The All Progressives Congress, APC has started experiencing what big political parties usually experience, and what has wreaked havoc on the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as a silent but potent war to become the APC’s flag bearer for the 2015 presidential election may have begun in the party.
Involved in the silent battle, according to sources are former Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Kano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar who is yet to formally join the APC, but will from all indications join if he’d be assured of a presidential ticket.
Having brought together people from different parties, sources say the APC would probably throw the race wide open so as to ensure no one is left aggrieved at the end.
After achieving most of its goals thus far, the opposition party is said to be planning to organise its first national convention to elect a substantive leadership by March.
Buhari has not declared an ambition yet, but many believe he still craves a chance at the Aso Rock Villa.
Former EFCC chairman Ribadu is also yet to openly declare for the race but he is said to be bidding his time as well.
Kwankwaso is one of the five aggrieved PDP governors who recently defected to APC.
He has a huge support of northerners, especially those who defected from the PDP.
Atiku’s name is also making the rounds as a likely presidential aspirant in the party.
The leaders of the APC had extended a hand of friendship to him, and he told them he would consult with his associates and give the APC leaders a feedback.
The party’s Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, who spoke with Thisday yesterday on telephone, maintained that the party had not officially taken any step to narrow its choice of flagbearer.
“At the moment, the party has not considered the issue of who its presidential candidate would be. Until we get to that stage, we will not bar anyone from expressing interest or aspiring for the presidential candidacy. The party is not going to stop anyone from expressing his views, especially when it has to do with legitimate ambition.
“All I say is that everything will be done according to the rules, there will be party primaries to elect candidates for elective offices in the land, from the local, states to the national levels,” he said.
Mohammed said for now the matter had not been officially tabled at the party’s top hierarchy as a major priority because the APC was busy with its national recruitment drive.
Despite the official position of APC, analysts say with President Jonathan obvious to be planning to run for re-election in 2015, it would be in the party’s best interest to field a worthy opposition, as a candidate not widely accepted in the country will be tantamount to the failure of APC in 2015.