Primaries: APC, PDP in states quake

WITH few days to the primaries of the political parties to pick their governorship candidates, deep-seated resentment is raging among the major actors in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over accusation of manipulation of the process that will throw up standard-bearers across states. 

Other critical stakeholders in the parties are at daggers drawn with state governors who are being accused of subverting the election of delegates to determine the fate of array of contenders for the governorship ticket at the primaries next week. 

There are discordant tunes in both parties over the conduct of ward elections to pick five delegates from each ward for governorship primaries and three delegates for the presidential convention. 

APC has rescheduled its governorship primary for May 27, while that of the PDP will hold on May 25 across the states where the 2023 general election will hold. 


Omo-Agege, others in battle royale in Delta

The APC appears finding its square root with the solo move by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie OmoAgege, who might emerge the unopposed candidate of the party in the state. 

The challenge posed by Senator Omo-Agege, who is from Delta Central, with a possible combination of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi from Delta North could pose a serious threat to the dominance of PDP in the state. 

Some party members have, however, opposed Omo-Agege’s alleged hijack of the party structure to ensure his emergence as the party’s sole candidate. 

Meanwhile, there appears no aspirant from any quarters, not even his Delta Central district, to challenge him for the ticket. 

The PDP is in a quagmire in the state over power rotation and an envisaged crowded race in the primary is underway. 

It was learnt that most of the aspirants contesting for the state House of Assembly primary under the PDP are perturbed by the magnitude of financial demands by delegates. 


Obaseki, Orbih flex muscles in Edo 

In Edo State, investigations showed that the gulf between the two feuding factions of the state PDP chapter seems to have widened considerably, as the different camps are presently waving two different court orders as regards who has the authentic delegates list. 

The party’s South-South zonal national vice chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, is banking on a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which on Tuesday ordered the national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu; national secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), among others, to ensure that only those who emerged as delegates in the ad hoc delegates election monitored by INEC in the state partake in the party primary to choose candidates for the various elective political offices. 

On the other hand, the loyalists of Governor Godwin Obaseki countered, insisting that they have the authentic delegates list based on an Edo State High Court ruling which on Wednesday upheld the ad hoc delegates’ election conducted by Dr Kingsley Emu. 


Uneasy calm in Ogun 

The APC in Ogun State has five governorship aspirants, while 177 aspirants are eyeing 26 state constituencies of the Assembly with 75 aspirants jostling for the nine federal constituencies. However, it was gathered that there is the allegation of non-release of elected delegates’ nomination forms by the state secretariat of the party. Four governorship aspirants, Dunni Opayemi; Modele Sarafa-Yusuf; Adekunle Akinlade and Biyi Otegbeye, alongside 34 others had written to the APC national chairman, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to protest the alleged manipulation of the process by the party leadership in the state. 

They alleged that only party members who are deemed loyal to the authorities were issued delegates forms, despite several protests by members at the party secretariat. 

It was discovered that the disagreement was basically the mode to be adopted for the conduct of primary, with the aggrieved members insisting on direct exercise. 


Alaka withdraws from senatorial race 

In Ekiti State, the ruling APC is said to be facing intense pressure from stakeholders opposed to alleged planned imposition of candidates. 

Some aggrieved members expressed displeasure with the leadership of the party in the state over what they described as the alleged imposition of candidates for the House of Representatives and state House of Assembly seats. 

While there are few issues as regards the three senatorial seats, the disquiet over the tickets for the House of Representatives and assembly race is perceived by some party faithful as capable of posing a major challenge at the election proper, especially the June 18 governorship election in the state. 

In PDP, there is no visible crisis over the party tickets, considering the number of people who have shown interest in using the platform to seek elective posts. 

However, the contest for the Ekiti South senatorial district is generating a lot of interest, in view of the stand of a former governor of the state, Mr Ayo Fayose, who is supporting an ex-lawmaker, Shola Adekola, against the incumbent, Senator Biodun Olujimi. 

Last night, the former deputy governor of the state, Professor Kolapo Olusola Eleka announced his withdrawal from the race, paving the way for Olujimi and Adekola to slug it out at the primary of PDP. 


Tension in Benue 

In Benue State, there is palpable tension within the rank and file in both the PDP and the APC state chapters over the governorship race. 

The leaders of the two parties evolved a similar policy to trim the number of aspirants by zoning and micro-zoning the seat to Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue North East senatorial district of the state known as Zone A. 

The people of Benue South senatorial district, who are of the Idoma extraction (Zone C) are, however, pushing for the 2023 slot to break a 46-year jinx. But there are indications that the Idoma ethnic group seems to have been shut out of the race, leaving the battle for aspirants in Zone A. 

The PDP is zeroing in on the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Titus Uba, as the Tiv consensus candidate, while the Idoma have the deputy governor, Benson Abounu, as their consensus candidate. 

The APC replicated the arrangement by micro-zoning to Vandeikya Local Government area but the party has found it difficult to pick a consensus candidate. 


Uproar over imposition in Plateau 

According to reports, the governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, is under pressure over allegations of a plan to impose a former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Benue State, Dr Nentawe Yiltwada, as APC governorship candidate. 

Despite the spirited effort to deny the claim, 18 of the 19 spirants alleged that the body language of the governor indicated he had the plan to impose his favourite as the standard-bearer. 

