​Night of Long Knives as Buhari wields the big stick

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ABUJA: The long-awaited national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC would finally begin today, but might not end without casualties, for, though it promises to be a long night, it is most certainly going to be the Night of the Long Knives.

Several decades ago, Adolf Hitler, in order to consolidate his grip on power in Nazi Germany embarked on a mass purge by carrying out a series of politically-motivated extra judicial killings. The purge which was executed by the National Socialist German Party between June 30 and July 2, 1934 later came to be known as the Night of the Long Knives, or Operation Hummingbird or, in Germany, the Röhm Putsch.

When one considers the reported interest of the presidency in the national convention, the Röhm Putsch holds a lot of significance.

As a prelude to the 2019 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari would no doubt want to maintain some form of grip on the party. Despite his seeming aloofness in the affairs of the party, the president or, at least his handlers, are clandestinely not leaving anything to chance. His views and inclination towards party politics appear to be changing.

Hence, it was not surprising reports by Vanguard within the week to the effect that the president is not too keen on having most members of the current National Working Committee NWC of the party returned to their offices. The report was that the president is majorly interested in the offices of the National Chairman, National Secretary and the National Organizing Secretary, but further checks revealed that the presidency is actually interested in virtually all the offices.

While there have been attempts to get the incumbent National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the National Organizing Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso not to stand for a re-election, the presidency had in the same breathe validated the aspiration of the National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni.

There is however still an attempt to ease out Sen. Izunaso in order to placate the governors and especially, the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum PGF, Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo state. There are also attempts to draw up a harmonized list of aspirants which would exclude most members of the current NWC.

And with the president’s recent decision to call the bluff of members of the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party PDP, there could be serious attempts to also shut out nPDP members who are in the current NWC. These include the National Treasurer, Bala Gwagwarwa, an ally of former Kano state Governor, Sen. Rabiu Musa; the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi of the Senate President Bukola Saraki tendency; and the National Youth Leader, Ibrahim Jalo from the Sen. Danjuma Goje camp. Others are the National Vice Chairman, Northwest, Inuwa Abdulkadir of the Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal group and the Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom who is seen as a close ally of Transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi.

Already, there are indications that among the NWC, only the secretary, Buni has gotten a presidential nod to return to office. So, as the president rejigs his political machinery ahead of 2019, he would surely be wielding the long knife tonight.

66 Offices to be contested at APC National Convention

No fewer than 66 offices, including those of the National Working Committee NWC and other National Offices, would be contested by at least 163 aspirants in today’s National Convention. Below is a list of the offices and a few of the aspirants whose posters adorn the party and convention secretariats.

1. National Chairman: Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

2. Deputy National Chairman (North): Hon. Farouk Adamu Aliyu

3. Deputy National Chairman (South)

4. National Secretary: Mai Mala Buni

5. Deputy National Secretary: Victor Giadom

6. National Vice Chairmen (Zonal Chairmen)

1. North East: Comrade Mustapha Salihu

2. North West: Inuwa Abdulkadir

3. North Central

4. South South: Hilliard Eta, Ntufam Emmanuel Anom

5. South East

6. South West

7. National Legal Adviser

8. Deputy National Legal Adviser

9. National Treasurer: Bala Usman

10. Deputy National Treasurer: Tanko Mohammed Zakari

11. National Financial Secretary

12. Deputy National Financial Secretary

13. National Organizing Secretary: Sen. Osita Izunaso, Hon. Chidi Nwogu Chief Longers Anyanwu, Dr. C.C Osuala and Barr. Emma Ibediro.

14. Deputy National Organizing Secretary: Dr Ishaku Mabushi Shekarau

15. National Publicity Secretary : The contestants are Bolaji Abdullahi, Lanre Issa-Onilu, Duro Meseko and Abusidiq Usman.

16. Deputy National Publicity Secretary

17. National Welfare Secretary

18. Deputy National Welfare Secretary: Alh. Jamilu Baba Jos

19. National Auditor: George Moghalu and Chukwuemeka E. Nwogbo

20. Deputy National Auditor: Abubakar Adamu Abubakar

21. National Women Leader: Salamatu Baiwa and Ramatu Tijani

22. Deputy National Women Leader

23.National Youth Leader

24.Deputy National Youth Leader

25.Special (Physically Challenged) Leader:

26. Zonal Secretary

1. North East

2. North West

3. North Central

4. South South

5. South East

6. South West

27. Zonal Youth Leader

28. North East: Jibrilla Madu Gadzama, Sule Yakubu

29. North West

30. North Central

31. South South

32. South East

33. South West

28. Zonal Organizing Secretary

29. North East

30. North West

31. North Central

32. South South: Atiang James Udeh, Cletus Ogbang

33. South East

34. South West

29. Zonal Women Leader

30. North East

31. North West

32. North Central

33. South South

34. South East

35. South West

30. Ex-officio members

31. North East

32. North West

33. North Central

34. South South

35. South East

36. South West

About The Author

Mercy Asiegbu is a creative writer, astute thinker and an imaginative-clarify content writer, utilizing every possible form of writing to educate, inform, entertain and present life by Original Design. Follow me on Twitter @bluenaza and on Facebook- Asiegbu Chinaza Mercy.

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