There are strong indications that the All Progressives Congress governors are waiting for the stand of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on the party’s chairmanship race.
It was reliably gathered on Tuesday that many APC governors had been left in the dark in the search for the next national chairman of the party.
It was learnt that a cabal comprising the trusted allies of the President would determine the consensus candidate for the national chairman of the party.
This has not stopped aspirants from intensifying campaigns across the country.
Multiple sources in the party, however, told The PUNCH that the President would be relying on the advice of his trusted allies.
“The President relies on these people for key decisions like the electoral bill, chairmanship of the party and other issues. These people are now working to ensure that the President picks a chairman that the governors will not be able to control, a chairman who will be from their clique,” he said.
When asked why the governors were not being allowed to pick the next chairman of the party, the source said, “Buhari did not interfere in the states when the governors were imposing their lackeys. None of them should dictate to the President who will be the chairman. They can only lobby which some of them are doing.”
Another top official of the APC, who wished to remain anonymous, also confirmed that most of the governors were awaiting the President’s signal.
He said once they know the President’s direction, they will adopt him as the consensus candidate.
“The same way the governors determined the APC chairmen in their respective states is how Buhari will also determine the next national chairman. Everyone is waiting for the signal from the President. He was the one who sacked the Oshiomhole leadership and he will be the one to determine the next chairman,” an APC chieftain said.
Attempts to get a response from Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu, proved abortive as he neither responded to calls nor a text message on Tuesday.
But at least 12 persons have publicly declared their interest in the national chairmanship of the APC some of whom include: Senator Tanko Al-Makura, the Minister of Special Duties, George Akume; Salihu Mustapha, former Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, Senator Sani Musa, former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff of Borno State and a former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’Aziz Yari.
While Al-Makura has publicly been endorsed by his successor, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State; Musa has been tipped as the next chairman by Governor Sani Bello of Niger State. Apart from these two governors, others have refused to publicly endorse anyone.
The PUNCH gathered that Al-Makura and Musa were leading the race for the chairmanship of the ruling party.
A top member of the APC, who confided in one of our correspondents, said, “For now, going by the level of support they are getting, senators Al-Makura and Musa are leading the race, but things may change.”
Meanwhile, supporters of Al-Makura and Musa have intensified campaigns in states with their posters strategically pasted at the state secretariats of the party.
In Osun State, reliable sources within APC told one of our correspondents that although the governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, had not formally told the state chapter to back any aspirants, the candidature of Al-Makura was gradually gaining support among the members of the party.
A party leader, who confided in The PUNCH, stated, “Going by what we have observed in the last few days, ex Nassarawa governor, Almakura may get Osun’s support.”
However, when contacted, the Media Aide to Osun APC Chairman, Kola Olabisi, pleaded for more time before reacting.