Those desiring to see the end of the lingering crisis in the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, may be disappointed as the crisis appears to be festering.
Though the party has been engulfed in crisis in the past three years, the recent primaries conducted by the party have polarized the party more.
The National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in a statement which was signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebebgulem, alleged that some powerful party chieftains are plotting his removal.
However, less than 24 hours after the statement, Oshiomhole recanted the statement saying he enjoys the support of about 90 percent of the state governors.
His words, “The good news is that the overwhelming majority, we have about 23 governors, I think we are very much happy, I don’t have issues with anyone. Only one or two (governors) may have some situation that they may want to see differently but that’s how the world is.”
The Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee, NWC, was accused of taking side in the just concluded primaries of the party.
For instance, in Ogun State, Governor Ibikunle Amosun believes the failure of his preferred candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, to emerge as the governorship candidate of the party in the state was as a result of the patrician manner Oshiomhole and his group handled the primaries.
Consequently, angry members of the party took to the streets of Abeokuta on Monday to protest over the way the exercise was conducted in the state.
The APC had submitted the name of Dapo Abiodun as the governorship candidate of the party in the state contrary to Akinlade who was earlier announced as the winner of the primary.
Speaking on the matter Amosun said, “The President already knows there was no election in Ogun State. He knows that they just went to Lagos; wrote all results, and that what they did was fraud.
“If the National Working Committee or the national chairman said there was any election in Ogun State, it was all fraud. That is what I said.
“The issue of Chief Osoba and Asiwaju and co, what we said was that there was a definite silence from their end, and silence means consent. You can record me and publish it in your newspapers.
“We have not heard one word from any of them. Was there any election in Ogun State? ‘Yes’ or ‘No?’ They should come out and those that are hiding behind one finger, they cannot come out?” Gov. Amosun said.
The Ogun State governor believes that some detractors within APC are working for Buhari’s defeat in 2019.
In Zamfara State, it is a contention between the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the party on whether the party would present candidates in 2019.
While the commission insisted that the party failed to conduct primaries in line with the commission’s guidelines and. therefore, would not present candidates in the 2019 election, the party said it has submitted its lists to the commission.
INEC, therefore, denied a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of APC that the party has submitted lists of candidates for the 2019 general elections in all the states including Zamfara.
INEC National Commissioner on Voter Education and Information, Mr. Festus Okoye, stated on Monday that the commission did not receive the list of candidates from Zamfara State APC.
According to him, “Based on the provisions of Section 31 and 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), “the commission does not expect that your party will submit names of any candidates from Zamfara State.
“For clarity, our position is that the APC, will not be fielding candidates for the governorship, National Assembly and state assembly elections in Zamfara State for the 2019 for the general elections.
“There are two matters relating to the party primary election conducted in Zamfara State pending before the State High court and Federal High Court in Zamfara. Those two matters are yet to be decided,” Mr. Okoye said.
Similar protest was recorded in Owerri the capital of Imo State last Monday, where a lot of women and youth took to major streets carrying placards with different inscriptions accusing the National Chairman of the ruling party as responsible for the ongoing wrangling in the state chapter of the party.
The South East leader of Buhari Campaign Organisation, Ugochi Okoro spoke on behalf of the women thus; “Oshiomhole should go back to his cocoon; we will not allow him destroy APC. This is the party where our governor was called all manner of names, today, same people want to hijack the party and we say no.
“Oshiomole should leave the party for us, Okorocha is our leader and we still stand by our president for second term; Imo youths will not stop supporting Uche Nwosu and Buhari, likewise we the women.”
The situation in Rivers State is not clear whether the party would have candidates for the elections. The Supreme Court judgment earlier in the week that seems to have nullified the ward, local and state congresses of the party has been given different interpretations by the two factions of the party in the state.
While the group loyal to Senator Magnus Abe, were thrown into wild jubilation immediately after the judgment, meaning that by the judgment, the earlier primaries conducted by the party has been set aside, the Rivers State APC Chairman Ojukaye Flag-Amachree disagreed with the interpretation that the judgment has nullified the congresses and by extension, the party may not field candidate in the election.
He declared, “What the Supreme Court did was to set aside the stay of execution of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt on an order given by Justice Chinwendu Nwogu, which has been overtaken by his judgment”.
When asked to comment on the judgment, the former 2nd vice-president of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Barr Monday Ubani, said he has no proper grasp of the judgment therefore, he cannot comment on it.
Observers believe that the crisis facing Kaduna State chapter of the party which led to the defection of Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central and the ongoing ethno crisis, it may be difficult for the party to retain the state come 2019.
Some months ago, the senator representing Kaduna north, Suleiman Hunkuyi, left the party because of irreconcilable difference with Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Speaking on the crisis, the former governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, stated recently that APC may lose the general election, if the crises are not resolved.
With less than four months to the general elections, observers believe the ruling party may be going into the election more divided this time around than in 2015.