2023: ‘Why APC is treading the path to doom with northern agenda’

Stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress, (APC), have warned that the party appears intent on snatching a sure defeat from the jaws of a likely victory with its baffling ‘all-Northern’ strategy.

According to an opinion article published yesterday by the ‘President of Arewa Political Forum of Nigeria’, Abdulsalam Muhammed Kazaure, “Following the nudge of certain Northern figures who are blinded by self-interest and an inflated sense of their political prowess, the party looks to be plotting the emergence of a Northerner as its presidential aspirant, an audacious betrayal of its agreement with its Southern bloc on ceding its ticket to the zone in honour of the power-sharing arrangement key to Nigeria’s political stability.

He said, amongst others, it was the agreement, brokered by leaders of the party from the two regions, that shaped its national convention held in March where Sen. Adamu Abdullahi, a Northerner from Nasarawa State, emerged as the consensus choice for the position of National Chairman.

“The rationale was easy to understand: in a simple reversal of roles in the past eight years, the national chairmanship position went to the North while the presidential ticket, after eight years of Muhammadu Buhari, would return to the South. There was a like-for-like micro zoning arrangement that saw office positions held by the South-South, South-West and South-East swapped by the North-Central, North-West and North-East respectively.

“However, bent on claiming all the benefits, the scheming Northern hegemons within the party are insisting on an open contest for the ticket with a thinly-veiled ulterior motive of abusing their control of the party to bend the race in favour of yet another Northerner, a situation that would leave the South with nothing and see a 16-year-long Northern hegemony.

“The signs are hard, if not impossible, to miss with Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa and Senate President Ahmad Lawan from Yobe State, being positioned as the party’s flag-bearer”, he stated.

Sources from within the party indicated that at a meeting held by the Northern leaders with the APC Chairman in attendance and presiding, it was proposed that these two aforementioned individuals alongside Governors Zulum (Borno) and Nasir e-Rufa’i (Kaduna) should purchase the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms, a proposition that Zulum and el-Rufa’i declined. Also at the forefront of this agenda is Governor Bagudu of Kebbi.

The excuse offered for the growing betrayal, according to inside sources, was that the APC must act to counteract the PDP, the opposition party that also looks poised to shatter its brittle unity by ignoring loud calls for equitable power distribution within its own rank to favour the recycling of a Northern candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2023 contest.

“The idea of a monolithic North ignores the multifarious interest and demands of the North Central and large Christian population in states like Taraba, Adamawa, Kaduna and equally sizeable in Gombe and Bauchi. In the South, grave questions are being asked given the fractious state of affairs within the general body polity.

Kazaure further said, “If after eight years of wielding power, some in the North can still not be persuaded to relinquish it to the other side in a multi-ethnic union, what then is the point of the alliance – or the national union? To exclusively cater to the interests of the North and reduce the South to glorified courtiers?”

According to him “President Muhammadu Buhari has made subtle appointments and other political decisions that carried optical problems and worsened anxiety down South, further complicating the position of Southern leaders of the APC who face agitated questions from followers on whether or not they have been fooled into an unprofitable merger.

“To replace Buhari with another Northerner as the candidate of the party is to effectively affirm the fears and portray the Southern extraction as political fools. Such a candidate, in that circumstance, would be impossible to sell beyond the North. And this reality exposes the fatal flaw in the argument of those arguing for the retention of power in the North.

“If the South rejects the APC and the PDP for perpetuating Northern hegemony and invests its hopes elsewhere, causing an impasse in 2023, what would that portend for the future of the country as a single and united entity? The danger lies ahead, but it’s still within the power of the APC to draw the country away from a perilous cliff.

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