There are strong indications of looming fresh crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the entrant of the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode and the proposed plan to bring in former President Goodluck Jonathan into the ruling party.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday, last week, at the State House Abuja, formally received Fani-Kayode into the party in company of the National Chairman, APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni and Zamfara Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawale, while the planned entrant of former President Jonathan has remained in the realm of speculation.
The entrant of the former Aviation Minister and Jonathan’s proposed crossing over to the ruling party have continued to generate hostile, negative criticisms and cold reception from party chieftains instead of celebrating what many would consider the capture of two big fishes.
In a chat with Sunday Sun, an APC chieftain who craved anonymity queried why Fani-Kayode should claim Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as ward instead of joining the party from his ward in his state, Osun.
He argued that a party like the APC battling image problem ought not to admit certain persons in its desperation to increasing membership base.
The chieftain alleged that the reason behind Northern oligarchy desperately wanting to lure former President Jonathan is just to satisfy the yearnings of the South for power rotation, explaining that with Jonathan, the South will only have a shot at power for just four years.
Commenting on Fani-Kayode’s defection, the chieftain said: “Are you aware that Fani-Kayode is not joining from his ward in Osun State? For your information, he is joining APC from the FCT, but the big questions are, first, why is he joining APC from the FCT instead of his ward in his state? Could it be that his ward and by extension, his state, is not welcoming him?
“Every other member of the ruling party, including those that took him to the State House and Buhari who received him all joined the party from their wards. How can Buhari who joined the party from his ward in Daura tolerate such? I can tell you that his entrant is a bitter pill for many APC members I have interacted with.”
But Fani-Kayode in a national TV programme claimed that he has lived in the FCT for over 20 years and, therefore, has every right to join the APC from there.
Reacting to the speculation that Fani-Kayode was brought into the party for certain hatchet jobs, our source replied: “If they claim that we brought him for a hatchet job, it is not an unexpected speculation because in the minds of many, he has record of doing hatchet jobs. I can tell you that his entry into APC will widen the cracks within the party because he even came at the wrong time.
“For a party struggling to redeem its public image, this is apparently a wrong time to admit anybody with any iota of credibility doubt. Yes, I am aware that he forced himself on APC, but this is the wrong time for him to join. When the time comes, I will tell you the real reason he joined the APC”.
Advising Jonathan to resist the temptation and remain with the opposition party, PDP, the source, however, warned that he will run into more problems pushing his desperation too far as he would still run into constitutional lacuna of swearing him in two times again.
“Some top members of APC majorly of northern extraction actually started the move to lure Jonathan into the party based on their selfish reasons and I can confirm to you that they have really gone very far into the deal. Part of the plot to settle for him is that the odd will favour them since he has only a term to serve.
“They have perfected arrangements to ensure that one of them becomes Jonathan’s vice preparatory to taking over from him if he finishes his remaining term. This move is purely a northern affair and they are not relenting about it regardless of the effect it will have on the party.
“Those opting for him forgot that Jonathan’s return has a constitutional lacuna where a section has a proviso that he cannot be sworn in as President for more than two times. If APC issues Jonathan presidential ticket, the party is running a big risk due to that lacuna unless there is amendment of the constitution at the National Assembly.”
Meanwhile, plans are at an advanced stage for the ruling party to constitute a high-power zoning committee to articulate the party’s zoning arrangement ahead of its National Convention and 2023 presidential election in an attempt to avert implosion in the party.
A source close to the national leadership of the party made the disclosure in a chat with Sunday Sun, emphasising that toeing the path of the opposition party, the PDP, has become very necessary to reduce the ever-escalating tension over which zone gets what.
“We have not actually started anything about zoning, but I can tell you on good authority that there is every likelihood that we may have to set up zoning committee, just like the PDP did, to evolve acceptable arrangement and resolve the delicate issue of which zone gets what position.
“However, regardless of what the report of the zoning committee might contain, I can confirm to you that the Southeast is still the beautiful bride. The agitation and actualisation of Igbo presidency may be a remote possibility to many party members, but the good thing is that the dream is very much alive. I am not oblivious of the fact that the powers that be will certainly decide who becomes the party’s national chairman and gets the presidential ticket in 2023,” the source quipped.