APC Chairmanship Slot Sets ACN Leaders On Collision Course
The battle over who becomes the interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) being formed via a merger of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP), The Action Conggress of Nigeria (ACN) and a faction of the All progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) as well as the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), seems to have set leaders of the ACN on war path as disagreements have ensued on who the choice candidate.
Already, the merging party has ceded the position of the Interim Chairman to the ACN, but the party is yet to agree on the candidate for the position as the battle has become a two horse race between incumbent National chairman of the ACN Akande and co chairman of the merger committee and a chieftain of the ACN, Tom Ikimi.
While Akande enjoys the support of the leaders of the ACN, Bola Tinubu, some members of the merger committees led by the ANPP are not comfortable with the seeming emergence of Akande and have rather opted for the chairman of the ACN merger contact committee, Tom Ikimi as the chairman.
For those opposed to the candidature of Akande they advanced that Ikimi should be allowed to ascend to the position of chairman because of the role he has played in steering the merger party to this stage.
Although, it was gathered that Tinubu had moved to undercut Ikimi by proposing the dissolution of the merger committee led by the Edo Chief, it was gathered that opposition against the choice of Akande had gone beyond members of ACN.
The issue of Akande and the chairmanship of the merger party was said to have dominated most meetings held by the merger parties; last week, with a number of ANPP members voicing opposition to the choice of Akande.
A source said that much as the leaders of the APC are trying their best to ensure that they overcome their differences, the crisis over the choice between Akande and Ikimi is assuming another dimension.
“The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is enmeshed in crisis over choice of who takes the leadership position of the APC. Two contending groups have emerged within the ACN for the Interim National Chairman position. There are supporters of Chief Tom Ikimi. It is apparent that Ikimi, Audu Ogbeh and Bode Mustapha among others, are opposed to Akande and they are championing Ikimi as the Interim APC Chairman,” a source said.
Some ANPP members who have teamed up with the Ikimi group were said to have argued that it would be difficult to pick Akande as chairman of APC as he doesn’t have a house in Abuja and does not like to attend meetings in Abuja.
“Those opposed to the choice of Akande have argued that Akande, who has no residence in Abuja, similarly does not like to attend meetings in Abuja. They wondered how such a person would be offered the national chairmanship position even in interim capacity.
“This group also believes that if Akande is selected for the position, with the situation that he does not have a residence in Abuja and does not like attending meetings in Abuja, it would then mean that party members would have to travel to Osun or Lagos State for meetings,” a source said.
It was, however, gathered that Tinubu is insisting on Akande and had replied critics of the former Osun State governor by declaring that he had provided a duplex for Akande in Abuja and that the ACN chairman was also free to stay in any hotel of his choice anytime he visits Abuja.
Those opposed to Akande were said to have also met with the leader of CPC, General Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the matter. But it was learnt that Buhari had asked to be left out of the leadership tussle in the APC.
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