A trending set of documents published by SaharaReporters with President Muhammadu Buhari single-handedly dictating the composition of the next Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress has triggered outrage, with many top party members describing the President as an ‘unrepentant dictator’.
The documents with the President’s signature endorsed some persons for key positions ahead the APC national convention, contrary to the position agitated for by a wide spectrum of the party, who expressed their preference for election over selection.
The documents exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters show that Buhari signed off on Senator Abdullahi Adamu as National Chairman, Senator John Akpanudoedehe from the South-South geopolitical zone as National Secretary, and Senator Ken Nnamani from the South-East as Deputy National Chairman (South).
Buhari also signed off on other positions that have been pinned down to geopolitical zones.
“Baba (Buhari) endorsing the zoning formula and the candidate has closed any further debate on the matter,” a presidential aide had told SaharaReporters.
“People will make a noise even if it is their own brother that is given this position. So, someone must make decisions to end some of this back and forth at some point.”
Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has been named as the person, who pressured President Buhari to sign the documents after successfully arguing the need to ensure the Fulani continue to have a hold on power via proxies, multiple sources told SaharaReporters.
They also accused El-Rufai of strategically leaking the documents with the Buhari’s signature to cement his reputation as the ultimate power broker in the ongoing battle for control of APC.
“We know who leaked the documents using a proxy, it’s Governor El-Rufai in a bid to prove a point to his colleagues and party members that he is fully in charge. He leaked the two sets of documents signed by the President to the public. This is after he and others tricked him to endorse these aspirants,” one of the sources told SaharaReporters.
“While he might have scored his point he has also successfully exposed the President as a dictator because the President should not have descended into the arena to the extent of throwing his signature all over the place.
“Don’t forget that El-Rufai had boasted that he will produce the next President of Nigeria on the platform of the APC and neither Bola Ahmed Tinubu nor Yemi Osinbajo will emerge. This kind of comment has no place in a democracy, and it is unfortunate that President Buhari is now an enabler of such dictatorial and fascist behavior.
“He is embarking on operation total take-over of the party and sworn that only a candidate loyal to the Fulani will take over power in 2023. It is alarming that he has been able to convince President Buhari along this line.
“First, he succeeded in getting a signed commitment from President Buhari that certain positions must be given to the people he decides. Now he is on another mission to actualise his vow that some first-term governors in the party will not return in 2023. Since he has the President under his control, he will use the incoming National Working Committee to frustrate these first-term governors,” the source added.
Meanwhile, SaharaReporters learnt there is anxiety among party chieftains in the Southern part of the country over the action of the governor.
An APC member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the security implications involved, noted that certain hardline Fulani comments made on Twitter by El-Rufai in 2012 is still playing out.
“Anyone that can trace the security meltdown in the north, especially in Kaduna State will understand that it was never this bad until El-Rufai monetised crime by paying Fulani gunmen that were attacking communities and that in part largely transmuted into the extreme banditry and kidnap for ransom in his state,” he said.
“Can you now imagine that this same man is the one now controlling the President and making him sign all manner of things? We have only seen the documents he decided to leak, we don’t know what other things he has made the old man sign. Maybe he has even signed off the whole of Nigeria to El-Rufai.
“The tragedy is not even the signing of party positions to El-Rufai. The tragedy is the Fulani angle. This twisted mindset that Fulani are overlords who dictate the direction the APC must follow and by implication what would happen to Nigeria. This is not about governance or party politics. It has now become a desperate venture to shield those currently terrorising Nigeria from trial at the end of this administration.”