APC Convention: Stakeholders perfect consensus list as aspirants intensify lobby | Dailytrust

APC Convention: Stakeholders perfect consensus list as aspirants intensify lobby

Stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and chieftains close to the Presidency are currently in high level discussions ahead…...

Mai Mala Buni, Yobe State Governor
Mai Mala Buni, Yobe State Governor

Stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and chieftains close to the Presidency are currently in high level discussions ahead of Saturday’s national convention of the ruling party in order to avoid a stalemate or revolt by aggrieved members, credible sources told the Daily Trust Sunday. 

It was learnt that aspirants for the position of the national chairman and other important positions are in a final push to emerge victorious. 

Daily Trust had on February 24 reported that President Muhammadu Buhari had endorsed Senator Abdullahi Adamu from Nasarawa State as his preferred choice as national chairman. 

Credible sources had told this paper that Adamu was endorsed by the president during his meeting with APC governors at the State House. 

However, in the days that followed, some of the aspirants directly or by proxy said they were still in the race insisting that they were not informed by the party or the Presidency that Buhari had a preferred candidate. 

It was in the heat of the debate that a crisis of larger proportion broke the ranks of the ruling APC when some governors moved to remove the caretaker chairman of the party and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni. 

However, following the intervention of President Buhari while on medical trip in London, Buni resumed fully on Thursday and preparations for Saturday’s convention intensified. 

“The convention will definitely take place on Saturday and high level consultation is ongoing to make things work,” a source close to the party said. 

“Of course, all those that matter are working together so that on the day of the convention there would be no stalemate or disaffection. Governor Buni is discussing with officials of various committees and beyond,” the source said. 

Asked if Senator Abdullahi Adamu remains the candidate of the president for the chairmanship position, the source said, “The best place to ask that question is the presidency but I can assure you that efforts are being put in place to approach the convention with strength and vigour drawn from all members and officials so that we would come out stronger.”


Unity/ consensus list coming 

A stalwart of the party close to Buhari said though the president has endorsed Adamu, no aspirant would be stopped from contesting for the position. 

“This is party politics, nobody will be stopped but 48 hours before the convention, after two meetings or so, unity or consensus list will be made available to stakeholders. This will guide the direction of all,” the senior party chieftain said. 

He said the caretaker committee had been asked to ensure that all aspirants were carried along, saying the forthcoming convention won’t be different. 

“Previously, our party chairmen emerged through consensus. The latest one was in 2018 when the former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, emerged. We want to go to the 2023 elections as a united front and stronger than we are,” he said.


Aspirants upbeat 

As of Friday when the sale of forms was closed, Senator Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa) Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa), Senator Sani Musa (Niger), Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume (Benue),  a former deputy national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Saliu Mustapha (Kwara), former Zamfara Governor, Abdulaziz Yari (Nasarawa) and Mohammed Saidu Etsu (Niger) submitted their forms. 

The seven aspirants, it was gathered are lobbying governors, presiding officers of the National Assembly, people around the presidency and other critical stakeholders of the party to actualise their ambition. 

Party sources said over 5,000 delegates are expected to participate in the election of new members of the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC). The convention will be held at Eagle Square Abuja on Saturday. 

In an interview, the Director-General of the Almakura Campaign organisation, Mr Dominic Alancha, expressed optimism that his boss will emerge as the chairman, come Saturday. 

He said; “We are reaching out to the delegates, we are talking to the critical stakeholders. We believe we have their support. 

“As far as this convention is concerned, Al-Makura will emerge as the national chairman.”

We’re going for healthy competition – Adamu

A former Governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu told Daily Trust that they are going for a healthy contest. 

He said he has no enemy among the aspirants and that he would carry everybody all along if he emerges as the national chairman.

“As far as I’m concerned, I am in a contest, healthy contest among members of one family, called APC. I’ve not approached it as if I have any enemy. All of them are my brothers and sisters. 

“No one is above the party and I hope that we are all going as friends. I don’t have enemies in the APC.

“Whatever we do, we should know that the party is superior to all of us. I don’t want any rivalry with anybody. If by the will of God, I pick the chairmanship, I promise to work with every one of them. Those who contest and those who did not,” he said. 

Sheriff quits race 

A former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has shelved his ambition to be the national chairman of the party. 

This followed the zoning of the chairmanship slot to the North-Central by the national leadership of the party. 

Sheriff, who is from the North-East geopolitical zone announced his decision to quit the race at a press conference on Sunday in Abuja. 

“The party has taken a position that the position of the national chairman should go to the North-Central, meaning, it is exclusively zoned to the contestants of the North-Central zone and the president has taken a position. 

“I have always told you that I will contest if it is zoned to my zone. That has been my statement always. And today they have taken a position. 

“I respect the president, I respect him as a person and as a president, he is my leader. He must have a reason for allowing the party to zone the chairmanship to the North-Central. Myself, I have led a party. 

“I am a founding father of this party. So I don’t want to draw a line. I respect the president. Unless the party comes out between now and Friday to say that, no we have changed our mind, it is now open.

“Therefore, I don’t want to oppose the president in any way or form; I respect him. I will abide by the decision of the party that it is exclusively zoned to the North-Central. Normally, zoning revolves around a person, you don’t zone in a vacuum,” Sheriff said.

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