There was anxiety yesterday over an alleged plot to disrupt the June 23 National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by some aggrieved leaders and members of the party.
One of the suspected brains behind the plot is a Minister from the South-West who is alleged to have had a midnight session with some party leaders from his state at the weekend in Abuja.
The said leaders were first camped in Gwagwalada Council Area but were later driven under the cover of darkness to Abuja Municipal Council for further briefing.
Authoritative party sources said yesterday that a massive plot was developing and urgent steps must be taken to calm frayed nerves and stop the alleged plan to frustrate and divide the APC during the convention.
Investigation showed that the plot is being hatched mainly by party members who are aggrieved by the conduct of the recent congresses; those who want to create a defection scene; those opposed to the defection of certain leaders from PDP to APC; a few others who are feeling marginalized by the government and the party leadership; and those allegedly being used by the opposition party to infiltrate APC.
One of the sources said that although the party leadership is looking forward to a hitch-free convention, “some leaders and members are plotting to scuttle it either through a court process or by creating a split in the party on June 23.”
“Those behind this plot have reneged on the agreement to make ex-Governor Adams Oshiomhole as the sole candidate of the party. They want to sponsor more candidates for the office of national chairman of APC,” the source said.
He added: “while some are plotting to defect from APC to another party on convention day, a few others want to form a parallel party organ in order to cause confusion.
“We also got privileged information of moves to supply placards to some APC members to embarrass top leaders of the party.”
One of those suspected of plotting to cause embarrassment is the Southwest minister.
The source said the minister “is just out to join forces to embarrass top APC leaders on the convention ground.”
The source added: “We are however being proactive to checkmate all these evil plans and have a stress-free gathering.”
Contest for National Secretary raises the tempo
Sources identified the contest for the position of the party’s national secretary as one of the most contentious issues likely to face the party at the convention.
Northeast governors of the party are said to be resisting moves by some forces who are encouraging a former National Chairman of PDP, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff to produce the next national secretary of the party.
Sheriff recently rejoined the party after flirting with the PDP.
Four contenders have emerged for the office of National Secretary of the party; the incumbent, Mallam Mai Mala Buni (Yobe); a cerebral politician, Kashim Imam (Borno); Buhari’s ardent loyalist, Waziri Bulama; and Dr Haruna Yerima.
A Governors’ Forum source said: “Sheriff is backing Kashim Imam (Borno) but Governor Ibrahim Gaidam is pleading with his colleagues to retain the slot in Yobe since Borno State has cornered many juicy appointments.
“So far, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, and I think leaders from Gombe and Taraba have agreed that Yobe should produce the party’s secretary. The governor of Bauchi State is being expected to tag along with his colleagues.”
“Some strategists of the President, party leaders and Sheriff prefer either Kashim Imam or Waziri Bulama from Buhari Support Organization.
“Although the governors have been extremely loyal to the President, they might not guarantee him success at the poll in 2019 if the party’s secretariat is handed over to Sheriff.”
When contacted, a member of the National Convention Committee said: “Some members of this committee have heard of plans to disrupt the convention but we cannot authoritatively confirm it.
“All I can tell you is that the Convention Committee will work round the clock to make it a successful one.”
Cracks in nPDP as leaders weigh defection options
It was also gathered that the leaders of the nPDP are no longer unanimous in their plan to dump the APC for the PDP.
Some of the leaders are currently weighing options on whether to leave or not.