Despite the shuttle of the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, to Yola there is tension in the All Progressives Congress (APC) over alleged plot to drop the governorship candidate, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani).
The only female governorship candidate in the country would now be replaced by former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
Stakeholders had endorsed Ribadu on Friday in anticipation that the Court of Appeal will order a fresh Governorship primary by APC.
The appellate court may decide this week on whether to validate the ticket of the female Senator or order a fresh primary election.
Following the development, party leaders and members have become divided with some stalwarts threatening protest votes.
The decision to drop the female was reportedly arrived at during stakeholders’ session on Friday night, which was attended by Mrs. Buhari.
A source at the session said: “In spite of the fact that the meeting was called for the sake of housekeeping ahead of 2023 battle with PDP in the state, we became divided thereafter.
“We were made to believe that we need to drop our female candidate because some Adamawa leaders do not want a female to be a governor. This decision was supported by the First Lady. “She said the party ought to be strategic in order to be able to do well in the next election.
“She then pleaded with the stakeholders to accept a female Deputy Governorship candidate. On the spot, the APC Women Leader in the state, Amb. Patricia Yakubu was nominated in the interim.
“Also, the fact that the Senator once defected to PDM was made an issue at the meeting. We were therefore prevailed upon to forget about her candidature. But she can only be replaced if there is a fresh primary.
“In case of fresh primary, we have been compulsorily mandated to back Ribadu, who the First Lady said is a better and a credible candidate than the Senator.
“Some of our leaders accepted the endorsement of Ribadu in deference to the First Lady but all is not well in the party.
Responding to a question, the source added: “Our leaders were unhappy. They said they know what they will do during the election. We became sharply divided.
“I can assure you of protest votes against all APC candidates. We have a big challenge at hand. But we are waiting for the decision of the Court of Appeal.
“With this development, I doubt if APC can match PDP in the state. It will be an easy ride for ex-Vice President Atiku and PDP.”
Among those at the meeting with the First Lady were the National Vice Chairman of APC for the North-East, members of the State Working Committee of the party, some aspirants for governorship including Nuhu Ribadu, Abdulrazaq Namdas, Wafari Theman.
Binani, who was invited for the meeting, could not make it because of an engagement.
Others included all serving members of the House of Representatives, Senatorial candidate from the Southern zone, all the 25 APC House of Assembly candidates, former deputy governor, Martins Babale, who is the interim coordinator of APC Presidential Campaign Organisation in Adamawa State and some selected persons known to either to be supporting or opposing Ribadu or Binani.