There are strong indications that the presidential primary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) may not hold on Sunday, May 29, 2022, as scheduled.
LEADERSHIP Friday checks revealed that 72 hours to presidential primary election, Eagle Square, venue of the event is a mere shadow of its boisterous self. Unlike in the past when such events by the APC are billed to take place at the venue, there is nothing at Eagle Square to show that preparations are ongoing, including installation of equipment, erection of stages, podiums and billboards of aspirants, as well as posting of their posters around the convention venue.
On the other hand, the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, venue of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary, has been a beehive of activities since Tuesday, with technicians and other event planners working assiduously to fix the place up. Also, the APC national secretariat was deserted yesterday as leaders of the party were in their respective states for the governorship and Assemblies primaries.
And there is no guarantee that they would be back in Abuja until tomorrow when the National Assembly primaries would have been concluded. LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that safe for staff members of the APC national secretariat who have been raising memos in preparation for the event, the convention committees were yet to be constituted.
The party had rescheduled its presidential primary, bringing the date back from May 30-June 1 to May 29-30, 2022. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed June 3, 2023 as the deadline for all political parties to hold and conclude their primaries.
Reacting to the development, the support groups of the party’s national leader and presidential aspirant known as the Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu Support Group (AATSG) described the situation as unfortunate. The national publicity secretary of the support groups, Sampson Atasia Oburu, wondered the kind of example the APC was setting after promising Nigerians change.
He said, “I wonder what kind of example we as the ruling party are setting after we promised Nigerians change. We moved to Next Level; one would have thought that we would move from doing things anyhow to doing the right thing the first time all the time which to a large extent would muster unity within the party, raise the status of the party and usher in a new era of hope.
“It is extremely important to sustain and, in our own case now, restore confidence of the electorates and the public in the party by the electorate because as it is, Nigerians are fast losing confidence in our ability to lead the country to the much needed Next Level.
“There are rancour and strife in almost all the states controlled by our party: multiple factions, poor internal democratic processes where the electoral processes are hijacked by one or a few individuals against the collective strength of the majority. As it is now, what is the solution to produce a credible candidate that can win this election for us?
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his commitment to seeing only candidates with integrity prevail in the 2023 general election. The president stated this when he received an APC aspirant vying for Kano Central Senatorial seat, Senator Basheer Lado. The president also restated his commitment to peaceful and fair elections in 2023.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after he met with the president, Senator Lado said “As you are aware, Kano State is the largest producer of votes in Nigeria. It is the decider of who becomes the next president in the presidential election. “Just like my Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has done in the past, I respectfully informed and reassured Mr President that the APC is still the party to beat in Kano despite recent defections.”
According to him, President Buhari declared his commitment to credible elections that would ensure the emergence of candidates with integrity. “After my briefing, Mr President reiterated his commitment to credible and peaceful elections and also his desire to see candidates with integrity prevail at the polls all across Nigeria,” Lado said.