The All Progressives Congress (APC) faces an internal crisis due to the contentious selection of principal officers, allegedly orchestrated by a high-ranking individual with close ties to the president-elect.
According to reports, this influential figure purportedly convinced the President-elect to abandon his preferred choices for principal officers, particularly in the House of Representatives, a domain where this official exercises considerable power.
A senior APC official revealed to Saturday Vanguard that the APC National Working Committee and the president-elect had favoured appointing a female candidate from the South-East as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, aligning with the party’s Affirmative Action for women.
Contrarily, the influential officer suggested a male candidate from Abia State for the role, asserting his legal background makes him superior to the female candidate from Imo State, who holds a master’s degree in Management.
If the officer’s decision stands, women would be excluded from the six decision-making posts in the National Assembly come June.
An APC bigwig, aware of the meetings held to distribute positions among states yielding more APC candidates and maintaining gender balance, accuses the high-ranking officer of favouring candidates loyal to him, causing significant embarrassment for the party leadership.
The source stated, “He was insistent that a particular candidate, from the South East, should be considered as the deputy speaker, he was able to persuade party leaders to adopt his candidate for the position.”
Contradicting the officer’s choice, another party member argued the candidate from South East would “serve the party better,” despite Imo State contributing more candidates and votes to the APC than Abia State.
Senior party members advocated for upholding the president-elect’s campaign promises of prioritizing women for key roles.
They reminded the party of its commitment to inclusivity, with a specific focus on empowering women, urging rectification of the 9th Assembly’s anomaly where no woman held a presiding position.
Given the controversy surrounding the proposed principal officers for the 10th NASS, the APC is likely to reconsider the issue at its next meeting to alleviate tension and avoid defeat during the officer selection vote.
The NWC has met. The President-elect is not in the country right now but the report would be ready before he returns,” a party official informed Saturday Vanguard.