By Catherine Agbo
The recent factionalisation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and planned defection of key members of the party, especially governors and members of the National Assembly to other political parties, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rattled the Presidency to the extent that President Muhammadu Buhari is set to embark on door-to-door campaigns, DAILY ASSET can report.
The president, who is on a drive to personally appeal to influential members of the National Assembly and governors not to leave the APC, is scheduled to visit Senate President, Bukola Saraki when he returns from the USA.
Saraki is in the USA where he led a delegation of the National Assembly on a parliamentary visit. The visit, among others, is meant to strengthen parliamentary and diplomatic relationship between Nigeria and the United States.
A source, who is a member of the committee, told DAILY ASSET that President Buhari has also set up a committee headed by the Director-general, Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura, to reach out to aggrieved state governors to placate them and prevail on them not to leave the party.
According to the source, others scheduled for visits by the President include Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who has been tipped as presidential candidate of the Reformed-APC, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and Senator Aliyu Wamakko from Sokoto State.
Tambuwal, whose political profile has been on the rise, is being touted as one of those to be presented to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by the R-APC as part of the conditions for mass defection of R-APC members to the PDP, and sources say this has unsettled the president and his party, who are trying to reach out to him.
Similarly, the visit to Wamakko, who is the chairman of the Northern Senators Forum and close ally of Saraki, is to appeal to him to reach out to members of his forum to stay action on their planned defection from the APC.
In the case of Governor Ortom, it was gathered that the President has since realised that the governor has been bullied in the party and treated unfairly, hence the decision to reach out to him.
DAILY ASSET’s source said the President had been misinformed about the potentials of Ortom but had since realised that he had won the hearts of a good number of the Benue electorate following the handling of the farmers-herders crisis, and that these supporters were bound to follow him if he left the APC for another party.
Recall that Buba Galadima, leader of the RAPC, who announced the formation of RAPC in Abuja, penultimate Wednesday, said the faction had activated its parallel structures from the national to the ward levels, with leaders at each of the levels.
The factionalisation of the APC will now pave the way for its aggrieved members to rescind its membership, on the basis of factionalisation.
Citing reasons for the factionalisation, Galadima, President Muhammadu Buhari’s estranged ally, said Nigeria faces an existential threat arising from three years of near destruction of this country and the exacerbation of our ethnic, religious and divisive cleavages.
“We will in concert with others offer real change to Nigeria. Not fake change. It is clear that our party needs a leadership that will live by its founding ideals. We have, therefore, decided to legitimately lead those members to work to rebuild our nation more firmly on genuine democratic principles, to enshrine good governance and restore the faith of Nigerians in the possibility of the existence of a prosperous, secure and peaceful nation,’’ he said.
He advised Nigerians not to despair, and assured that a rescue plan was being put together and would soon be unfolded.
Galadima who described the APC government as a monumental disaster, even worse than the government it replaced, pointed out that the party that was a vehicle for enthroning the Buhari government was rendered powerless by manipulations and complete lack of due process in its operations.
He also accused the APC leadership of imposing dictatorship, impunity, abuse of power, complete abdication of constitutional and statutory responsibilities, infidelity to the rule of law and constitutionalism, the outspoken former National Secretary of defunct CPC, said that the APC-led federal government had failed to ensure the security and welfare of the people and had elevated nepotism to unacceptable height.
Galadima further accused the APC of failing to deliver on its key promises to the nation, saying that there was no evidence of political will to reverse the decline of the party, while leaders who had created these circumstances continued to behave as if Nigerians owed the party votes as a matter of right.