All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have gone against the wish of President Muhammadu Buhari in the choice of persons to man key offices of the ruling party as they produced a consensus list which excluded four out of the five men endorsed by the president.
Though the governors kicked against majority of those nominated by the president, a former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who is on top of the list of five, emerged as national chairman of the ruling party following ratification of his nomination at the national convention held at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
APC Convention kicks off in Abuja
In a 12-page document circulated at the beginning of the convention, the 22 governors of the party named 78 persons for national and zonal positions that were up for grabs after initial micro-zoning. The document was signed by all the governors.
The governors, however, left out a former Senate President Ken Nnamani, a former member of the House of Representatives, Farouk Adamu Aliyu, Ife Oyedele, an engineer and Waziri Bulama, an architect. The four men were tipped for deputy national chairman (South), deputy national chairman (North), national secretary and organising secretary.
In their place, the governors nominated Chief Emma Enuekwu, Senator Abubakar Kyari, Senator Iyiola Omisore, and Suleiman M. Argungu.
The opposition to the four men confirmed Daily Trust’s exclusive story on Wednesday, which reported the scheming by governors and other chieftains to edge out the president’s nominees.
The emergence of the new NWC has officially ended the timeline of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, which was inaugurated on June 25, 2020, following the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led NWC.
Buhari had summoned governors of the party last Wednesday to the state house in Abuja, where it was agreed that the party’s national working committee should emerge by consensus.
Following President Buhari’s intervention, six of the chairmanship aspirants who were in the race with Adamu withdrew on the convention day.
Adamu is from the North-Central where the party had zoned the position of the national chairman.
The six aspirants who stepped down for Senator Adamu are the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume; a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdullaziz Yari; Senator Sani Musa (Niger-East) and a former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
Others are a former deputy national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Saliu Mustapha; a former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Tanko Al-Makura and Saidu Etsu.
The aspirants made their decision known in a letter dated March 25, 2022 and obtained by Daily Trust on Sunday.
The letter, which was addressed to the chairman, APC Election Su-Committee and signed by Akume reads, “May I kindly refer to the appeal by Mr President for the chairmanship aspirants of our great party to agree to a consensus arrangement wherein our colleague, Sen Abdullahi Adamu is made our consensus candidate for the chairmanship position.”
Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State had earlier said unity list would emerge as a guide for the emergence of new officers.
Party adopts new constitution
The convention also ratified and adopted the amended constitution of the party.
The motion for the ratification and adoption of the parry’s constitution was moved by the chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee and Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni and seconded by Niger State governor, Abubakar Sani Bello.
Delivering a speech at the convention, Governor Buni asked Governors Ben Ayade (Cross River), David Umahi (Ebonyi) and Bello Matawale (Zamfara) and many others who defected to the party from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to be afraid of being ousted by the courts.
This followed a High Court judgement which ordered the removal of Governor Umahi from office on the ground of defection to the APC.
Buni said, “Let me reassure those of you whose defections are being challenged in the courts that you have nothing to fear because your defections did not contravene any law.
“You will, by the grace of God, emerge successful and victorious in the superior courts at the end of these litigations. Your wise decision to join the APC along with millions of your supporters shall never be in vain.”
Buni asked party members and leaders not to allow their personal interest override the interest of the party and remain united in order to retain power in 2023.
“It is pertinent to point out that we are conscious of the anxiety among our members for the conduct of the convention to elect substantive national leaders. We are also aware of the rising interests among individuals and groups, especially those with the ambition to aspire in the 2023 general elections.
“This anxiety has, however, translated into some internal wrangling and squabbles recently recorded in the party. Such internal disputes are both normal and common, especially in a growing democracy like ours. The beauty of such disagreements is the ability and resilience to resolve them and emerge out of them stronger.
“l wish to commend Mr President for the excellent leadership exhibited in resolving the seeming contention with ease, and without adverse effects on the party and the convention.
“As we elect new national officials, l call on every member of the party to please support and cooperate with the leaders from wards to the national level. We should please bury our differences and collectively work for the interest and success of our party.
“This is very necessary for us to approach the 2023 general elections with a united front. We can only achieve much in unity, just like the broom, which is our party symbol.
“I am now more confident than ever, that with a population of over 41million registered members and still counting, the APC has the potential and capacity to remain Nigeria’s ruling party, and indeed, Africa’s largest political party,” Buni said.
Presidential posters flood convention venue
Campaign posters of some APC bigwigs seeking the presidential ticket of the party had flooded the Eagle Square, venue of the convention and strategic locations in Abuja.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that the party’s top shots, whose posters flooded Abuja, are its national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; a former governor of Rivers State and incumbent Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.