The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday announced the suspension of Ogun governor, Ibikunle Amosun, and Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha. The NWC actually recommended their expulsion from the party but that decision would have to be ratified first by the party’s national executive committee which is its highest decision making organ.
This much was confirmed by the party’s spokesperson, Lanre Isa-Onilu.
Back Story: You will have to go back to the party primaries last year for the genesis of the problem. The two governors did not have their way and their preferred candidates for governor of their states lost. That was a bitter pill for them to swallow, and even though they both got senate tickets on the APC platform, they still endorsed their candidates who moved to other parties. In the case of Okorocha, it was his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, who defected to the Action Alliance.
Why did it take this long for the party to act?: Despite the anti-party activities of the governors, no action was taken against them till now apparently because they were backing the president and the APC needed all the votes it could get last weekend. Now that the president has been elected, the APC has now decided to act, one week before the crucial guber elections.
Why it matters: The party wants to create a quick distinction between its candidates and those endorsed by the governors. With Pres. Buhari’s victory, they see no further reason to keep playing nice. Recall that the APC presidential rally in Ogun turned into one of the most embarrassing moments of the campaign season as party leaders, including the president, were pelted by supporters of the governor. The suspension may also signify the end of any hopes Okorocha had of becoming senate president. With his controversial senate win on Saturday, there were whispers that if the APC zones the senate presidency to the South East, he could stand a chance. That’s unlikely to happen now.