The All Progressives Congress (APC) is once again mired in another crisis over what aggrieved party stakeholders of the party have described as imposition of candidates ahead of the party’s national convention.
Specifically, the stakeholders are kicking against the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari and governors elected on the party’s platform to endorse former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and former Senate President Ken Nnamani as chairman and deputy chairman south respectively.
Vehemently, the also rejected the inclusion of former Aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, as a member of Media Committee for the national convention billed for March 26.
The choice of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as consensus candidate for the national chairmanship position of the APC had thrown the governing party into disarray, with some of the chairmanship aspirants and party stakeholders kicking against the decision by President Buhari and the progressive governors.
According to the report, the choice of Adamu as the next party national chairman received the endorsement of the president who made his position known to the APC governors at their meeting penultimate Tuesday.
The president is said to be disposed to Adamu because he wants a national chairman with better experience in the affairs of political parties who cannot be intimidated by opposition of any kind.
But reacting to the development, party stakeholders under the aegis of APC Rebirth Group said certain persons behind the plot to impose Senators Adamu and Nnamaniu as the next APC national chairman and deputy national chairman, south, cannot sit down alone in their zones and decide who gets what in the party.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, convener of the APC stakeholders’ forum, Engr Aliyu Audu, argued that Adamu lacks the democratic credentials that typical of a national chairman in a party like the governing APC.
The party stakeholders insisted that a politician like Adamu who was one of the strong proponents of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s third term agenda is not qualified to lead the APC.
Audu stated: “We therefore believe that any endorsement of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, either purported or real, as the chairman of our party is a very dangerous gamble, one that signals a return of our much beloved progressive party to the hands of the original PDP members.
“We are also not unaware of plans to also bring another member of the party from the stock of the People’s Democratic Party in the person of former Senate President Ken Nnamani, to serve as the Deputy National Chairman (South) of All Progressives Congress.
“While he is known publicly to be a member of the All Progressives Congress, there are several instances where his loyalty to the party has been questioned. Information out there is that he has continued to be a member of APC in the day time and a member of PDP at night, and while this information has not been proven to be true, the APC would be playing safe by refusing to hand over such an important position of Deputy National Chairman to a man whose loyalty once completely lied in the opposition.
“At this point in the life of the APC, what we need is a leader that can midwife us away from the damages caused to the party over the years and definitely not an individual who does not originally share in the ideals of the APC nor one whose temperament and level of tolerance will further deepen the disappointments of already disillusioned party members.
“As stakeholders we would rather throw our weight behind an aspirant whose integrity is unquestionable, someone who has demonstrated a proven capacity for youth inclusion and the ability to harvest the energy of young people to drive party activities especially in this age of digital and social media mobilization.”
On plans to appoint Fani-Kayode as deputy chairman of the convention media committee, the APC stakeholders said members of the party will wait until the names of committee members are released to the public before taking the next line of action.
Fani-Kayode has right to join the APC but to make him a Committee member is condemnable and we will reject it,” Audu stated.
I’m Well Qualified, Prepared For The Job, Adamu Insists
But reacting to the development, Senator Adamu maintained that he was fit and fully prepared to administer the party effectively as national chairman.
The former Nasarawa governor urged other party members to ignore the APC Rebirth Group, saying he does not respond to faceless groups that cannot name their paymasters.
Speaking through his aide, Ambassador Samuel Jimba, the Senator stated, “Who are the National stakeholder’s group? I don’t know whether they want to consider themselves stakeholders for which those they are accusing are not stakeholders. I don’t see any identity that qualifies them to become national stakeholders as opposed to other persons who have significantly contributed to the party and who qualify as party icons, party leaders and party stakeholders.
“I don’t know whether any of them have contributed the much that those people they are accusing of supporting Sen Abdullahi Adamu and Sen Ken Nnamani. I don’t know whether they have contributed to the development of this country and to the development of the APC the way those people who addressed this press conference has contributed.”
Noting that Adamu is qualified to be national chairman of the APC, Jimba said, “As far as we are concerned Sen. Abdullahi Adamu is an experienced politician, he had been an activist since his student days. He was part of those that formed the National Union of Nigerian Student, he was a foundation member of NUNS before it became National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
“He later became the first national Vice President of NANS and from there became a leader in the NPN, where he was state secretary and state chairman and member of the National Executive Committee
“As you know, he was a two-time governor, a ranking Senator, three terms in the Senator. So, what experience do you need that this man does not have and then they begin to throw a lot of tissues and lies on the man’s character and assassination of his character, we will not answer them because they don’t deserve that attention.”
Adamu added that the stakeholders protesting the choice of him as APC chairman do not carry sufficient weight to deserve any attention at the national level, even as he cautioned them against causing unnecessary distractions for what the APC is set to do, which is to hold a convention “that becomes a classic example of how every political party should hold a convention, come March 26th this year.
“So, for me they do not deserve the attention that they want to generate for themselves. I do not know if they are hirelings. But if you look at their press conference they said they want somebody who has youth inclusiveness and all the rest. But they did not tell us who they are fronting for. Apparently they are fronting for somebody, but they do not have sufficient confidence in the person they are fronting for to even bring out his name to the public space.
“If you say you don’t want somebody then give us the alternative. They have not provided any alternative, they have not named anybody, they themselves didn’t put their names in the paper I saw; how do you now expect us to take them serious.”
Fayemi Backs Sani Musa For Party National Chairman
Meanwhile, chairman of Nigeria Governor’ Forum (NGF) and governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has thrown his weight behind one of the leading aspirants for the position of the APC national chairman, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, saying he is more convinced that is a man that he (Musa) is armed with the requisite leadership qualities to lead the APC and sustain its electoral fortunes/
Speaking when Senator Musa paid him a visit in Ado-Ekiti, Fayemi disclosed that prior to Musa’s visit to him yesterday, he had been inundated with calls by persons accusing him alongside another governor of being among those pushing Musa’s name to be chairman of the party.
Musa was in Ekiti in furtherance of his consultation to party leaders and stakeholders within the party on his aspiration to become the next national chairman of the APC.
Fayemi who commended Musa noted that he personally dug up his pedigree and antecedents on his own.
He promised to give his full support to Senator Musa’s ambition to become the national chairman of the APC.
“I appreciate you for coming down to Ado-Ekiti to visit me. While I can assure you of my support on your ambition to lead our great party, I need to also emphasise that we have a leader in President Muhammadu Buhari and whatever Mr. President decides at the end of the day, is what we will all abide by including you and I,” Fayemi stated.
Earlier Senator Musa unveiled his mission and blueprint for the party as a necessary step in sustaining President Buhari’s legacy and ideology for the APC.
He noted that Buhari has committed so much effort in making the APC a national party for all and a force to reckon with.
Musa also harped on the importance of making the APC a vibrant democratic institution that grooms leaders, formulate policy and, ultimately, win elections.
“It is my view that when those elected in government are doing their job, political parties should be busy working — organizing retreats, exchange programs, party conferences and peer reviews which in my candid opinion more important than only waiting elections or congress period to surface alone.
“In addition to this, one of the cardinal focal points that are dear to me personally is to strive to adapt to this affiliative and participatory system where everyone will have a sense of belonging in the party” Sani Musa told the governor.
The NGF chairman and Senator Musa also discussed topical issues bordering on the upcoming national convention, post President Buhari era and what it portrays for the APC during the next election, especially the president’s 12million votes and how key party leaders can play their part by scaling up their support base that will translate into meaningful votes for the APC.