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How APC Plans To Use Consensus Option To Pick Its Presidential Candidate

+List Of Those Who Will Sit Round The Table


Just as President Buhari did during the party primary that saw the emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the chairman, pundits are of the opinion that the same script may play out at the presidential primary, leaving the aspirants no choice other than to embrace President Buhari’s preferred candidate regardless of the region or zone that he may eventually come from.

A day before the National Convention, PMB had met with virtually all critical stakeholders of the Party. Leaving everything to this injury time is a strategy anchored on appropriate timing and a period when there will be no time to retreat or regroup.

Reliable sources have also revealed that the turnout of aspirants in the race is a function of President Buhari’s scheme. Sources revealed that Buhari’s boys are actually the ones who are pulling out statesmen from their shells in the south and convincing them that the cabals are behind them. This is why his body language has continued to unsettle aspirants.

Sources also revealed that despite his open statement that he is not interested in the person who succeeds him, the president seems to be in a tight corner, as most of those who have come out have helped him in one way or the other.

As of this week, no fewer than 20 candidates have come out to identify their interest in contesting and more than half of them have purchased the nomination form. Strong indications have now emerged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will pick its presidential candidate for the 2023 polls through consensus. Sources within the party hinted City People that APC top shots were prevailing on some presidential aspirants to step down to allow room for consensus.

A reliable source at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja who confirmed the development forwarded a copy of the party’s “Form 18” to be filled by aspirants withdrawing from the race as evidence. The letter is titled “Letter of Voluntary Withdrawal” The Form 18, which is attached to the presidential nomination form is expected to be filled along with the form and be submitted together.

Aspirants have to sign and swear this before a notary public before they can return the same for filing. This Voluntary Withdrawal Form implies that there will/must be a consensus. The signing of the withdrawal letter in the presence of a commissioner for oaths and submission of the letter alongside the nomination form to the party’s chairman was to ensure that the aspirants had no legal backing in the event that they later changed their minds and decided to go to court.

Although APC has claimed a “withdrawal form” could only be filled when an aspirant decided to withdraw in the process of the presidential primary, evidence proves that the forms are being submitted along with the nomination form.

The presidential aspirants who have picked their N100m forms are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; National Leader of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello; a former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha; Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; a former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; and Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.

Others are Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru; a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, Nigeria, Tunde Bakare; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and a female aspirant, Uju Kennedy. Sources revealed to City People that the form sale extension was to gain more time to initiate the process that would accommodate former President Goodluck Jonathan into the party.

The move for a consensus candidate has also divided the red chamber of the national assembly. It was gathered that moves to adopt consensus at the presidential primaries have created a crack in the APC caucus in the Upper Chamber.

A close source in the assembly stated that many lawmakers have since pitched tents with other aspirants. For instance, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno), is leading the campaign for Amaechi, Senator Kashim Shettima (APC, Borno) is playing a leading role in Tinubu’s campaign, while Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano) is in charge of the campaigns of the vice president.

Aside from these three, there are other lawmakers who are involved in the campaigns of other aspirants.

An internal informant within the party hinted that the reason behind the teeming number of aspirants for the presidency was not necessarily to contest but to get an invite to the table.

One of the key deals being considered by APC to enable it to manage the choice of candidate for the presidential election next year would be guaranteed non-prosecution of aspirants who chose to withdraw from the race, after leaving office. This is especially with regard to those holding offices currently and who have allegedly mismanaged their positions and resources entrusted to them.

And for those aspirants, who do not hold public office as of now, would be offered juicy deals just so they do not rock the boat in the collective interest.

He added that there’s going to be a gathering of everyone in a room at the very last minute meeting at the instance of the president, where the matter would be trashed and a decision, based on consensus, would be taken. Whoever is not in that room when the deal is struck and a decision is taken on the candidate, such a person is evidently on his own. Other analysts also hold the opinion that the more party members indicate interest to join the race, the better for the cabal who wants to deploy the consensus system to pick a candidate. Having over 20 aspirants for one post will eventually amount to having to sit around the table to negotiate spots and interests. A consensus, in the end, may just be the only option for the party to decide who flies the party flag in 2023.

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