APC’s Presidential Race: A Looming Political Sparks
Nigeria News takes a look at the internal politics within the All Progressives Congress (APC) and how President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki has been manoeuvring to realise his ambition.
The road to 2019 election will surely be an interesting one, especially in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). With the confirmation that Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, is set to join the presidential race, sparks might soon start flying. I mean political sparks, which should be a welcome development for APC members across Nigeria’s 774 local governments.
About the ONLY albatross that Saraki has is the Code of Conduct matter. And that appears not to have much weight, using the parlance of a lawyer friend. He is at home up North. And in the South, he is almost like one of them. Within the APC itself, it will be a surprise IF any of the Governors will be opposed to him. The ONLY problem he might have to contend with is the order of elections in 2019. The Governors are opposed to it. Something can still be worked out there.
If eventually, Saraki proves the confirmation correct, it is doubtful if Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will be opposed to him. Both are politicians almost from the same school of politics. They understand the rules. They know the game. Saraki in Kwara State, where he holds sway, is the same as the Jagaban in Lagos State. The same tactics apply to both men.
Some might argue that the APC presidential primary will be a walk-over in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari. That is debatable. I do not see former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, leaving for the opposition PDP if Saraki is staying back in APC.
Yes, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, remains Buhari’s Campaign Manager for the 2019 presidential election. He may not go all out against his old ally, Saraki in the old PDP jungle.
Above all, being a former governor carries a lot of weight. Most Governors have links beyond their states. And for those of them who did not offend colleagues while in office, the connections to pull strings across the divide are always much. Saraki has survived thus far mainly due to these connections. It will be interesting to see how the game plays out!
Saraki was in Daura, Katsina State, the country home of President Muhammadu Buhari to pay homage to the Emir of Daura. His visit was not for fun but to also condole with the monarch over the death of Bukar Mustapha from the state.
Saraki has kept his card close to his chest since the noise about his presidential ambition began some few months ago. However, his trial with Code of Conduct Tribunal over the allegation of false declaration of assets while he was the Kwara State Governor had been slowing him down.
Saraki knows the game as I have said and may come up with a new joker towards APC’s presidential primary. The memory of how he outwitted the party bigwigs to clinch his present position in 2015 still lingers.
While party leaders, including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was seriously strategizing on how to use the current Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan as the President of the Senate, Saraki colluded with his allies in the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party to get elected as the Senate president.