Wednesday, 23 February 2022

2023 :APC Zones Presidency To South After Meeting With Buhari


After weeks  of tension and uncertainty, President Muhammadu Buhari and governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, took steps to save the party and prepare it for the 2023 general polls.

Some of the decisions taken during a meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, were zoning of the 2023 presidential ticket of the party to the South; ratifying the March 26 National Convention date as fixed by the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, CECPC; and exploring the option of consensus in picking candidates for various positions.

These, among others, were the outcome of the meeting between President Buhari and the 19  APC governors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.

Rising from the meeting, the APC said it had agreed on a zoning formula that will swap offices held between the North and the South.

By the arrangement, all offices occupied by northerners in the last eight years, will go to the South and vice visa.

In essence, the South will produce the next presidential candidate of the APC since the incumbent is from the North. It also means that the national chairmanship will go to the North since the last occupant, Adams Oshiomhole, is from the South.

This is as President Buhari directed the party leadership to explore the option of consensus, among other options, in the choice of its national chairman, in line with the party’s tradition.

Briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, said contrary to reports in the media of division among APC governors, agreement had been reached on zoning formula.

Swapping positions between North and South

He said: “We have agreed a zoning formula for all the six geo-political zones. Essentially, northern zone will have the positions the South have had in the last eight years, and vice versa. It is a very simple, equitable and fair formula.

“We will now go back and consult at the zonal levels and look at the positions that are available and the process of the convention preparation will be started in earnest. So, by the grace of God, on the 26th of March, we would have done our national convention.”

The Kaduna governor also affirmed that APC governors were divided over timing of the national convention as some were of the belief that there were many issues left unresolved.

The governor, who spoke in response to a question, said: “Yes, we were divided. We were divided over the timing of the convention, okay. There were some governors that felt that we should put off the convention until we resolve issues about congresses in some states.

“As you know, in some states, these matters are even in court. So, some governors held the view that we should wait until all these are resolved, and this is not borne out of any agenda or selfishness. It is just a realistic proposition to avoid us violating any laws or putting our party structures or elected candidates in danger.

“So, yes, there were differences in opinion about timing. Some of us are saying the Constitution allows us to have convention even if three or four states have issues that are unresolved, while others are saying no, let us finish all the reconciliations and we do this convention. After all, there is no time limit for the convention as long as we do it before the time for the primaries.

“So, that was the difference. This is what the media has called divided governors. In a democratic setting, there is no way you can have 22 governors plus the deputy governor of Anambra State agreeing on any issue. We can have differences.

“But after our meeting of last night, to deliberate on the proposal by the national caretaker committee, and our briefing with Mr. President today, we are all on the same page.  We are committed to ensuring that the Peoples Destruction Party doesn’t come back to power.”


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