In 23 states, APC is fighting crisis

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) is facing an intra-party crisis in 23 states as a result of parallel ward and local government congresses. The newly-formed nine-member reconciliation committee, led by former Nasarawa governor Adamu Abdullahi, is reportedly targeting five of the 23 states where parallel congresses were held as must-resolve issues before the October 2 state congress.

Three of the five states are in the South-West, where the party’s four state chapters held parallel ward and local government congresses.

Lagos, where five factions have emerged, Ogun, where three factions technically exist, and Osun, where the two dominant factions have remained on the street, tearing each other’s cloth, are the three must-resolve issues.

The party’s Ekiti State chapter is also embroiled in a factional conflict, but the matter has been adjudicated because the faction loyal to APC national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, is already in court, fighting the mainstream faction loyal to Governor Kayode Fayemi. The conflict in the party’s Ogun State chapter is primarily between Senator Ibikunle Amosun’s supporters and Governor Dapo Abiodun’s supporters, who have Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s support.

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The third faction in the state is loyal to former governor Aremo Olusegun Osoba and is not affiliated with either of the two mainstream factions. Though the Lagos4Lagos/Oki combination had a huge success in the final list of ward executives, endorsed by the national headquarters, there are five factions vying for supremacy in the Lagos State chapter.

Loyalists of Lagos4Lagos, led by Mr Olajide Adediran, a gubernatorial candidate, swept nearly all of the major positions in the Apapa local government of the party’s incumbent caretaker chairman, Mr. Tunde Balogun. Balogun was sworn in with the support of all the ward chairmen and was endorsed by Abuja, but he lost his base.

Lagos4Lagos also held a parallel local government congress and submitted a separate winners’ list to the national headquarters, much like the ward congress, which largely prevailed in the final national collation.

However, Fouad Oki, a candidate for Balogun’s seat, told the Nigerian Tribune that the party’s various factions were unable to reach a consensus.

Mr. Moshood Salvador, a former state chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, leads the fourth breakaway faction known as the Conscience group (PDP).

AMCON (Ambode Campaign Organization) is the fifth faction, which is clearly loyal to former governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

Apart from the three states in the South West, the reconciliation committee, which is expected to be inaugurated this week, will focus on Anambra State, where a governorship election is pending and party gladiators are fuming over the candidate, Senator Andy Uba, and Zamfara State, where decampee Governor Matawalle is struggling to establish himself as the state chapter’s leader, despite his defection.

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With the party’s leadership looking for more gubernatorial defections from the opposition PDP, Matawalle’s case is seen as a must-resolve to persuade other PDP governors who are considering leaving to join the APC.

Kwara, Imo, Delta, Enugu, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, and others are among the states wracked by internal strife.

The threat by the party’s interim national body to sanction those involved in parallel congresses or litigation has not deterred disgruntled members from airing their grievances in court or through parallel congresses.

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