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2023: How Division In APC Threatens Tinubu’s Candidacy

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APP Discontinues Petition Against Tinubu At Presidential Election Tribunal

The implementation of the Naira redesign policy and the resultant scarcity of the new notes appear to be tearing the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) apart.

On Friday, a protest broke out in Oyo State capital, Ibadan, as people attacked banks and other locations. Earlier in the week, a protest also broke out in Benin City, Edo State, Enugu as well as other States.

However, the biggest protest has been coming from within the ruling party, as Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the party took the first salvo during a rally in Ogun State.

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During the rally in Abeokuta, Tinubu said the redesigning of the Naira is directly targeted at his presidential ambition. He also maintained the same position in Ekiti State during the party’s rally.

In the last 72 hours, Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has been on media rounds— he has spoken to Channels TV, TVC, Arise TV and BBC. On each appearance, the message has been the same: some elements in the Villa are conspiring against Mr Tinubu.

Some of the comments by the Kaduna State governor fueled speculations that the “Villa Cabals” are backing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who contested against Tinubu but lost.

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However, in subsequent interviews, El-rufai clarified that the VP is not part of the people sabotaging the party.

“This is not the policy of our candidate (Bola Tinubu), this is the policy of fifth columnists. They want to bring us down, they want to bring this country down,” El-rufai had said during the interview on Channels TV.

Apart from El-rufai, other associates of Mr Tinubu also made some media rounds. Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola was on Instagram Live discussing the campaign, while Ajuri Ngalale held nothing back during an interview.

Ngalale accused the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele of presenting a poor policy direction to president Buhari.

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“The outcome of the policy wasn’t what Emefiele initially presented to the President,” he said during an interview.

It would be recalled that the VP has also criticized the implementation of the policy.

Osinbajo, during a meeting with some players in the Fintech sector, said Nigerians are suffering the impact of the scarcity of the new notes.

While applying pressure, some governors of the APC equally met with the president behind closed doors on Friday: however, the president insisted on seeing through the February 10 deadline. Shortly after the meeting, Emefiele also announced that there will be no further extension.

The no-extension stance of President Buhari and Emefiele appears to be consistent with the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, who asked the CBN not to extend the deadline beyond the fixed date.

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Many within the ruling party are concerned that the impact of the policy may affect their chances at the polls considering how the PDP and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) are making a push into the Northwest.

“Asiwaju is coming to terms with the impact of this policy on the election, therefore, he is pushing the Southwest base. The crowd in Osun was a statement, then Ekiti again. He is sending a message,” Ibrahim Gbadamosi, the coordinator of Asiwaju Grassroots Support told Daily Post.

“There is an uptick here, the fact the Asiwaju spoke up— he opened up the conversation around it. And look at it, the governors, particularly the Northern governors are solidly behind him. So there is no reason to be worried.

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“We have six states in Southwest, we are optimistic of about five States in Northcentral, three States in Northeast and still strong in Northwest. In fact, we are pushing in States in Southsouth and Southeast.” He said.

Despite the optimism in the camp of the ruling party, many believe that the hardship associated with the swap of Naira may further weaken the chances of the ruling party.

Hammed Tajudeen is a graduate of Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication

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