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2023 Presidency: How Consensus Plan May Work Against APC In 2023 If Leaders Go Ahead To Adopt It

The ruling party in Nigeria is considering to adopt a consensus candidate for the 2023 presidential election.

As a party in power, the All Progressives Congress, APC, is trying all it can to ensure that it retains power at the centre. In view of this, it believes that adopting a consensus candidate for President will be a wise strategy to avoid some problems that may arise from holding a presidential primary.

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While this may appear like a wise idea, there are some ways this may work against the APC if it goes ahead to use the consensus option. This is because the consensus arrangement has its own problems and shortcomings which make some politicians to kick against it. This article will discuss how this may work against APC if the party insists and uses it.

First, it may lead to the emergence a candidate favoured by the party who may not be popular among Nigerians. In adopting a consensus candidate, the party considers political factors within the party. The candidate may be influential in the party. He/she may have the financial muscle, have key loyalists in the party, the person must have made some good contributions to the party among other factors. But, all these factors are party issues. It does not mean that the person is popular among Nigerian electorate who decide who wins the presidential election.

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Secondly, it may lead to crisis in the party. When APC hinted on using consensus, some camps within the party kicked against it. This is because the consensus option is not very democratic. It is the influential party members that decide who gets the ticket when consensus is adopted. If APC goes ahead with this arrangement, many party members may resist it and this could lead to crisis in the ruling party. Such crisis can affect APC's chances of winning the election as members would head to the poll as a divided house.

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Thirdly, many other strong aspirants may refuse to back whoever emerges as the consensus candidate. An instance will help in this regard. In the run up to 2015 presidential election, APC held a peaceful and transparent primary in 2014 which produced Buhari as the presidential candidate. Other aspirants that lost such as Atiku Abubakar, Aminu Tambuwal, Rabiu Kwankwaso all queued behind Buhari in solidarity. They accepted the result of the primary and worked hard to ensure that Buhari wins.

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Image credit: Vanguard

At the end, Buhari won the election and became the President. On the other, when a consensus is imposed on other aspirants, many of them will resist it. They will also refuse to back the person. In fact, some of those aspirants that lost out will defect to another party to either contest or help the other party to win. All these may work against APC if it insists on going ahead with the consensus option.

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