Power sharing among the parties that formed the merger: CPC, ACN, ANPP and faction of APGA. In the government PMB represents CPC, Osinbajo stands for ACN, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau for ANPP, Atiku head the new PDP and Governor Rochas Okorocha for APGA
By: Isa Mohammed
The All Progressives Congress (APC) was formed in February, 2013 as a merger political party with the aim of wrestling power from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP). The merger succeeded in 2015 with the APC’s victory of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari against President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential polls.
The victory of APC rekindle hopes from the crisis of rising expectations of Nigerians. However, the challenges of governance set in from cabinet formation, economy and security challenges becomes glaring to the administration.
The APC’s Test of Power
First, is the politics of power sharing among the parties that formed the merger: CPC, ACN, ANPP and faction of APGA. In the government PMB represents CPC, Osinbajo stands for ACN, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau for ANPP, Atiku head the new PDP and Governor Rochas Okorocha for APGA.
There were complaints that the nPDP have not been given their fair share of power despite it’s contributions to the victory of the APC. The nPDP was even divided.
The group was led by former Vice President Atiku has; Saraki, Kwankwaso, Amaechi, Abdulfatah, and Nyako. The fight against Saraki’s Senate President seat was fought based on power sharing that most people interpret as Saraki’s betrayal or disrespect to the APC not minding the mergers agreement.
A quick check on this political debacle will show you that most of the nPDP elements of merger have decamped to the old mother PDP. The left APC one after the other with varying degrees of injuries and reasons; Saraki, Atiku, Kwankwaso and Abdulfatah. What do you make of this? It is the test of power and not keeping to the promise entered during the merger.
APC’s Performance in Government
Generally, APC has policies and programmes for the masses that Nigeria never had before. The implementation of the policies were affected by global oil prices and economic factors internally, Insecurity and corruption. For example, National Social Investment Program (NSIP) with over 500 billion to be expended in the areas of N-Power, Home School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer, Trader Money, bailouts etc.
The Nigerian economy has been in between recession in every two years. There was inflation, high unemployment rate and grinding poverty. More to it is that we have insecurity in the form of bandits, insurgents, kidnappers, secessionists collectively called Armed Non-State Actors (ANSA).
Hence, the performance assessment is not comensurate to the promise made and convincing to Nigerians. The administration has tried in infrastructure but pundits believed that it was the loans that government collected that brought the development of the rail ways and Trunk A roads across the country.
The Politics of 2023
While there was no zoning in APC constitution what has become clear is that after PMB power will move to the South. The APC support based in the South is Southwest (Yorubaland). The question still remains who the cap fits?. Before answering that what is the big picture of the politics of the 2023 presidency in the APC?
There are presently three camps in the APC; Tinubu camp, APC Governors’ Forum camp, and Osinbajo camp. Even though, Amaechi was rumored to have ambition but could not be bold to have a camp.
The Tinubu Factor
So far Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) has declared his intention to run for the presidency. This is the first bold step needed in his camp. Despite, the challenges he is facing of age, health and internal wranglings in APC. He said it is his life time ambition to rule Nigeria.
In a very short while other aspirants will declare their intentions to President Buhari and Nigerians. BAT has played critical role to helping PMB and APC capture state power in Nigeria using his wealth and connections.
What is clear is that power will shift to the South in 2023. A point to remember is that BAT will be a man to watch.
The Way Forward
In the end four factors will determine who become the presidential candidate in 2023; The Presidency, politics of the Northwest, APC Governors’ Forum and BAT. The interests of these groups intersects at different levels of analysis.
The interest of the presidency is in its succession plan. The interest of APC Governors’ Forum is that they want a presidential candidate among them. The Northwest can not give power without an eye to watch happenings in the corridor of power. BAT even not having his way can influence who become the presidential candidate as the kingmaker he was taunted to be.
Can APC go back to it’s merger of 2013 to produce the president. Are Nigerians willing to give APC the support in 2023 like in 2015 & 2019? Would the election be free, fair and credible are other strong variables outside the total control of the APC as the ruling party.
This is the right time for PMB to show leadership or the party will have internal crisis like it is having in many states after congresses for it’s local government and state executives. The road to the presidency is tough comes 2023. God bless Nigeria.
17th January, 2022.