In a bid to galvanise the views of top leaders of the newly-registered All Progressives Congress (APC), and to pre-empt any crisis of confidence that may erupt during the post merger roll-out of its structures, the party’s interim management committee has scheduled a meeting for next week Tuesday in Abuja.
THISDAY gathered from a reliable source that the meeting ostensibly tagged, ‘stakeholders meeting’ was however a fence- mending move to try to rally support for the interim leadership, especially as it embarks of the setting up of party structures in the states and local council areas.
As part of efforts to strengthen APC, a special committee headed by Alhaji Bello Masari meant to work out modalities for setting up party structures is to meet tomorrow to draw-up a roadmap.
According to the source, the stakeholders summit will have all the top leaders of the party in attendance, including former national and state officers of the three political parties, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progress Change (CPC) and All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) that formed APC.
Though the source said the meeting is being planned to take stock of the progress recorded so far by party towards unifying its operations and possibly come up with a roadmap, there are indications that more serious issues may have necessitated the convening of the summit.
It was learnt that part of the worry of the interim leadership is that urgent measures must be taken to bring under control some behind-the-scene moves by interest groups trying campaign for their preferred presidential candidates.
For instance, last week was agog with surreptitious campaigns by those trying to draft the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal to vie for APC flag bearer and the die-hard CPC group who were insisting on the candidacy of General Muhammadu Buhari.
The matter, THISDAY gathered, was made even worst following Buhari’s uncompromising posture about contesting for the presidency, which was said to be at variance with an earlier understanding that he and the former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu arrived at.
The source also said the APC would try to seize the opportunity of a gathering of the party’s leaders during their condolence visit to Lagos State Governor, Mr. Raji Fashola, to stoke the fire of agitations within its ranks.
The alleged rancour created by the presidential ambition of Buhari came to a height when the Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, had to issue a press statement debunking the frosty relationship between Tinubu and the former Head of State.
Muhammed in the statement, said the rancour existed only in the imagination of the peddlers of the rumour, adding that the relationship of the top party leaders cannot be more cordial as it is at present.
Apart from Buhari and Tambuwal, there are other persons who are said to be nursing presidential ambition. These include, former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Audu Ogbeh, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
The other issue that is generating concern among the stakeholders is that of how to deal with the likely desire of incumbent governors of the APC-controlled states to run for a second term.
A chieftain of the opposition party, said already the matter has started to generate turbulence in some states like Ogun, where former leaders of CPC are said to be expressing displeasure over an alleged over-bearing influence of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
He said a decision has to be made by the party on how to treat governors who harbour second term interest and who might be seeking an automatic ticket to actualise their desire.