The maiden National Convention of the mega party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) starts on Friday, 13th June, 2014 at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
The National Convention Committee headed by Governor of Sokoto State, Alliyu Wamakko had on Wednesday, 11th June, 2014, released the zoning formula for the various offices being competed for at the convention with the prestigious National Chairman office zoned to the south south region while the equally sensitive National Secretary was zoned to the northeast.
While there seemed to be a compromise on candidates for the other positions,thegazellenews.com investigation has revealed that the battle for the position of national chairman is going to be fierce with three major front runners representing different interest groups in the party vying for the position.
The battle for the control of the party’s structure has created three major interest groups in the mega party. On one hand are the elected governors of the party who are serious about taking control of the party and are not shying away from showing their intention.
The governors recently showed their bargaining power at the last National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party playing a fast one by ensuring that their choice candidates became chairman and secretary of the convention committee in Wamakko and Senator Chris Ngige.
Now, the governors are backing former Governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Silva for the post of the national chairman of the party.
Another former governor, this time ex-governor of Edo State, John Odigie-Oyegun is vying for the position of the national chairman backed by the powerful Bola Ahmed Tinubu/Muhammad Buhari caucus. The Tinubu/Buhari caucus believed that Oyegun will steer the ship of the party successfully being a committed progressive who has never left the progressive camp. They see him as a perfect replacement for outgoing interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, who many believed had done his best by strenghtening the unity of the party through wisdom and experience.
However, for the group coordinated by former Governors of Ogun and Ekiti States, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and Niyi Adebayo respectively, Akande has been a willing tool for the Tinubu/Buhari hence they will never support any candidate annointed by the Tinubu/Buhari group.
Thus, the Osoba/Adebayo group has their own candidate in former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi. Thegazellenews.com learnt that the Osoba/Adebayo group believed that Ikimi has the needed experience and acumen to hold the party together and prevent it from being taken over by the Tinubu/Buhari group.