2023: APC Implosion Imminent over Move to Keep Presidency in North, Party Chieftain Warns

Raheem Akingbolu

The ongoing plot by the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to retain power in the north come 2023 could implode the party, one of the party’s chieftain in Bauchi, Alhasan Farouk has warned.

THISDAY had reported yesterday, that in a move that was certainly going to generate shock waves around the country and heighten the already tensed political situation, the APC was working towards zoning its presidential ticket to the North-east, with the Senate President,  Ahmad Lawan likely to emerge as its presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.

Owing to this, many in the South who had been strident in calls for the presidential ticket to be zoned to the South after eight years of Buhari in the saddle are not likely to be amused by this evolving development. Also, with the latest decision of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) to allow ad-hoc delegates to elect presidential candidate at its forthcoming convention,  the chances of a northern aspirant emerging as the presidential standard bearer have brightened even more.

But Farouk, in a statement made available to THISDAY, stressed that, “unless drastic interventions are made, next year’s general election may prove the final straw for Nigeria’s 62-year experiment as a highly combustible union of disparate ethnic groups each with an unyielding aspiration to determine its own destiny and a shared suspicion of a nursed domination agenda.”

He noted that President Muhammadu Buhari from the North-west as incumbent, had received widespread criticism from several segments of the society for what was termed a lopsided appointment in Nigeria’s security architecture and several ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) where the north had been unduly favoured.

“With the recent spate of insecurity, banditry, herder-farmer violence, IPOB disruptions, and separatist group agitations in the South-west, it is apparent that the nation has never been more divided. The fallout of the recent melee in Sokoto following the killing of Deborah Samuel where several Igbo traders and other Southerners were harassed as young residents demanded the release of those who perpetrated the killing of the young student is a clear instance of the delicate religious and ethnic balancing act that needs to be upheld in Nigeria.

“With a fractious polity where ethnic and religious strife has seen sectional violence come to the fore in the north- central, South-east, South-west, the south is eager to stake a claim to the presidency to sooth frayed nerves across the country. Nigeria’s fragile unity is indeed at stake,” he said.

He said the dramatic but dangerous tussle was best observed in the APC.

“Formed in 2014 as an alliance between the north and south to oust the PDP which had held power for 16 years prior, President Buhari emerged as its flagbearer as the representative of the north and with a promise to surrender power to the south in a high-stake power sharing formula designed to promote inclusion and a sense of belonging, an antidote to the inflammable marriage between the ethnic groups.

“Political activities this year, including the primaries of the political parties, were meant to set the stage for the change of guard. However, in the APC, several key northern figures, emboldened by their control of the party, particularly with the recent emergence of a former northern governor, Senator Adamu Abdullahi, as the chairman of the party, are exploring strategies to keep power and leave the southern region out in the cold,” he said.

Farouk alleged that the apparent mismanagement of the party processes, due largely to the greed and megalomania of vested interest in the north who do not care about the region but their personal aggrandizement, “and are terrified by the prospect of life without the cover of federal power and immunity, may drive Nigeria to the brink and cause an implosion that could break the country and set on-course a new scramble by the global powers of Europe, America, and China – a project some may well say is underway, especially in the case of China, with booby trap loans and investments.”

“Nnamdi Kanu, an agitator for an independent Biafra for the Nigeria’s Igbos, a major ethnic tribe that lost over one million of its people in a brutal civil war that lasted three years, often regard Nigeria as the captivity of the other ethnic tribes by the northern region and her dissolution, which he calls for, as a liberation and final solution.

“His sentiment is echoed by Sunday Adeyemo Igboho, a Yoruba separatist who equally calls for the carving out of an independent nation of the Yorubas, another major ethnic tribe. Both figures have been put out of circulation, but they remain widely popular.

“Their message is considered in the southern region as an inconvenient truth and their activism a due litigation of Nigeria’s past and the essence of her union.

“So far, the political leaders of the southern region, especially the west who control the media, have kept their rhetoric from the mainstream, hoping that a change of power in 2023 may help alleviate the fears of the people and rekindle interest in the preservation of the union. But if they get schemed out of the political play by the northern power brokers, they too may reconsider their position, and with that reality comes the real threat of Nigeria coming undone.

“The center of Nigeria is not holding and the APC’s final act, unless it changes course, may be to preside over the country’s disintegration,” he said.

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