The decision by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to dissolve all party structures at wards, states, local and zonal levels has not gone down well with party stakeholders.
The resolution, Daily Independent also gathered, was to weaken the influence of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the party, ahead of the 2023 general elections. Tinubu is said to be eying the presidency in 2023 even though he has not made it public.
At a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, the APC NEC dissolved all states, zonal, and national party structures.
According to the resolution reached at the meeting, the dissolved executives at all levels will now act as caretaker committees with the mandate to produce substantive executives ahead of the election of the new executives by June 2021.
The party’s NEC also extended the tenure of the party’s Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee headed by Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni by six months.
Credible sources told Daily Independent that during the NEC meeting, some party members opposed the decision to dissolve all the state organs but the move was quickly shot down by the camp of the president.
Though they spoke on condition of anonymity, many leaders of the party who reacted to the issue said the decision taken by the NEC was done in bad faith and a coup against Tinubu, who enjoys the loyalty of many of the executives in different states.
A former senator, who is a chieftain of the party from the Northern part of the country, said it is unfair for the NEC to dissolve all the states excos as many of the states are peaceful.
He said the big stick should have been wielded on states where there is crisis like Ebonyi APC which has been in crisis following the defection of Governor Dave Umahi to the party.
“Ordinarily, they should not have announced a blanket dissolution of all the excos. They should have limited it to states with challenges. These people have tenure of office. Any of them can go to court to challenge the dissolution”.
The chieftain, who said the move was targeted at Tinubu, said whether the state executives are dissolved or not, Tinubu will continue to enjoy the support of APC governors nationwide.
“In their myopic thinking, the dissolution will weaken Jagaban’s base and reduce his hold on the party structures across the country. But they miss it. Most of the governors are with Tinubu will do everyand critical stakeholders who thing to retain their hold on the party”.
Another chieftain of the party from the South-West part of the country also said the move was targeted at Tinubu to weaken his political base.
According to him, it is a mystery why the APC in Lagos could be dissolved in spite of the unity it enjoys and the fact that it delivered last Saturday’s bye-election to the party.
All I know is that all the plots to demystify Asiwaju will fail in the fullness of time. They can only try, they cannot succeed. Asiwaju is not just someone you can pushover and you expect to succeed politically”, he said.
Daily Independent also gathered that some state executives may take the party to court to challenge the legality of the dissolution.
When contacted, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, state chairman of the APC in Lagos, said he is studying the decision and will soon make a pronouncement on the issue.
“I don’t have any comment for now. I just want to study what happened. After I’m done with that, then I will make my comment”, he said.