Saturday, 19 March 2022

National Chairmanship: APC’s Consensus Plan Crumbles


Ahead of next Saturday’s national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), aspirants have continued to disown a consensus option for the emergence of the national chairman and other national officers of the ruling party. 

The office of the national chairman had been zoned to the North Central. Saturday Tribune checks revealed that practically all the aspirants who have signified interest from the zone before the zoning committee, led by the Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazak, submitted its report have since paid the mandatory N20 million for the nomination form.

The list of the chairmanship aspirants includes Senator Sani Musa, Mohammed Etsu and Senators Tanko Al-Makura and Abdullahi Adamu from Niger and Nasarawa states. 

Others are Salihu Mustapha and George Akume from Kwara and Benue states, respectively. A former governor of Zamfara State, Abdul Aziz Yari, has also picked his nomination form. Zamfara, the home state of Yari, is, however, in the North West geopolitical zone. 

A party source told Saturday Tribune that a “Unity List” for anointed candidates to be ratified at the Eagle Square, venue of the national convention, by delegates has not been foreclosed. Indications have, however, emerged that aspirants for the office of the national chairman are smarting for a showdown and may not step down for the former Nasarawa State governor and senator representing Nasarawa West, Abdullahi Adamu, who is being speculated as the choice of President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The senator representing Niger East, Sani Musa, dropped the hint on Friday after submitting his form at the APC national secretariat in Abuja. 

Speaking with newsmen, the chairmanship aspirant said the claim that Senator Adamu had been endorsed by President Buhari was not true. Musa said the party would not sell nomination forms for N20 million and then go ahead to bully aspirants to withdraw for any anointed candidate. 

“Why did the party sell forms to us? As far as I am concerned, there has never been anybody that officially contacted me or any other aspirants. And the spokesperson for Mr President, Femi Adesina, had said that there is no endorsement. So, we want a vibrant leadership,” he added. 

Also speaking with newsmen, former Nasarawa State governor, Senator Tanko AlMakura, cautioned the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) to ensure that it settled for the option that would carry everybody along. Checks revealed that the APC constitution makes provision for direct, indirect and consensus options for party offices. 

Al-Makura said: “I am a democrat. Our party’s constitution has given three procedures for the emergence of leadership: direct, indirect and consensus. But I can tell you that the best option is that which allows franchise and permission for everyone to participate in the exercise. I will support an open-door policy, internal party democracy with full participation of members so that they will have a sense of belonging and determine the fate and direction of the party.”

ACN, CPC intensify battle of wits 

Investigation revealed that the battle for the control of the party’s national secretariat to be fought and won next Saturday is between the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), led by former Lagos State governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, and defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). 

With the speculated adoption of Senator Adamu as the anointed candidate for the office of the national chairman, the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), CPC and chieftains of the erstwhile ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are in league to supplant the ACN. 

A party source revealed that the narrative being advanced is that the ACN had produced the pioneer chairman of the APC in its formative stage in person of former Osun State governor, Chief Bisi Akande.


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