By Gbadebo Oluwaseun
All Progressives Congress, APC, will at its national convention elect its national chairman and the APC Governors Forum is expected to have a say in the outcome.
Incumbent national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun will face fierce challenge from former union leader, Adams Oshiomhole.
With the national convention slated for 14 May, contestants have begun to solicit votes but it is those of the governors, most of whom control the party structure at state level that might determine the winner.
At a dinner with President Muhammadu Buhari who is seeking a second term in office, APC governors hinted that an announcement would be made on their choice.
Chairman of APC Governors Forum, Rochas Okorocha hinted that the governors would endorse one candidate. “The public will be duly briefed in due course,” he said to newsmen after the dinner.
But a senior member of the party told Chronicle NG that the governors who had supported Odigie-Oyegun all along appear to have backtracked.
“President Buhari appears to favour former Edo governor, Adams Oshiomhole and it looks like the governors will toe the line. For some reasons, the President does not think Oyegun can help his secure a second term.”
The source revealed that former Lagos governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is pulling the strings behind the scene and has influenced the President’s decision.
“The President knows that Tinubu is a political tactician and has agreed to allow him lead the line. Tinubu and Oyegun have fallen out long ago and there has been a power tussle in the party.
“Buhari identified this and called on Tinubu to reorganise and restrategise ahead of the 2019 elections,” he added.
In February, President Buhari has designated Tinubu to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts of APC.
Tinubu was specifically expected to resolve APC crises in Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Oyo, Kogi and other states but his efforts have yielded little result.
Tinubu also known as the national leader of APC blamed Odigie-Oyegun of sabotaging the reconciliation process.
“Drawing from your behaviour in Kogi, Kaduna and with regard to the state chapter assessment requested, I am led to the inference that you have no intention of actually supporting my assignment,” Tinubu said in a letter.
“Instead, you apparently seek to undermine my mandate by engaging in dilatory tactics for the most part.”
“When forced to act, you do so in an arbitrary and capricious manner, without the counsel of other National Working Committee (NWC) members and without regard to our internal procedures.”
In recent past, APC governors have proven to be very unstable in their loyalty.
In February, the APC governors forum had thrown its weight behind Odigie-Oyegun and the National Executive Committee’s decision to extend the tenure of elected leaders within the party but once President Buhari expressed his displeasure at the decision they immediately backed down and supported the President.
“With the President believed to be backing Oshiomhole, it will be difficult to see the governors take a different route,” the source told Chronicle NG.
“Some of these governors are seeking reelection and others are hoping to install their preferred candidate as successor, not many of them can stand up to the President,” the source added.