Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, a fresh crisis is
brewing in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over
the ambition of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of
Lagos State, to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari as
Nigeria’s next leader.
Even though Tinubu is yet to formally declare his interest
in the presidential race, he has been making consultations
and visiting prominent Nigerians to notify them and seek
Elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, who Tinubu
recently visited in Abuja, disclosed that the APC national
leader informed him of his presidential ambition and
asked for his support.
Speaking exclusively with Daily Independent in Abuja,
Senator Rufai Hanga, pioneer national chairman of the de
funct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and APC
chieftain, who recently dumped the ruling party, said there
is a split among the APC governors on the issue of the
presidential flagbearer of the party.
According to him, while some governors in the party have
settled for one of them as presidential candidate with a
serving minister in President Buhari’s administration as run
ning mate, other governors are rooting for Tinubu, saying
they should rally round him for all he has done for the
He said,“We have about three to four factions and it is
next to impossibility to bring them together. There are
governors in the party who have carved their own niche
somewhere and are not ready to go with other governors.
“In fact, just three days ago, some governors sat and I
heard it from very strong authority that they met and
anointed one of them as presidential candidate. They have
chosen his running mate from among one of the serving
ministers. They are willing to go it all hog and are
determined that there is no going back.
“There are other governors who are not willing to hear all
that. These governors are all out for Asiwaju Tinubu. These
ones are saying that it is unfortunate Asiwaju badly despite
all he has done for the party. They are telling their
colleague governors not to bite the finger that fed them.
So, there is division among the APC governors right no
won the issue of 2023”.
Hanga, who said the APC is technically non-existent,
added that there is no way the party will survive an
implosion especially with the crises in almost 13 states
owing to the fall-out of the congresses.
“There is a neutral group that has come out and say they
have sacked Buni and they have a new national chairman.
So, under this kind of confusion, how do you expect this
party to survive at this material time? We are in December
“In fact, APC to me is technically non-existent for now
going by the Supreme Court judgment on Ondo
governorship election. Yes, they have allowed Ondo to go
away with the governorship but if you go by the judgment
of all the seven judges, they all concurred that it was
wrong for a governor to be the party chairman.
“If it is wrong and unconstitutional for him to be the
governor and party chairman at the same time, it means
what ever action he takes or must have taken is null and
void. Anything done by him is illegal. The court will nullify
anything he has done.
“To me, APC is a goner. That is why I have decided to call
it quit. They keep on shifting their national convention from
now till February. By June or July, you should have all
gotten your candidates nominated but the APC wants to
do national convention in February.
“In more than 13 states now, they have more than three
leaderships all claiming to be in control of the party. How
can they do a convention with parallel leaderships inmost
of the states? From the time they had their congresses in
the states till now, they should have resolved it but up till
now, they are not able to do so. By February, they will still
have some lingering problems”, he said.
The cracks among the APC governors was evident at the
weekend when Governor KayodeFayemi of Ekiti and
Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State both addressed Ahmadu
Haruna Zago (Danzago), who belongs to Ibrahim Shekarau
faction as Kano APC state chairman.
Two factions of the party in the state had conducted
parallel congresses on October 18 but the party endorsed
the one conducted by the loyalists of Governor Abdullahi
Ganduje of Kano State.
The Shekarau’s faction had elected Danzago as chairman
while Ganduje’s camp elected Abdullahi Abbas.
The National Appeal Committee set up by the APC later
recognised Abbas as the chairman of the party in the
Not satisfied with the decision of the party, the faction led
by a former governor of the state, who is now a senator,
Ibrahim Shekarau, headed to the court, asking for the
nullification of the congresses at the ward, local
government areas, and state levels conducted by the rival
faction and uphold its own.
In his ruling, the judge, Hamza Muazu, granted there
quests and upheld the congresses conducted by the
The judge also made an order restraining the Ganduje
faction from appointing a new executive.
Credible sources said the recognition given to Danzago by
Fayemi and Badaru was to spite Governor Ganduje, whose
candidate was removed by the court.