2023 Presidency: Consensus arrangement may deny Tinubu, Amaechi, Umahi, others right to compete

Osinbajo out of calculation
More presidential aspirants to emerge
Buhari knows those who will not succeed him – Party chieftain

Frontline presidential aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress may be in for a shock as the plan to stick to a consensus arrangement for the selection of the party’s flag bearer gathers steam, The Point has learnt.

From our findings, there are strong indications that the APC may adopt a consensus arrangement to pick its presidential candidate in 2023.

According to multiple sources, the party’s topmost caucus remains unyielding in its resolve to apply “the same formula” which saw otherwise very hopeful chairmanship aspirants cave-in to the unrelenting pressure from above and threw in the towel even at the last minute. That led to Senator George Akume leading five other aspirants to withdraw from the race in a dramatic manner.

A reliable source disclosed to The Point that “the leader, mark my words, I said ‘the leader,’ is ready to follow the script alphabet for alphabet, and implement it to the fullest. You all saw what happened less than 10 days ago now. The script is still intact, and that’s the formula that will be applied.”

The Point gathered that some of the aspirants already got the message intuitively and are just playing along but assiduously erecting a Plan B as a matter of eventuality.

“These aspirants have seen the hand writing on the wall, and I can tell you they are not sleeping over it. They have Plan B, even C. In fact from the day Baba said he would not mention the name of whoever will be the flag bearer for security reasons, from that day their strategists went to work and have not rested since then. And of course the way a man that was never in the picture at all, I mean Senator Abdullahi Adamu; he confessed with his mouth that a month before March 27, he never knew he would become chairman of the party, but emerged the Chairman has so much filled these people with awe and apprehension that they are not leaving anything to chance. Take it, C.A. is the logo, that is Consensus Arrangement. Of the 78 national and zonal officers of the party in the just concluded exercise, about 68 emerged through consensus. If the party could pull such a feat in an exercise involving the whole country, is it the one involving just about 10 people that would be difficult?”

“The Point gathered that some of the aspirants already got the message intuitively and are just playing along but assiduously erecting a Plan B as a matter of eventuality”

Top chieftains of the APC, who confided in The Point, said stalwarts of the party had started reaching out to members nursing presidential ambition on the need to close ranks.

According to them, the party fears that “a crowded presidential primary may breed bad blood and threaten the chances of the party in 2023.”

Political analysts and observers say that it is part of the plan to cut the influence of APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, in the ruling party which would ultimately affect his chances of emerging as the party’s candidate in next year’s general elections.

A prominent member of the party who does not want to be named said “Just like what transpired at the national convention; the APC may decide to adopt consensus arrangement to choose its presidential candidate, purposely to water down the chances of Tinubu emerging victorious in the primaries.”

He further said that such a decision could lead to serious implosion in the APC that could be disastrous for the party in 2023.

Buhari knows those who will not succeed him

Political analyst, Obinna Bethel in an interview with The Point said, “President Muhammadu Buhari is one person you cannot sway. Whatever he believes in remains sacrosanct. He believes so much in consensus candidacy that was why he was not swayed by the resistance of the governors when he endorsed Senator Abdullahi Adamu for the position. He doesn’t succumb to pressure and he is always resolute. That is why I am afraid he may have made up his mind on who to support for the ticket. Even as he is yet to make his preferred candidate public, his body movement indicates that those early bird aspirants may not have his support.”

Bethel noted that the likes of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Governors Kayode Fayemi and Dave Umahi and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amechi may not be President Buhari’s choice candidates.

He argued that one thing that is certain is that PMB has declared his stand on zoning which was the reason why the party’s national chairman was not only zoned to the North but micro zoned to the North Central signaling that in choosing the party’s presidential flag bearer, he can also compel the party to employ consensus candidate he may choose from a micro zoned geo-political zone from the south.

“The President is yet to make his choice of Presidential candidate public but I can tell you, none of the early aspirants is his candidate. Remember he said he will not make public his candidate so that they will not assassinate him. The same way he made the comment was the same way he said APC must respect the zoning formula so that all the posts held by the north will rotate to the south and all the posts held by the south will move to the north. Having achieved the zoning formula, he also impressed on the Progressives Governors Forum, to support the candidate he had endorsed and that was how Senator Adamu emerged from nowhere.

“I have followed the trend very closely and I want to project that the President will shock the political world with his choice of candidate for the Presidential ticket come 2023. Many including faithful and chieftains of APC believed at the beginning that former governor of Nasarawa State and serving Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura was the man to beat in the party’s chairmanship election. Some of them that discussed with me were boastful that as a former only governor on the ticket of Congress for Progressives Change, the former party of the President, nothing would stop him from getting the endorsement of the President but that is now history. What I am talking about is that those claiming that the President and Tinubu had a pact that will make him hand power over to Tinubu are only claiming what does not exist.

“Forget what is happening, Buhari still hates corruption and whoever has been tagged corrupt can never get his support. The Buhari I know will opt for an unknown politician, though from his cabinet to hand over power to. That is the feeling I have and as things keep unfolding Nigerians will come to know the true Buhari and what he stands for,” he said.

He added, “The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is completely out of the calculation. Have you forgotten that he took some decisions when the President transmitted power to him and travelled out on medical vacation and when the President returned he reversed some and managed to allow some stand? If you know Buhari, you will understand what I am saying. The APC presidential primary is seriously gloomy for those parading themselves as aspirants now.”

Speaking in a related but slightly different manner, APC Chieftain who preferred anonymity told The Point that the reason President Buhari has shown indifference to those parading themselves as aspirants is because he has already made up his mind on those who will not succeed him.

“President Buhari knows those who will not succeed him. He is a man you cannot predict. I want to believe that the Vice President knows him too and that is why he is not jostling for the position. The likes of Tinubu, Amaechi and Umahi who are already campaigning will realize that they have made a great mistake.

“Baba is not a man you can cajole. You are very rich does not mean anything to him. Let those who went to meet him to declare their interest tell Nigerians exactly what he told them. The only thing I am afraid of is that when these people receive the shocker, they will defect and leave APC, that’s all but this does not mean anything to the President.

“Truly, we are preparing for a life after the President’s tenure. The choice Baba will make will be the best solution to the country’s problems, watch out for what I have said. In the next four weeks or thereabouts, the primaries will hold and people will understand what we are saying.

“Do you know why he did not support one of the candidates everyone, including myself concluded will be the national chairman? Information got to him that the man was already in alliance with one of the aspirants that has been parading himself and also, the support for him would automatically change the political calculations of the President. Some of us are reading his body language, we know a bit of his heartbeat and that is what will hold the country together in 2023.”

A lawyer and political analyst, Ezra Enwere in his reaction said President Buhari is an unpredictable leader who he thought was not interested in who becomes what in the party but after the national convention, he has a different opinion about him.

“It will not be surprising if on the day of APC primaries we hear that there is consensus. In fact, I used to think President Buhari had no interest in who holds what position in the party particularly as he is serving out his two tenures but what happened at the Eagle Square last two Saturdays has proved me wrong. First it was like rumours that he had endorsed Senator Abdullahi Adamu and then followed by rebuttal from the Presidency, then a reality that eventually confirmed him the national chairman of the party as we talk.

“These ones parading themselves as aspirants now may end up not receiving his blessing or support and I am afraid, he may also impose consensus candidacy on the party. No matter what, the APC governors are on the same page with him. He will always have his way because of the respect he commands in the party. I don’t see anyone, including Tinubu, who can challenge his decision. The worst they will do is to defect at the end.”

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