There are indications that Kano State governor, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, could emerge as the presidential candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in the 2015 general elections.
This follows the decision of the party to dump former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu from the race to pick its presidential and vice presidential candidates for the 2015 presidential election. National Mirror learnt that the governor is widely accepted among the different strata of
the party as a candidate that could boost its chances in the election. Equally in his favour, according to findings, was the result of the recent local government elections in the state where the party garnered over two million votes, winning all the 44 local government chairmanship positions and all the councillorship seats. Kwankwaso, it was learnt has what it takes to win the presidency for the opposition party, even as our source said that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was never in contention.
National Mirror investigations revealed that Buhari and Tinubu are not enjoying the support of the party’s local and international backers to run for election.
It would be recalled that there were rumours of the APC flying a Muslim-Muslim ticket of Buhari and Tinubu for the 2015 presidential election, a rumour yet to be refuted by the party leadership.
A competent source told National Mirror that although Tinubu would throw his hat into the ring and contest for the party’s ticket in its primaries, he is not among the favoured.
The source said that the former governor would only want to use his aspiration as a negotiating instrument to secure a good bargain for the South-West geo-political zone.
The source said: “Buhari and Tinubu are already out of the calculations in APC’s presidential ticket for next year’s election. Local backers of the APC, which included former heads of state and prominent former military generals, traditional and religious leaders across the country have made it clear to the party leadership that both Buhari and Tinubu are out of reckoning for the party’s ticket.
“In the same vein, international backers of the party have also expressed preference for a fresh, young and vibrant individual to fly the party’s flag in 2015. But I can tell you categorically that Tinubu will want to contest for the party’s ticket, but he will only use it to bargain for a good position for his South-West zone.”
He also told National Mirror that the party has zoned its National Chairmanship to the South-South, while it presidential ticket has been zoned to the North-West.
The South-West will produce the party’s vice presidential candidate while the President of the Senate has been zoned to the South- East.
On the insinuation that the party was positioning Tambuwal to clinch its presidential ticket, the source said: “That is not correct. Although Tambuwal is a detribalised politician, he has not garnered enough experience to preside over the affairs of this nation at this time. It will be a boost for the APC if he is part of the wind of change blowing across the country.”
The party has constituted a sub-committee out of its National Convention Committee to work out an arrangement to zone the party’s national offices ahead of its forthcoming national convention.
Sen. Joseph Waku, a member of the convention committee, disclosed this to newsmen yesterday shortly after the committee’s close-door meeting at the Sokoto State Government Lodge in Abuja.
Waku said the committee would continue to fine-tune modalities on how to zone the party’s national offices and ensure there is no rancour in the party.
Waku, however, declined to name the members of the sub-committee.
He said that the committee also constituted sub-committees to deal with different responsibilities toward ensuring a successful national convention of the party.
“We have just constituted some sub-committees for our convention, especially those that will zone the national offices.
“We will converge today (Tuesday) to fine-tune on how these sub-committees will work, especially when to submit their reports to the National Convention Committee.
“Membership of some committees were not complete at the meeting; so we will continue with our meeting today to address some of the issues that are still pending,” he said.
It would be recalled that the APC had inaugurated a 15-member committee ahead of its national convention scheduled for June 13 and 14 in Abuja.
Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State is the chairman of the committee, while Sen. Chris Ngige is the secretary.
National Mirror also learnt that there are plots by the national leadership of the party to checkmate its governors, who some leaders felt were becoming overbearing and meddlesome in running the affairs of the party.
This followed the alleged arm-twisting of the leadership by the governors to appoint Wamakko, as the secretary of the party’s national convention.
A source, who did not want his name mentioned disclosed to National Mirror that a senator from the South- West was pencilled down for the post initially, but the governors, under the aegis of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, PGF, disagreed with the party leadership and insisted that one of them must be secretary, a condition they got away with.
It was gathered that the APC was trying to guard against a situation where, like in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the governors elected on the platform of the party will call the shots in running its affairs.
This was just as the party was said to have shortlisted three prominent members in the South-West as possible vice presidential candidates, among whom is a serving governor, a former governor and a serving senator (names withheld).
National Mirror findings revealed that the serving senator is more favoured to emerge as the party’s vice presidential candidate, as the party was said to be disposed to picking a young presidential candidate to be complimented by an elderly vice presidential candidate, in its avowed bid to wrestle power from the ruling PDP.
Analysts however opined that unless the party was able to resolve all the crises emanating from its nationwide congresses and clashes of personality and battles for the control of the soul of the party in various states, making appreciable impact in the 2015 election may remain just a pipe dream.