“Meetings are currently going on here in Abuja. Some of the meetings have been held outside the FCT by the PDP elements…Those undertaking these schemes know the workings, moves of the Aso Rock cabals…”
Members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who hitherto belonged to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have commenced moves to tighten their hold on the party ahead of the scheduled national convention of the party (APC) where the presidential candidate is expected to emerge for the 2023 election.
This is coming just as sources told Saturday Telegraph that already meetings are being held underground to ensure that one of them (ex-PDP member) emerges as the candidate of the party at the ‘special convention’ to pick the flag bearer of the party slated to hold between May 30 and June 1 in Abuja.
To achieve their aim, our correspondent gathered a series of meetings by these elements have commenced in Abuja and some other locations in the country with the sole aim of perfecting their plans ahead of the convention. The APC is an amalgamation of the now defunct five legacy parties namely the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and some aggrieved members of the PDP that called themselves New PDP (nPDP) and a splinter group of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). At the end, the then new party dislodged the PDP with the CPC producing incumbent Muhammadu Buhari as the President while the ACN produced Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Vice President but the nPDP controversially produced Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President despite the fact that the office was allotted to the ANPP bloc.
Since then, the PDP elements are said to have been relegated to the background with members working clandestinely to take over the reins of the party in the post-Buhari era. Their plan worked effectively well with many of them (nPDP) emerging as leaders of the party in the national convention held recently in Abuja with a vow to go a notch further to wrest political power from the other blocs at the forthcoming poll. A source within the party told our correspondent that a prominent governor in the North West is the arrowhead of the plot and he is said to be rallying other members of the APC who left the PDP during the formation of the APC in 2014 on the need to forge a common front ahead of the ‘special national convention.’
“Meetings are currently going on here in Abuja, even though some of the meetings have been held outside the FCT by the PDP elements and I can tell you that the sole aim is to ensure that a member of the PDP bloc in the party emerges as the candidate of the party next month,” the source within the party who is in the know but who pleaded not to be mentioned told our correspondent. According to the source who spoke with our correspondent during the week on the telephone, it has been resolved at the meeting that at least a member “with political visibility and electoral value is picked in each of the three regions of the South as a presidential candidate.”
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It was also gathered that the candidate must enjoy some form of relationship with Buhari should there be need to sell his candidature to the president as a means of countering any moves by some known cabals within the government who might wish to scuttle their plans.
“Those undertaking these schemes know the workings and moves of the Aso Rock cabals and they are very careful in selecting aspirants who will enjoy some form of support from President Buhari as a means of fending off the influence that the cabal members would try to wield over Buhari who is expected to have final say on who might likely succeed him,” the source added. Another source close to one of the governors of the party who is also working to actualise this plan, said: “They have succeeded in forcing the party and the president to jettison the idea of picking the party’s candidate via consensus mode.
Their efforts largely ensured that the party would now pick its can-didate via indirect mode when they realised that the cabals were making headway in making Buhari anoint their preferred candidate.” He (the source) added that three names are being touted as likely candidates to pick the sole presidential ticket of the party and they are the immediate past Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (South West), incumbent Minister for Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi (South South) and a former President of the Senate, Senator Ken Nnamani (South East). “Any of these gentlemen will eventually enjoy the support of this bloc who is currently studying the political atmosphere with a view to ensuring that the right balancing in terms of micro zoning is done in a manner that would ensure that the eventual choice would enjoy wide acceptability across board,” the source said. When asked if other likely candidates are being touted in the North, the source said, “I don’t know but this is the situation as I am talking to you now.”