The effort of some governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to persuade President Muhammadu Buhari to drop Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the consensus candidate for the national chairmanship position of the party failed on Tuesday.
The Chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, yesterday led some APC governors to the Presidential Villa in Abuja before the president left Abuja for Nairobi, Kenya.
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The APC governors at the meeting with the president included Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Aminu Masari (Katsina), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Hope Uzodinma (Imo), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Sani Bello (Niger), Umar Ganduje (Kano), and the outgoing deputy governor of Anambra State, Nkem Okeke.
Daily Trust learnt that President Buhari turned down the suggestion from the governors to dump the federal lawmaker representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District in the National Assembly ahead of the March 26 national convention.
Meanwhile, the PGF chairman has said the ruling party will not shift the March 26 convention date despite the change in the timetable for the 2023 general elections while fielding questions from State House reporters after the meeting with the president.
The timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Saturday after the president signed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 into law last Friday has put political parties under pressure to meet the timeline set for primaries.
Bagudu said the governors met with the president to congratulate him for signing the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022 and as well on the victory of the APC in some of the by-elections conducted over the weekend.
Asked if the governors discussed the possibility of postponing the planned national convention with the president, in order to merge it with the primaries because of the short space of time, he said the date of the convention has been sealed.
“Last week, we were in this hall, about 20 APC governors, and this question came up and we clearly said we came to discuss the national convention, which is slated for March 26 and are working hard to ensure that on March 26, we have our convention and elect our national officers and that remains the case,” he said.
In the meantime, Daily Trust reports that the APC governors would on Tuesday night discuss the agitation over zoning after the South East APC leaders protested the swapping of the office of the national secretary to South West.
Meanwhile, some stakeholders of the APC have rejected Adamu. Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the APC national stakeholders led by Audu Aliyu, said they would resist any form of imposition in the party.
Aliyu said the stakeholders would not accept any handover of the party to “people who don’t share our ideals because they are of the PDP stock.”
Reacting, Adamu, has said he is eminently qualified to be the national chairman of the ruling APC.
The lawmaker who spoke through one of his aides, Ambassador Samuel Jimba, specifically said the claim by the APC national stakeholders led by Aliyu Audu that he was not qualified to chair the affairs of the ruling party was laughable.