The emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the new national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may worsen the already bad situation in the party as massive defections by aggrieved members loom ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Adamu, a two-term governor of Nasarawa State, was the chairman of the APC National Reconciliation Committee before his election as the national chairman at the party’s national convention held in Abuja few days ago.
They had argued that he did not handle his assignment as national reconciliation chairman very well to merit being entrusted with a higher responsibility of national chairman. Following his emergence through consensus, some of the aggrieved party members have started dumping the party, a situation which a serving senator in the party informed Daily Independent may escalate in the coming days. According to him, many of the party members believe that having allegedly shown bias in his role as APC reconciliation chairman, there is nothing Adamu is going to do differently now that he is the national chairman of the party.
The APC is currently facing crisis in Anambra, Rivers, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Osun, Kano, Abia, Gombe, Zamfara and Kwara states.
Despite its efforts, the Adamu- led reconciliation committee could not resolve the crises in many of the states before the national convention.
To avoid fracas at the convention, the APC adopted a consensus method, which was spearheaded by President Buhari and the APC governors.
At the weekend, loyalists of Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Kwara State.
The former APC members, who are at loggerheads with Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, told Daily Independent that the emergence of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the national chairman of the APC influenced their decision to call it quit with the party.
Alhaji Lawal Shehu, a chieftain of the party, who played a major role in the ‘O To Ge’ movement in the state, said they strongly believe that they cannot get justice in the APC since Adamu, who was the chairman of the party’s reconciliation committee is now the national chairman. When asked whether they got the blessings of Lai Mohammed to leave the APC for SDP, he said the minister appealed to them not to dump the party as the whole issue will be sorted out before the election but they can’t wait because the election is just few months away.
“Ordinarily, we did not want to leave the APC, a party we laboured to build.
That was why we have remained there since 2019 when Governor Abdul- Razak began his divide and rule tactics, sidelining all those who made it possible for him to become governor, especially our leader, Lai Mohammed, who risked everything to dislodge the PDP and the Saraki hegemony in Kwara.
“We have always wanted peace and that was why we attended all the meetings called by the party leadership. However, when Abdullahi Adamu was made the National Reconciliation Committee chairman and he visited Kwara State, we protested that he was biased in his handling of the crisis as almost everything he did favoured the governor.
“He only met with the governor, he never met with Alhaji Lai Mohammed despite the fact that the two of them are the major contending forces in Kwara APC.
We said it then that we are displeased with Adamu because his body language and conduct were at variance with stated objective of the reconciliation committee. He was very biased in his handling of the crisis.
“Now with the election just few months away, the same Adamu has been made the national chairman of the party.
We believe he will only continue from where he has started from and there is no way we will get justice with him as chairman.
Right now, Governor Abdul- Razak has vowed that only his loyalists will become various candidates in the 2023 elections and he will carry out that threat with the support of Adamu. That is why we have decided to pitch our tent elsewhere.
“Yes, we discussed with our leader, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, but his usual response was that we should be patient. He has told us he remained a founding member of the APC and he will not leave the party for anywhere.
We have not disobeyed him by leaving the APC but we just felt that we need to act fast now so that we won’t be left stranded at the eleventh hour.
“While Alhaji Lai Mohammed and some state leaders of the party are still hopeful that the new national executive of the party and some concerned leaders will reopen the matter and do justice to all concerned we do not share that optimism”, he said.
In Osun State, members of The Osun Progressives (TOP), the faction belonging to Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, may also dump the party ahead of the governorship election scheduled for July 16.
A leader in the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said Adamu did not handle the crisis very well as he gave preference to Governor Gboyega Oyetola who is seeking reelection.
“We as leaders are resolute in our resolve to remain in the party but some of our members are already notifying us that they want to quit since Adamu emerged as the chairman.
They are unhappy given the manner he handled the crisis in the state as he was partisan and he favoured the governor”, he said.
The same situation also applies to Ekiti State where the governorship election is billed to hold on June 18.
Daily Independent learnt that aggrieved members of the party have threatened to quit the party or stay and work against the APC.
It was also gathered that former Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, and his supporters may call it quits with APC before the general elections.
An associate of the governor said Yari has been unhappy over the decision of the APC national leadership to hand over the party structures in the state to Governor Bello Matawalle who defected from the PDP last year.
He said Yariought to have left the party since but decided to wait with the belief that he may become the APC national chairman.
His hopes were dashed when the party picked Adamu as the consensus candidate.
In Delta State, Olorogun Jaro Egbo, a chieftain of the APC, who is the leader of the APC Hivoltage Movement, a pressure group in the APC, and his supporters on Monday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a rally at Ughelli Township Stadium, Ughelli.
Egbo, who was received by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and other PDP stakeholders in the state, said many members of APC will soon join them in the PDP in the coming days.
Speaking at the rally, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, a chieftain of the party and former governorship aspirant, said he was elated that Egbo who he described as a good friend has not only returned to his original party, but coming along with his huge followers to the PDP.
He commended Olorogun Jaro Egbo for his courage to return back to his original party (PDP), just as he assured him and the entire APC Hivoltage Movement that they will not regret their decision to return to the PDP, the winning party in the state.