2019: APC leaders plan marathon reconciliation meetings to pave the way for Buhari
LEADERS of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are planning a series of reconciliation meetings ahead of the planned April national convention of the party to pave the way for the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as the party’s candidate.
The tenure of the incumbent National Working Committee (NWC) will end in April this year, a situation that makes it mandatory for the party to hold another national convention to elect new executive committee or renew the tenure of the incumbent NWC.
But contentions within the party’s structure, which had stalled all attempts at holding the mid-term national convention, kept threatening to tear the party apart.
Party insiders are of the view that without resolving the wide divisions within the ranks of the party’s leaders, a successful national convention would be elusive, a source told Sunday Tribune.
Sources in the party have also stated that the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 election could also be doomed from the start if the widening gulf among the leaders was not redressed.
Sources confirmed that to bring the party to a competitive sport, the differences among leaders would be addressed before the planned national convention.
It was also gathered that the leaders have resolved to ensure the reconciliatory moves within the ranks are sorted out well ahead of the National Convention and the presidential primaries.
“President Muhammadu Buhari appears the only viable candidate for us going to the 2019 elections. There is no question whether he will run or not. But as things stand, we cannot go into the election mood without clearing the cobwebs in-house,” the source said.
The source added that with the composition of the presidential campaign council headed by the Minister of Transport, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, issues of reconciliation are next on the agenda.
It was gathered that the series of marathon peace meetings have already started with the meeting between President Buhari and some leaders of the party last week.
Sources said that the series of meetings will also feature leaders like Senator Bola Tinubu and the former Interim National Chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, among others.
Besides wooing members of the party for Buhari’s re-election, sources also said that the party is set to determine the fate of the current NWC of the party.
Some insiders are of the view that changing the current structure of the NWC could affect Buhari’s chances negatively as Chief John Odigie-Oyegun is seen as the most tempered supporter the president can boast of right now.
“The reconciliation being planned is two-fold. There is the need to calm frayed nerves on those plotting the removal of the current NWC.
There is a growing consensus among leaders that the incumbent NWC is better placed to return the president for the second term and that bringing another executive at this point will not only polarise the party but also create fresh troubles. Some others are, however, bent on creating ripples based on their disapproval of the president’s style so far. It is the job of the peace committee to ensure everyone is on board,” a source said at the weekend.