(By Chris K. Amadi) – With the 2023 election in Nigeria a shouting distance away, forces loyal to Senator Ahmed Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and those in support of Rt. Hon. Rotimi Ameachi, Minister of Transportation have been engaged in what many observers have described as the mother of battles for the control of the party machinery in be guaranteed the presidential ticket of the party in the 2023 election.
The frenzy, according to observers might not be unconnected with the understanding that power is returning to the south at the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term, and both Amaechi and Tinubu are believed to be positioning for the party ticket.
To ensure control of the party does not slip from his hands, reports have it that Tinubu, whose support paved way for the ascension of Adam Oshiomhole as the national chairman of the party, is not leaving any thing to chance to ensure that another loyalist of his, former governor of Oyo State, Ajimobi, takes over from Oshiomhole, who has vacated the seat on the orders of the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja.
Meanwhile, Victor Giadom, point man of the Amaechi’s camp who has since been claiming to be the acting national president of the party has been given a red card by the High Court sitting in Port Harcourt. The court ruled that Victor Giadom cannot be the Acting National Chairman of the party because he resigned from his position as Deputy National Secretary of the party to contest the 2019 general election as the Deputy Governor and therefore lacked capacity to claim membership of the party’s National Working Committee.
Consequent upon a suit filed by Dele Moses & Others, the state High Court presided over by Justice Florence Fiberesima also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining Giadom from parading himself as a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC. It further restrained him from issuing, signing or endorsing any document or correspondence to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, or any other body or institution in the capacity of the National Chairman or Acting National Chairman of the APC or howsoever as an officer of the APC.
The developments in the APC in Abuja and Rivers State, including the emergence of Igo Aguma as the acting chairman of APC in Rivers State, appears to be in favour of the Tinubu faction in the APC, and against the wishes of the Amaechi camp.
In the mean time, the defection of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Shuabu from the APC to the Peoples Democratic Party, Friday in Benin has increased the number of PDP governors to 16 while the APC is now down to 19, setting the stage for a titanic contest for the office of the president in 2023.