There is no doubt that the intrigues, political calculation and permutations ahead of the 2023 general elections have long started. So many attributed the early signs of political campaigns to the exit and the possible handover of an All Progressive Congress (APC) administration to another should all things be equal come May 29, 2023. The fact that the APC is also divided whether to honour the consensus reached during the formation of the party to observe rotational presidency between the North and South to ensure political integration of the diverse regions of the country and entrench sense of belonging on both sides or not is also a time bomb that might bring the party to its political waterloo come 2023.
Northern politicians and other critical players in the polity have all come out to overrule the possibility of a southern presidency. The interest of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, one of the greatest politician in the African sub-region whose political tentacles have traversed the Southwestern region across the fabrics of our country is said to have created fear and anxiety in the minds of some northern power bloc within the party. Although the APC national leader’s widening political influence, his considerable control over the party’s national Chairman, Adams Oshiomole and his sparing acceptability across board is expected to place him in a vantage position to clinching the party’s presidential ticket in 2023, the Lagos-born tactician will sure break through the ranks of the northern political strongholds to get through the main election.
APC as a party is said to be in apprehension of the next moves of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which is in a comfortable position to wrestle power come 2023 considering the enormous resources the party now possesses in terms of governors. The anxiety, however, is believed to be heightened by the stark reality of the diminished electoral chances of the APC in electoral warfare where Mohammadu Buhari is not commanding the garrison.
Having weighed their options, the party’s stakeholders, have decided to penetrate the stronghold of the PDP by using its power of incumbency and the instrumentalities of power to getting many influential PDP politicians to their fold so as to deflect its waxing resources. The party leader who spoke to TheNigerian News in confidence, revealed that his party, the APC have decided to use the administration’s vast resources to lure members of the PDP who are getting tired of being relegated to the background for long without funds so as to recoup, deflect the ranks of the PDP and render it powerless or ineligible of waging any meaningful electoral wars against the APC at the field in 2023.
The source who sounded so sure said; “My party is working hard to turn the odds in our favour. We are doing our best to be in a vantage position ahead of 2023”. Asked how the party intends to achieve this, the chieftain replied; “don’t forget we are in power, we have a lot of tempting offers we can dangle at them. Most of them are contractors, they own companies, they need to keep afloat and the APC is the only party that can give that at the moment”.
Asked if such politicians would yield their offers considering they once governed states and occupied juicy positions in the past and might be hardly tempted with positions and money, the source giggled and said “they want to keep on in the business. No politician can stay for long devoid of funds. Most of them have been kept out for a very long time, they are in dire need of funds to further their ambitions”.
The politician also gave TheNigerian News’ political correspondent hint on the names of their target politicians. He hinted on the following names and declined to talk further.
1. Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
The former governor of Kano state and the PDP’s Northwest coordinator in the just concluded presidential elections is said to be top on their list. The politician admitted it would be extremely difficult but added that nothing is impossible in politics as the game is all about interest. He admitted that the worldwide leader of the Kwankwasiyya movement is a grassroots politician whose political dexterity is second to only that of Buhari in the North and will be of great importance to the party if he is finally lured to their fold.
2. Samuel Ortom
The source predicted the need to bring back the governor on the political strength he demonstrated in the 2019 elections. He also expressed confidence that the governor will soon be joining the party as talks are already under way.
3. Attahiru Bafarawa
The former governor of Sokoto State is understood to be wanted by the APC to counter the rising political profile of Aminu Tambuwal, the current governor of the state and a leading presidential aspirant should the North be tipped by the PDP to still fly the party’s presidential ticket in 2023.
4. Senator Ifeanyi Ararume
The Imo-born politician who left the APC during the political imbroglio that heralded the party’s governorship primaries in his state to fly the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) Guber ticket in the state is noted to have been personally added to the list by the National Chairman who is very serious with the APC severing its political tentacles with the outgoing governor, Rochas Okorocha. Ifeanyi Ararume is to replace the statue-erecting governor and forged an alliance with Hope Uzodimma, APC’s Guber candidate in Imo state so as to establish a stronger APC in the southeast.
5. Femi Fani Kayode
The foul-mouthed ex-Minister of Aviation and media love bird is believed to be needed to propagate the Yoruba interest within the party should Tinubu clinch the party’s ticket. His clannish tendencies will be easily exploited by the party to pull him out of the PDP where he is doing a lot of damages in the court of public opinion.
6. Seyi Mekinde
The Oyo state governor-elect is also said to be on their list as the Tinubu elements in the APC are assumed to be wary of any home-based enemy that might be inimical to the Jagaban of Bogu’s political interests come 2023. “An all South West APC governor is their vision and the party is prepared to exploit all options to get Mekinde on-board “, the source said.
7. Prof Ben Ayade
The Cross River State governor is understood to be on their list as Oshiomhole will no longer entertain being in a helpless opposition in his South-South region. While the party will do everything possible to win the scheduled November 16 Bayelsa Guber elections, foot soldiers are already in talks with Ayade to discuss political terms upon which he would ditch PDP for the APC in the coming months.