The political calculations and permutations within the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, may change dramatically as feelers coming from the party indicate that Kano State Governor, Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso may eventually pick the party’s presidential ticket.
However, sources within the party told Vanguard that Kwankwaso’s chances of picking the party’s ticket will only be boosted by the stepping down of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari from the 2015 presidential race.
According to a reliable source at APC’s headquarters in Abuja: “The most serious candidate we have in the North now is Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.”
He continued: “There are certain factors which make him to stand out. One of them is that he has total control of the party in his state. Other presidential aspirants in APC cannot boast of having control over the party in their various states like Kwankwaso has in Kano.
“You can see that APC controls all the seats in the Kano State House of Assembly. This also applies to the local government chairmen because of his leadership quality.”
The source cited a recent incident which occurred in Adamawa State to buttress his point.
“For instance, not long ago there was a disagreement between members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly and the State Governor, Murtala Nyako.
“Despite the fact that the House is dominated by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Kwankwaso went there to settle the quarrel. This is the leadership quality we are talking about.
“If Atiku had really been incharge of the PDP in that state, I don’t think those 25 members in the House of Assembly would have stayed back in PDP after he defected to APC.”
However, the source admitted that Buhari remains the most popular presidential aspirant from the North.
Said he: “There is no doubt about the fact that Buhari is the most popular politician in the North. Nobody can take that away from him. All the political circles in the APC look up to him.”
However, the source said that not long ago Buhari attended a particular meeting, where he said he won’t run again for the presidency in 2015 because age was not on his side.
“Buhari also said that having contested for the same position three times, and wasn’t successful, it is time for him to give way for the younger generation. So, he may opt out of the 2015 race” the source said.
He continued: “If you can recall, he said so in 2011.”
He also drew attention to other factors that may work against Buhari if he decides to gun for the ticket of the party.
Said he: “Look at what is happening in Katsina State where Gen. Buhari hails from. The party had to delay conduct of congresses in that State because of so many conflicting interests. If Buhari had a strong control over the APC in his state, this would not have happened.”
Meanwhile, there are indications that the party’s Convention Planning Committee has already zoned the position of National Chairman to the South-South zone. It was gathered that this decision was a fall-out of the Northern governors of the support for the emergence a South-South aspirant as the next National Chairman of the party.
Norther governors were said to have taken the decision to pave way for the emergence of a Northern Presidential candidate at the parties primaries.
The two South-South candidates in the race for the position of the party’s National Chairman are Former Governor of Edo State Chief Mr Odigie-Oyegun and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi.
Investigations by Vanguard have revealed that the June 13 National Convention of the party will point the direction the party would follow at its primaries which is likely to be fixed shortly after the convention.