Samuel Ajayi looks at winners and losers so far in the controversies and political muscle flexing that have dogged the primary elections of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, nationwide
Bola Ahmed Tinubu: All Hail the Godfather!
He made it clear that he did not want Akinwunmi Ambode again as continue as the governor of Lagos State beyond May 29, 2019. Many thought he was joking but he stood his ground. Despite entreaties from different quarters asking him to “forgive” his estranged son, Tinubu stood his ground and he pushed forward a certain Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Even when the party was toying with the idea of overruling him, he laughed it off.
Tinubu proved one thing with the emergence of Sanwo-Olu as the APC gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State: he is a serial winner.
The G8: Coalition against Yari!
They are winners in the Zamfara imbroglio. They are the eight contestants that have stood against Yari’s decision to impose his commissioner for finance as the governorship candidate of the party, APC, in the state. In fact, they now refer to them as the G8. One of them, Senator Kabiru Mafara, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum, said Yari wanted to continue to rule the state by proxy and that was why he was insisting on his commissioner for finance succeeding him.
Shehu Sani: The man of the party
If it was left to Governor Nasir el-Rufai alone, Shehu Sani would have been retired politically long ago. In fact, the governor had written a letter to President Buhari detailing Sani’s sins against the party and the president himself and why he must be prevented from returning to the Senate. El-Rufai had said in the letter that they had wanted the Dino Melaye treatment for him but looking at the “loopholes” in that plan and decided to wait and defeat him at the primary election.
But Sani has emerged the winner , he has been named the sole candidate of the party for Kaduna Central.
Dapo Abiodun: Flooring Amosun
Dapo Abiodun has never hidden his determination to run for the governorship of Ogun State. He has been on this for a long time and it seemed he would have to wait for another four years going by the antics of the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who had pencilled down Adekunle Akinlabi to succeed him.
But the national secretariat of the party had overruled Amosun and named Dapo Abiodun as the candidate of the APC for governorship election of 2019.
Abdul’aziz Fari, the ‘protesting’ Zamfara State governor
The Zamfara State governor, Abdul’aziz Fari, by now must be realising that under the leadership of Adams Oshiomhole of APC, governors cannot decide what they want to do in their states. Fari had declared that the state commissioner for finance, Alhaji Mukhtar Idris, as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.
This was despite the fact that there were at least eight other strong contenders for the ticket. These include Senator Kabiru Marafa, Mansur Dan-Ali, Minister of Finance, Aminu Sani Jaji, Alhaji Dauda Lawal, Abu Mahaji, Sagir Hamidu and Aliyu Shinkafi, a former governor of the state. Another contestant is the state deputy governor, Ibrahim Wakala.
In fact, the exercise conducted on Wednesday October 6 that produced Idris and which was declared by the primary election team sent by the National Working Committee of the party as not being conclusive had been cancelled by the national secretariat of the party.
Abdul’aziz had called for a protest today against the decision of the national office of the party but that is not likely to change anything as the governor seems to have lost out. It must also be noted that the governor is eyeing the Senate just like his colleagues who are ending their second term in office.
From all indications, Yari might lose in both fronts.
Nasir el-Rufai: Shehu Sani as Political Nemesis
Many might be forgiven if they think that the feud between Senator Shehu Sani, the Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, and Governor Nasir el-Rufai is more than politics, they might be forgiven. The two do not see eye to eye and el-Rufai seems to have made it a sacred duty that Sani does not return to the Senate in 2019. But from all indications, he might be the loser in the battle for the soul of Kaduna Central.
On Tuesday this week, the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party in Abuja had released the list of those cleared to contest for elective positions in the state and for Kaduna Central, only the name of Sani was on the list. In fact, the name of the governor’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, Uba Sani, and four other aspirants who had bought forms were not on the list.
Uba Sani had sought court injunction seeking for the stoppage of the primary election while Shehu Sani said it was unnecessary and even unlawful to conduct primary election since he was the only candidate.
But from all indications, Shehu Sani might have got this one over el-Rufai.
Ibikunle Amosun: The ‘Death’ of Consensus
During the week, Ogun State governor, Ibilunle Amosun, has said it would be fight to finish in his state against those who want to “reap where they did not sow”. For over a month now, Amosun has been claiming that what he wanted to do in the state was to have a ‘consensus list’ of candidates for all elective positions in the state. With that arrangement, the thinking among many stakeholders was there would be an agreement over who and who would make the consensus list.
But to the chagrin of many people, Amosun simply wrote a list and sent same to the national secretariat of the party as the list of those that will be contesting in the state. And he did not forget to include his own name as the candidate for Ogun Central Senatorial District. For the governorship ticket, Amosun had pencilled down the name of Adekunle Akinlabi as the candidate for the ruling APC.
In a twist, however, the national secretariat of the party had decreed that Dapo Abiodun would be the candidate of the party for the governorship contest in the state. In fact, the team sent by the national secretariat of the party had been having a running battle with Amosun and the Ogun APC state chairman, Derin Adebiyi, who accused the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, of plotting to impose a candidate on the party in the state .
However, that does not seem to deter the former Edo State governor from ensuring that Amosun loses out in the battle to determine who succeeds him.
Akinwunmi Ambode: The Abandoned Godson
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had done everything to convince his political godfather to rescind his decision not to back him for second term. In fact, the national secretariat of the ruling APC had prevailed upon Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu to back Ambode but all to no avail. He was asked to step down but he refused preferring to test his popularity within the party by going for the primary election against the anointed candidate of the party in the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
He contested and lost. He cried foul and even the primary election team sent by the national secretariat of the party, led by former Cross River governor, Clement Ebri, distanced itself from the exercise. But Tinubu said the party in the state had taken a decision and must be respected. The national working committee of the party overruled the Ebri group and Sanwo-Olu was affirmed as the winner of the primary election.
And Ambode lost out.