Friday, 6 April 2018

Ex-Governors, Others Show Interest, As Race For APC Chairmanship Intensifies

The race of who will become the next national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has been intensified following the decision of its national leadership to hold fresh congresses where new officers will be elected.

Among those angling to replace the current chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, are a former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomohle; a former President of the Senate, Ken Nnamani; and the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonna Onu.

However, investigations have showed that a former Governor of Cross River State, Clement Ebri, has announced his intention to join the race.

It was gathered that the former governor, who was elected at the age of 39, had been contacting leaders of the party.

WhatsApp messages had been sent to leaders of the party on Ebri’s desire to lead the party.

In one of the messages seen by Punch, it was stated that every political actor in Cross River State had been influenced by the Ebri legacy.

The message read in part: “As the governor, Donald Duke was his finance commissioner while Liyel Imoke, the then Special Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was sponsored to the Senate.

“His personal assistant, drafted from a rural community secondary school on Grade Level 8, was Usani Usani, the present Minister of Niger Delta.”

It was gathered that the governors of the party had yet to take a definite position on who they would support for the position.

Sources close to the governors said they were more concerned presently on who would preside over the party’s national convention and those who would be in the committee.

The source said: “The issue of chairmanship, though very important, would be decided after we put in place the members of the national convention committee. The governors want one of their own to lead it. President Muhammadu Buhari may oblige them.

“Many interests would also be considered in choosing the national chairman. But the battle of who occupies the office starts with the membership of the national convention planning committee. That is what we are after now.”

It was gathered that the National Working Committee would determine the agenda for the party’s National Executive Committee meeting, which has been scheduled for Monday, after receiving the report of the Governor Simon Lanlong-led technical committee on Friday.

The Chairman of the APC in Bayelsa State, Joseph Fafi, on Thursday confirmed receipt of an invitation to the NEC meeting of the party scheduled for April 9, in Abuja. Fafi said the state chapter got “the usual text message” of the event, stressing that he was already on his way to Abuja for the meeting.

“Yes, we received the invitation to the NEC meeting for next week Monday (April 9, 2018). It was received through the usual text message. As I speak, I have left Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, for the meeting,” the state chairman said.

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