The political weather in the 36 states of the federation is presently gripped by anxiety, horse trading, scheming and lobbying ahead of the October 2, 2021 state congresses of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The party’s top shots are deeply scheming to plant their preferred candidates for the various states executive offices as part of efforts toward achieving their 2023 ambitions.
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Daily Trust reports that political bigwigs at the federal level who have an axe to grind in their states in the build-up to the 2023 poll were already deeply enmeshed in different strategies that would earn them victory.
Multiple sources confided in our correspondent that the state congresses would be more rancorous and violent than the recently concluded ward and local government exercises.
Political actors who spoke with Daily Trust yesterday listed Rivers, Osun, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Abia, Kebbi and Imo among others as flash-point states, adding that only a few states would experience peaceful congresses.
Power brokers in various states were said to be positioning their preferred candidates to emerge members of the state working committee so they could secure various tickets to contest future elections or get help while contesting for positions at the federal level.
Pundits have predicted that governors, senators and other political bigwigs would “clash” in various states due to different interests, while their supporters would also fight dirty.
A chieftain of the APC from the South West, Chief Jackson Lekan Ojo, told Daily Trust in a telephone interview yesterday that the party was still building on illegality.
“The kind of implosion we have been envisaging in APC will begin to occur on October 2, because there is a lot of turbulence. Many politicians are interested because if you want to control the federal level, you will first of all try to control the state.
“For the state congress, there are a lot of vested interests. Each of the governors would want to have absolute control. Senators who want to contest for governorship would want to hijack the process and that is where there will be serious problem.
“APC is still building on illegalities and at the end of the day, all these court cases will come out and you will discover that all that they have built will be nullified.
“And let me tell you this, if care is not taken, APC may not participate in the 2023 general elections because the cabals are trying to outdo one another,” he said.
An elder statesman and former presidential candidate, Chief Chekwas Okorie, who is a chieftain of the party, also expressed worry that those not satisfied with the outcome of the ward and LG congresses could disrupt the October 2 exercise, and called on security agencies to be at alert.
“It will be difficult to hijack or influence or control what happens on October 2, except by some level of inducement, or they are able to campaign vigorously among the known delegates to go for particular candidates of their choice,” he added.
Our correspondent reports that after the state congresses, APC would conduct zonal congresses for the election of zonal executives after which a national convention would be held for the election of a new crop of National Working Committee (NWC) members.