Acting under the aegis of G18, they have threatened to defect to another party unless the governor allows a level-playing field at the APC primary. 

Plateau Elders Advisory Council of the party also cautioned both the party and the governor over the development. 

However, the situation is slightly different in PDP in the state in terms of suspense, despite the prevalent relative peace among the leaders. 

Some party buffs told Nigerian Tribune that there is the fear over the possibility of power brokers taking unilateral action on who among the aspirants should be anointed for the primary next week. 

But a source said stakeholders like Senator Jonah Jang, Senator Jeremiah Useni, among others, seem to have buried their political differences in the interest of the party. 


Uncertainty in Anambra 

In Anambra State, majority of the leaders and their supporters are concerned that the PDP may lose the chance to field candidates in 2023 elections, due to plans by the factions of the party to hold parallel primaries to decide National Assembly candidates. 

Nigerian Tribune gathered that a faction led by Chris Uba and the other led by Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu may hold their primaries at different venues because the party at the moment has no state executive. 

For APC, it was gathered that the crisis is between Senator Andy Uba, whose faction is led by Basil Ejidike and that of Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment. 

The party is also likely to hold parallel primaries in the state for the few aspirants seeking APC ticket. 


More trouble for Kano APC, PDP 

The resurgence of NNPP has changed the permutations in Kano State, following a gale of defections of prominent politicians from the APC and the PDP to the party. The defection of two former governors of the state, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the PDP and Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau formerly of the APC to the NNPP is creating ripples. 

The Deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Subairu Massu, defected to the NNPP. Similarly, 10 other members of the House of Assembly elected on PDP ticket defected to the NNPP, just as three other lawmakers of the APC joined the fray, reducing the number of APC members in the Assembly to 24. 


No delegate conference in Kaduna, says APC aspirant 

The power struggle in Kaduna State chapter of the APC has taken a new dimension, with one of the three gubernatorial aspirants, Alhaji Bashir Abubakar, alleging that there was no delegates’ congress in the state last week Saturday. 

He, therefore, called on the party’s national leadership to intervene. Also speaking, the Kaduna North coordinator of Alhaji Bashir Abubakar campaign organisation, Alhaji Hassan Saleh Jirgi, said there was no delegates’ congress anywhere in the state. 


Amidst protest, power brokers move to consolidate in Bauchi APC, PDP 

Nigerian Tribune observed that a group of APC stakeholders in Bauchi State rejected the APC state executive led by Babayo Aliyu Misau. 

The party is divided into two groups led by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara. 

They are said to be determined to ensure that a person loyal to them emerges as the governorship candidate of APC for the 2023 general election. 

In the ruling PDP in the state, there are a few dissenting voices, which became audible during the process of nomination for the gubernatorial race and other elective offices. 

It was believed that Governor Bala Mohammed handpicked all the aspirants. 


No respite for APC, PDP in Sokoto 

There seems to be unending crisis in both the APC and the PDP in Sokoto State regarding who succeeds the incumbent governor, Aminu Tambuwal. 

In PDP, the state deputy governor, Manir Dan’Iya, is battling it out with the likes of the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Saidu Umar; former commissioner for environment and son of former governor in the state, Sagir Bafarawa. 

A source within the party said Governor Tambuwal is not keen on endorsing any of the aspirants without the input of the elders of the state. 

Meanwhile, the gulf in the APC in the state appears to be widening. 


Unending reconciliation efforts in Oyo 

In Oyo State, efforts at reconciling aggrieved members across the two parties have failed. The crisis in the PDP is evident in the fact that several foundation members have left the party, just as new ones have come on board; and Governor Seyi Makinde says he has a firm grip of the party. 

The adoption of consensus as mode to select its party candidates further fuelled misgivings of party members. 

Similarly, all is not well in the APC as the effort at reconciling members is an action in progress. Ahead of the primaries of the APC, the fear is that the choice of governorship candidate of the APC may tear apart the party. 


Sanwo-Olu versus others 

In Lagos, though elders of the APC have endorsed governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for second term, some stakeholders of the party in the state are supporting Wale Oluwo in his bid for the ticket of the party, while six aspirants are seeking that of the Lagos PDP. 


Stakeholders adopt consensus in Ondo APC 

Indications emerged that the APC has adopted consensus candidates in some areas while primaries will only hold in areas where consensus could not be reached. 

For the southern senatorial seat, it was gathered, the party leadership and the governor agreed to throw open the contest since consensus could not be reached. 

For the House of Representatives seat in the southern senatorial district, party source at the meeting disclosed that former information commissioner, Donald Ojogo, emerged as the party’s consensus for the Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency. 

However, primary election will be held in the other two federal constituencies in the district, the Okitipupa/Irele federal constituency and Ile-Oluji-Oke-Igbo/Odigbo federal constituency. 

Also in the South, there are also consensus candidates for the House of Assembly. However, in Odigbo constituency 1, party chieftain, Tunji Rhema and former special adviser to the governor, Tunji Fabiyi, alongside son of the late monarch, Prince Akinbobola Temidayo Ojo, will be slugging it out at the primary as no consensus was reached in the constituency. 

In the Central senatorial district, a top party source revealed that the governor and the party leadership agreed to throw the race open since the leadership of the party in the senatorial district could not talk the stakeholders and party leadership into a consensus arrangement.

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