A fresh crisis is currently brewing in the All Progressives Congress (APC) after its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of Margaret Chuba Okadigbo as the Zonal Coordinator of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council in the South-East.
Margaret is the widow of the late former Senate President, Dr Chuba Okadigbo.
Multiple sources in the presidency told SaharaReporters that Buhari asked Tinubu to pick Margaret to lead the ruling APC’s campaign in the region but he refused.
“His (Tinubu) South-East penetration is the lowest, he refused Buhari’s nomination of Okadigbo’s wife to handle his South-East campaign. He felt she’s not capable enough despite being told by the President to pick her,” one of the sources told SaharaReporters.
In January, Buhari appointed Margaret as chairman of the newly-incorporated Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
Okadigbo was a political ally of Buhari and a one-time running mate.
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He was Buhari’s running mate when he contested for President on the platform of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) in 2003.
The sources added that the appointment of James Faleke as the party’s Presidential Campaign Council Secretary was made against the advice of the APC National Executive Council.
Tinubu in August named Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives as the Secretary of the Presidential Campaign Council for Tinubu/Shettima 2023.
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“A serious crisis is rocking the party over Tinubu’s refusal to accept those nominated to him by party leaders to handle his campaign.
“While he (Tinubu) wants to handpick key people to head the campaign council, party leaders especially the chairman and the presidency through the cabal want their loyalists to be in charge.
“I won’t deceive you, Tinubu’s candidacy is currently receiving the cold shoulder. Imagine, he said he doesn’t trust the party chairman. Now he can’t constitute a presidential campaign committee because of such a high-level crisis.
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“Major senators in Katsina, Gombe, and Kebbi are defecting to PDP. His worsening illness is now of serious concern too as he is planning another medical trip abroad.
“He made Faleke his PCC Secretary against the party’s advice that he should appoint one Tarka from Benue State,” another source added.
Before the June presidential primary election of the APC, the party’s national chairman, Abdullahi Adamu favoured the emergence of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, as the party’s candidate.
However, Lawan came a distant fourth in the primary with 152 votes against Tinubu’s 1,271 votes.
The APC candidate recently denied nursing grudges against the APC national chairman, saying, “To the rumour manufacturers, I read in some papers about a disagreement between myself and the chairman and that was a very big lie. They didn’t know that we have come a long way. The big masquerade dance not in the cage but in the market square.
“And that is what Adamu used to be, full of wisdom, we were governors together, before God put us together on this project again. He is going to deliver as the chairman of the party for me to become the president of Nigeria. And I am very confident of that.
“They can say whatever they want to say, throw all the jabs that they want, we are a party strongly determined to fulfil our dreams of turning Nigeria into a very progressive, highly developed, prosperous country.”