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Anxiety in APC Over Tinubu’s Rumoured Plan to Dump Party

We are insisting on level playing field - Tinubu's supporter

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The widespread rumour of plan by a frontline presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to dump the ruling party, has generated anxiety among some of his loyalists in the party as well as his followers, who believe he may join the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

While the plan has topped discussions in political circles, insiders in Tinubu’s camp are hinging this on fears that their principal may not be fairly treated in the party’s presidential primaries.

A prominent Tinubu supporter told Grassroots Today that the former Lagos state governor started hatching the plan, following signs that “Aso Rock is being manipulated to back a certain aspirant, as against leaving the contest open to all aspirants.”

Most of the aggrieved party members and supporters of the aspiration of Tinubu all agree on the possibility of a “cabal” in the Presidency manipulating the primaries.

The fears were heightened recently with the aborted removal of Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Yobe state Governor, Mai Mala Buni, allegedly with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari.

It was also gathered that Tinubu’s followers are not comfortable that he is not having a say in preparations for the March 26 National Convention, but a party source explained that “this should be expected.

“Once he has thrown his hat into the ring, he has relinquished his position as a leader of the party and he is not supposed to be involved in processes leading up to the convention,” he stated.

One of the aspirant’s loyalists said the extensive consultations by the politician, is to build a groundswell of support for his defection if the need arises.

“Asiwaju is an undisputed political tactician, who saw this long ago and had started building a huge army of sympathisers for his possible defection,” he said.

A frontline leader of APC and prominent member of the Tinubu camp, in an interview, spoke about the possibility of his leaving APC, but said that can’t happen until after the primaries.

“If anything will happen at all, that will be after the primaries. Right now, we believe we will win, but if we are unfairly treated, if we believe that there is no level playing field, then there will be consequences.

“We have sounded a note of warning to all the relevant bodies. We are stakeholders and founders of this party and the least it can do for us is maintaining a level playing field for all aspirants. We are not asking for too much and we are not asking for the entitlement.

“If you defeat us fairly, okay, but don’t go and discriminate against our ticket. If the contrary happens, there will be an implosion.

“For now, we believe in the party, we are canvassing within the party, we believe the majority of the members of the party are with us and they will vote for us to get the presidential ticket of the APC.

“What we ask for is that the party should just be fair to all aspirants, so that anybody who is going to win, will win and anybody who is going to lose, will lose transparently.

“To now think that they will turn somebody into a kingmaker and he will now short change the fundamental right of everybody in the party to participate in choosing the flag bearer, that will be counter-productive,” he added.

On whether or not Tinubu will pitch tent with SDP, he said, “there is nothing like SDP. Do they have a national structure? They don’t. If we are going anywhere, it should be a party with a national structure.”


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