controversy. He announced Senate President Ahmed Lawan as the choice of President Muhammadu Buhari. This was interpreted by many as the party’s ” consensus candidate” as the President has asked the governors of the party and the presidential aspirants to consult and adopt the option.

Adamu told the party’s NWC that he had held consultations with Buhari and that he had the President’s mandate to inform the members. The pronouncement generated uproar within and outside the party , with many wondering if

some agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may not have invaded the APC national secretariat to cause last minute confusion, create disaffection among party leaders and weaken the platform ahead of the general election to pave the way for the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as president

Those who nurse the fear pointed out that certain few defectors to the APC from the PDP may still be maintaining strong links with their former party, thereby constituting themselves into enemies within.

Few minutes after Adamu’s pronouncement, aggrieved APC Northern governors stormed Aso Villa to meet the president.

Alighting from the emergency meeting, they told reporters that ‘ on zoning to the South they stood, ‘rejecting Adamu’s unilateral declaration and its divisive and destabilising consequences.

It was evident that the NWC and governors now suspect the party chairman, following the loss of mutual trust and confidence.

They are likely to take their pound of fresh, now or in the future. In hush tones, some radical party leaders said they may call for his resignation.

The move was infuriating to the Northern governors, who had earlier been applauded by their Southern counterparts. Northern governors want to erase the insinuation that the primary has paled into a deep rift between the North and the South. By insisting on zoning, it means the chairman is now isolated.

To observers, the meaning of consensus is beyond the ken and comprehension of some party leaders.

The provision of the Electoral Act on consensus is clear. The party may suggest it, but it cannot impose a consensus candidate. Consensus, says former National Legal Adviser Babatunde Ogala (SAN), is not about the majority, but it can only be the unanimous decision of all aspirants, without exception. “Therefore, only aspirants can make a final decision on consensus, not the party,” he maintained.

Ogala, who is a member of the Media and Communication sub-committee of Tinubu Campaign Organisation said APC cannot afford to run foul of the law.

A lot of drama is going on in Abuja. Some aspirants are leading in the race, just on the social media. Ogala said the campaign group is not bothered about sponsored media ranking of aspirants, designed to project weak contenders and systematically malign the strong aspirant.

The Director of Media and Communications of the group, Bayo Onanuga, said majority of party members have the confidence that the frontline aspirant,  Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will win.

Echoing him, Ogala said:”The President has highlighted the qualities of a candidate the APC deserves-national acceptability, ability to win, deep knowledge of the party and ability to inspire confidence among Nigerians. Based on these criteria, it is evident that Asiwaju Tinubu has an edge.”

It is indisputable that the former governor of Lagos will do well in Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Borno, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara, Gombe, Kwara, Edo, Oyo, Cross River and Anambra

:The Nation.

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