It has been widely believed that the huge followership and indeed membership of the ruling All Progressive Congress, (APC) is due to the President Muhammadu Buhari factor, with many pundits and analysts of the opinion that most of the political big whigs in the party are only indicating their presence as a result of the Buhari bandwagon effect.
It would be recalled that a wave of popular support swept across the All Progressives Congress upon the emerhece of the president as the Presidential candidate of the party in 2015, with many heavyweight politicians including Governors dumping the People Democratic Party, for the newly formed political party.
Akpabio and Buhari
But with President sets to bow out of office after completing his two terms of four years in 2023, it’s also expected that the once bee – hive of activities in the APC would also be greeted with a mass exodus, as many prominent politicians who joined the party for one reason or the other would find their political bearing by returning to base, which is where they truly belong. With this in mind, it’s pertinent to take a cursory look into six prominent former governors who may likely leave the APC ahead of the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari from Aso Rock in 2023.
Former governor of Akwa-Ibom state and incumbent Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. Akpabio’s defection to the All Progressives Congress in August 2018 was seen as one of the biggest surprises in the political history of Nigeria. Almost no one saw it coming as the former Senate Mimoryty leader was one of the staunchest critics of the APC and indeed President Muhammadu Buhari Adminstration.
A life long member of the Peoples Democratic Party, it is being speculated that Akpabio jumped ship to escape the Buhari anti- corruption war.
But since joining the APC, the “Uncommon senator” is now embroiled in a fresh corruption scandal following juicy revelations from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, a sub agency under the watch of Niger Delta Ministry which Akpabio supervises.
His membership of the APC has been described as taking fish out of water and its expected that he would jolly well retirn back to the PDP immediately Buhari leaves office.
A one term governor of Oil rich Bayelsa state and the substantive. Mimoster of Petroleum Resources for state.
Mr. Silva left the PDP after failing to get his second term reelection bid under the platform and has since pitched tent with the APC. Although his constant feud with former governor of the state. Seriake Dickson and ex president Goodluck Jonathan is still raging on, Timipre Silva is still a sure bet to dump the APC, especially after the party failed to take control of the state owing to a Supreme Court verdict against David Lyon.
Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the immediate past governor of Imo state and the senator representing Imo West Senatorial District.
He Governor the state for eight years having been a member of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) and many years in the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP)
Okorocha’s membership of the APC has been lukeworm to say the least, following his inability to install his son – in – law Uche Nwosu as the governorship candidate of the parry ahead of the 2019 polls.
According to sources, Okorocha is seriously considering his options in the APC after the expiration of the tenure of preseinet Muhammadu Buhari in 2023, since he is not particularly in the good books of the All Progressives Congress government in Imo state led by Governor Hope Uzodinma.
Orji Uzor Kalu
Former governor of Abia State and the current Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate. Erstwhile member of the PDP, and founder of the Progressives Peoples Alliance, (PPA). Orji Kalu has been digged with several corruption allegations since leaving the governorship seat in 2007, with many asserting that he only joined the APC to get soft landing from his travails in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC). And with the seeming letting off the hook my the Supreme Court, there have been growing speculations that Dr. Kalu might soon kiss the APC good bye if he finally succeeds in wriggling his way out of the humpingiis graft allegations against him.
And with his rumoured presidential bid also on the horizon, anything short of the Igbo presidential candidate under the APC platform, might further distance Kalu away from the party.
A former governor of Delta State and one of the three musketeers in control of the Oil rich state, with the other two being his predecessor James Ibori and incumbent governor Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.
Uduaghan’s defection to the APC was another huge shocker, with many Nigerians still rationalizing the motives behind the move.
But Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy Senate president and Minister of Labour and Employment for state, Festus Keyamo, SAN now holding away in the APC in Delta State and bearing in mind that politics will fully kick in ahead 2023, you can trust Uduaghan to return to his base, the PDP.
Within five years of joining the Buhari administration, Amaechi a former governor of Rivers state and the Minister of Transportation has solidified his standing in the cabinet and emerged as a loyal and trusted ally of president Buhari.
Several reports have it on good authority that Rotimi Amaechi is now part of the kitchen cabinet at the Villa, with some claiming he is one of the most influential cabinet members in the Buhari Presidency.
Amaechi and Buhari
But despite all these huge achievements, upon the retirement from politics by President Buhari, Rotimi Amaechi may not have any reason to remain in the APC.
Although there is the matter of Governor Nyesom Wike, whom Rotimi Amaechi has been in constant battle with, it HOWEVER, remains to be seen how he joggles his membership of the PDP, if he eventually dumps the APC.