How would the All Progressives Congress (APC) sanction two of its state governors for allegedly working against the interest of the party in next year’s elections?
That is the dilemma currently facing the ruling party as it weighs the decisions of Governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to work against the aspirations of the party’s candidates in their states in the 2019 elections.
Both governors, after failing to procure the APC governorship and other tickets for their preferred candidates, are believed to be sponsoring them on the platforms of rival parties although they themselves remain senatorial candidates of the APC in their respective states.
They have even threatened to ensure that the APC candidates.other than those endorsed by them, are defeated in the elections.
While Adekunle Akinlade, Amosun’s choice candidate, is now the flag-bearer of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) in Ogun State, Okorocha’s son-in-law and preferred successor, Uche Nwosu, is the candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in Imo.
The Nation also learnt that Governor Yari of Zamfara State may similarly be sanctioned once the national leadership of the party decides on how best to deal with recalcitrant chieftains. Highly placed party sources said both the NWC and other organs of the party have agreed that it is in the best interest of the APC to sanction the governors before the next general elections.
“We’re deeply troubled by the actions of these governors and other chieftains of the party toeing same lines as them,” a senior party official told The Nation, confirming concerns expressed in recent weeks by top party officials.
Asked about the APC leadership’s disposition towards Amosun and Okorocha recently, the spokesperson of the party, Lanre Issa-Onilu, had said the party is displeased with all forms of anti-party activities.
Answering further questions about whether the party will take punitive actions against the duo, Issa-Onilu said “you will hear from us soon.”
A top official of the ruling party confirmed that several meetings have been held to discuss what he described as the “obvious anti-party activities” of Governor Amosun and Okorocha in their states.
“Contrary to opinions currently held in some quarters, it is not true that the party is finding it difficult to move against the two governors and others like them,” the source said.
“To tell you the truth, we have met several times to discuss their cases. And as I speak to you, all major organs of the party are in agreement that something urgent must be done by the party to show the world that we will not tolerate such dissidence.
“Specifically, it has been agreed that it is important that we address the cases of the governors of Ogun and Imo before the next general elections start. This will help boost the confidence of loyal party members in the leadership of the party and send across the right messages that we will not condone indiscipline from anybody, no matter how highly placed.
“That nobody is saying anything about how we intend to discipline them is because nobody has been authorized to comment on their issues for now.
“What is left is to decide on exactly what to do. Once that is done, APC will show how much it cherishes party discipline and loyalty. Those going about to say they are larger than life will soon be brought right back to life,” he added.
Further checks by The Nation revealed that considerations such as the effects of the various punitive measures proposed against the governors as well as ongoing efforts by some party elders to mediate in the crises, are part of reasons why Amosun, Okorocha and other APC chieftains currently engaging in alleged anti-party activities, are yet to be sanctioned.
“Yes, it is true that some people are still talking to the parties involved in the crises. Even some of these governors are still asking for negotiations as we speak. Don’t forget one or two of them currently hold our senatorial tickets. So, somehow, we want to see what will come out of the ongoing efforts to talk some sense into those misbehaving.
“Besides that, we are going into general elections. Mr. President is seeking re-election in what many people are describing as a tough electoral challenge. We need all the supports and votes we can get. Our national chairman is a seasoned politician who believes that we must not close the door on negotiation until it is obvious that nothing will come out of it,” another source added.
On Friday Amosun, in a veiled reference to his running battle with the national leadership of the APC, said he only fears God and President Muhammadu Buhari and no one else.
The governor who spoke after receiving a letter from the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) endorsing President Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate for the February 2019 Presidential polls said: “”We don’t fear them. All of them put together, we don’t fear anybody. We fear God and we fear President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We have decided to let them be for the sake of President Buhari. If not for the President, we know what to do.”
He vowed that the Derin Adebiyi-led state executive council of the APC that was dissolved last week by the national leadership of the party would serve out its tenure. – The Nation
– Dec. 23, 2018 @ 6:27 GMT |