There is uneasy calm in the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the 2023 election and plot to whittle down the influence of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola.
Though the 2023 election is still far off, the state APC is said to be worried by recent developments which showed some chieftains were already declaring interest in the state governorship position.
The chieftains are not only showing interest but also said to be challenging the authority of Tinubu who is the leader of the party in the state.
The swelling rank of “disgruntled members” of the party, sources said, is causing unease in the dynasty at a time the opposition has vowed to checkmate the dominance of the APC leader in the state ahead of the 2023 elections.
Already, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has launched a campaign tagged, ‘O toge Lagos’ to end Tinubu’s reign in 2023, though APC insists the opposition cannot unseat it in the state.
While the ruling party has the opposition to contend with, it is also battling with the opposition within.
Just last month, a former commissioner for Home Affairs in the state, Dr Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, resigned from the party after launching a political movement to drive his 2023 ambition.
Following the announcement, he was relieved of his appointment as an aide to the speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudasiru Obasa.
But he recanted 24 hours after a meeting with some leaders of the party while sources say the issue raised by his earlier resignation was far from over.
Less than two months after, another chieftain of the party, Mr Olajide Adediran, came out last week to declare his intention for the 2023 election.
He said he was damning the consequence coming out two years to the election, noting that Tinubu could not stop him.
Adediran, who is an ally of the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said he was not oblivious that Tinubu might not give him the ticket but his ambition is unstoppable.
“We understand this game. Do you think I will be stupid to believe that if our party remains the way it is today, Asiwaju Tinubu is going to give me the governorship ticket? He can give you everything but not the governorship ticket.
“When I say every other, I mean every other thing but not the governorship ticket and that is why whoever emerges as governor of Lagos State will not be the people’s governor,” he said.
Another chieftain of the party who spoke with Daily Trust on condition of anonymity said, “It is true that a lot of people are presently aggrieved but they are afraid to come out but in days to come you would see what I am talking about.
“The decision by the GAC to ban all political movements is one of the means to checkmate the aggrieved members but this has not achieved that purpose. You would see a lot of aggrieved members coming out to dare the party in days to come. It is all about 2023.
“A lot of members are aggrieved with the system and the leadership because their expectations are not being met but they are afraid to come out. They are torn between the devil and the deep blue sea,” he said.
But the spokesman of Lagos APC, Seye Oladejo, insisted that the party remained one and that there was no crisis in it.
He stated that there was nothing unusual with members of the party having ambition.
Oladejo said: “It remains within the right of party members to be ambitious and aspire to any office of their choice.
“The presence of ambitious members in a political party engenders mass mobilisation, spread to all nooks and crannies of the state and promotes all-round activities.
“Our party has always encouraged members to contest and realize their ambition within the provisions of the constitution of the party. However, we will encourage members to continue to play by the rules and avoid causing needless crisis.
“The increase in the number of members expressing different ambitions is indicative of our democratic growth and absolute confidence in our platform.
Let me assure you that there’s no crisis within the ruling party as we remain determined to uphold internal democracy at all times.”
The APC publicist also dismissed the threat by Jandor, saying he was merely seeking attention.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the PDP, Taofiq Gani, while speaking with Daily Trust, said the party was aware of the acrimony in APC, saying it would aid them to dislodge the ruling party.
He said it was not only APC members that were dissatisfied with the leadership, many Lagosians are unhappy with the system in the state.
Gani, however, warned that the “acrimony” within the APC should not stall governance in the state.