Details emerged yesterday why the 24 Governors elected on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC wanted an endorsement for a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari.
The APC Governors had pushed for an endorsement for Buhari but the plan was deferred by the APC national leadership at the party’s NEC meeting in Abuja.
Rather the party passed a vote of confidence on the President and the John Odigie Oyegun led National Working Committee.
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State is the Chairman of the APC Governors Forum.
Sources said the Governors wanted an endorsement for the President as a back up plan to guarantee their second term tenure, while those who have completed their tenure will have an easy ride in securing the party governorship ticket for their preferred successors.
The source said “It was a smart calculation by the governors.They wanted an endorsement for the President as a basis for his full support for their second term tickets. Those who are about to complete their tenure would have an easy ride to secure the party’s governorship ticket in the States taking a cue from the endorsement of the president”
He continued “They wanted to set a precedent by using the President endorsement for a second term. If they had succeeded, it would have been a trend in the State chapters of the party. The Governors would have also gotten endorsements and those leaving will get same for their choice successors”
“Most of the Governors are not too comfortable with the party leadership. The Governors wanted to play a fast one because they are not certain of the outcome of the Congresses in their states especially in States like Imo State where some party leaders are in fierce contest for the soul of the party with the governor”
The source stated “The party leadership must have noticed that such a move will be counter productive not for the President but for the party in the States. If they had endorsed the President, the same would have happened in the States for the Governors and it would have led to a backlash and more crisis which is what we wanted to avoid”
“Can’t you read in between the lines.How can they be talking of endorsement for the President when the processes that would lead to such are absent? Congresses must come at all levels in the party and our national convention must hold.After that, then the real politicking for 2019 starts”
“There is need for Congresses and a national convention. A special committee will be set up to fix dates for this important events. The President has assured us of bringing in more party members into governance by reconstituting the boards. The physche of party members ought to be revived in order to get them to work for the party again in 2019. And we are happy the process has begun”
“I must admit that President Buhari is a great leader and he truly deserves the presidential ticket for a second term but this has to be done in an orderly manner to get all the entire APC on the same page”
IMPLICATIONS IN IMO APC.
This development has certainly rubbed off in Imo State. If the endorsement for Buhari as planned by the Rochas Okorocha led APC Governors Forum, had sailed through at the NEC meeting, Okorocha would have been in a perfect position to easily endorse his choice successor as the governorship candidate of the party in Imo.
This would have unsettled key stakeholders in the party who are also eying the party’s ticket as well.
Imo APC has been on the hustings with Senator Ifeanyi Araraume leading an array of political forces to challenge whoever Okorocha unveils as his sucessor at the Primary. If an endorsement for Buhari had scaled through at NEC Meeting, perhaps Okorocha may have swiftly followed suit in Imo to cage the rampaging moves of the dreaded senator.
With a temporary break put on the endorsement, there is still a level playing ground for all stakeholders in the party in Imo State who will now wait for the party’s congresses to determine fresh party officers as a prelude to the governorship primary.
For now,its a jig saw puzzle and anybody’s game in the fierce scramble for the prized ticket of the ruling party in Imo State.