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EXCLUSIVE: Dangers Ahead For APC AS PDP Alumni Serve As ‘Landlords’ In NWC



When the All Progressives Congress (APC) was formed in 2013, it was regarded by many politicians as a marriage of strange bedfellows because of the group of people who came together to wrestle power from the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 
APC was a product of three legacy political parties – Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), an offshoot of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). Towards the end of the formation of the party, a part of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) joined the moving train before APC was registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Major General Muhammadu Buhari now President led CPC into the merger while former Governors Bola Tinubu (Lagos) and Ogbonnaya Onu (Abia) led the ACN and ANPP teams. APGA was led into the merger by then Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.
The power tussle and implosion in PDP before the 2015 general elections made some of the party’s chieftains, who regarded themselves as New PDP (nPDP) pitch their tent with the newly registered APC. The nPDP members defected to APC with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, ex-Kwara State Governor, Senator Bukola Saraki; five governors; Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara) and Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto), former governors and ex-ministers, among others.
With a formidable team, APC took over power during the 2015 general elections at the federal level to end the 16 years reign of the PDP that promised to rule Nigeria for 60 years. APC also swept some PDP states and won more seats at the National and states’ House of Assembly. The victory at the polls changes the fortune of APC from opposition to a ruling party.
Since the formation of APC in 2013, the party has produced five national chairmen – former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; ex-Edo State Governors, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni and former Nassarawa State Governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Akande served as the interim chairman at the foundation stage of APC while Oyegun, Oshiomhole, and Adamu were elected during the party’s national conventions. Following the crisis in the party after the controversial removal of Oshiomhole, Buni was appointed as chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee and Extraordinary convention committee. He conducted the national convention that produced Senator Abdullahi Adamu. Adamu is the only APC national chairman that is not a founding member of the ruling party. He came from the Peoples Democratic Party.
During the March 26 national convention that produced Senator Adamu and other members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC), some of the elected national and zonal officers were politicians who defected to the ruling party from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Many of the ex-chieftains of the PDP are currently holding key positions in the APC NWC as well as zonal, state, local government and ward executives.
Many founding members of APC lost out during the party’s last congresses and national convention to defectors, thereby making PDP’s alumni to be serving as ‘landlords’ in APC National Working Committee and other party and elective positions at the state and federal levels.
Apart from Senator Adamu, other former PDP members who were elected into key National Working Committee positions are Senator Iyiola Omisore (National Secretary), Festus Fuanter (Deputy National Secretary), F.N. Nwosu (National Welfare Secretary), Betty Edu (National Women Leader), Mustapha Salihu (National Vice Chairman, North-West) and Muazu Bawa Rjau (National Vice Chairman, North-Central).
Others are Nze Chidi Duru (Deputy National Organising Secretary), Ahmed El-Marzuk (National Legal Adviser),
Uguru Matthew Ofoka (National Treasurer) and Abubakar Maikafi (National Auditor).
The emergence of the above former PDP members as APC national officers left many foundation members who contested with them out in the cold.
Adamu and Omisore, former PDP chieftains are the two most powerful people holding crucial positions in APC. They determine a lot of things in the day-to-day activities of the ruling party.
Little wonder why Nigerians and indeed the core APC loyalists are questioning the Adamu’s unilateral decision to announce Ahmad Lawan as consensus candidate of the party’s presidential primary in a manner that left too much to be desired. Today, Nigerians are wondering whether or Abdullahi Adamu’s heart still belongs to the PDP and may want Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to win the 2023 general election, going by his action in this run up to the APC presidential election primary.
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