Posted by Wale Akinola and Henry Umoru | 28 October 2018 | 1,902 times
Ahead of Tuesday when top leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) meet to look at their final list of candidates for the 2019 elections with a view to using the last window for substitution, President Muhammadu Buhari has moved to avert possible defections from the party arising from the crisis generated by the primaries.
The primaries of the ruling party at the federal level to select its candidates for the polls had been marred by controversy in many states across the country with the problem pronounced in Ogun, Adamawa, Bauchi, Jigawa, Imo, Ondo, Kebbi and Kano states. The situation invariably pitted the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC, led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, against some governors who complained that the party leadership pandered to the wish of some stakeholders in some states where governorship candidates emerged in controversial circumstances.
In response to the problem, Buhari set up a five-man team to investigate and suggest the way out.
In the committee, Sunday Vanguard learnt at the weekend, were the Minister of Education, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the Chief of Staff in the Presidency. The committee was said to have submitted its report and is likely to be considered at the meeting on Tuesday, 48 hours to the substitution window for candidates in the 2019 elections at INEC.
A source close to the APC, yesterday, said the committee particularly looked at the situation in Ogun State chapter of the party where crisis arose after the leadership adopted the candidature of Prince Dapo Abiodun for the governorship race whereas evidence scooped by the committee pointed to only one primary in the state which produced Hon. Adekunle Akinlade.
In addition, the Presidency was said to have discovered that the Ogun governor remained one of the surest leaders in the South-West to deliver their states to the APC in the 2019 polls and it will be a mistake to allow him to be lukewarm on the grounds of his grievance with the governorship primary in the state.
“Our party lost three governors only recently. We must be careful that we do not reach the five governors’ mark that the PDP lost and cost it the presidency in 2015. There are security reports indicating that Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) may leave APC and Amosun’s people’s lukewarm attitude may injure the party’s chances”, a source close to the APC leadership said.
•Excerpted from Vanguard report
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