The former Nasarawa governor, Senator Abdullah Adamu, as President Muhammadu Buhari, had reortedly endorsed him for the exalted position at a meeting with governors elected on the platform of the party recently.
Described as a detribalised Nigerian, if elected national chairman, his backers said he would stabilise, unify and reposition the party for electoral victories.
Buhari met with the governors and the party national chairmanship aspirants on Wednesday, to reiterate the need to go into the convention with a united front.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the meeting, yesterday, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, explained that the president emphasised the need for party members to be united. Asked if the party had arrived at a consensus for the position of the chairman and what would happen to those who bought forms, Lawan said they were not in the position to answer. “Well, I think that question shouldn’t be put to us because we’re not the party.
But because you asked and we are in your territory, we’ll make some effort to say something to it. The essence of this engagements is for the party to achieve consensus, and consensus is a process. It doesn’t just happen like that. So, I believe that before we go into the convention square on Saturday, by the grace of God, we would have a lot of consensus reached and may be the sort of document that we call or refer to as unity list, that is bringing all the agreed positions where consensus have been achieved in the various sections or geopolitical zones of the country.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila described the meeting as productive. “As many of you are aware, the president, in the last couple of days, has been having meetings with stakeholders towards the convention. The whole idea is to encourage all stakeholders to unite, have a common front, and a peaceful, rancour-free and successful convention.”
Some of the principal officers in the delegation inluded Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya, Senate Leader, Ajayi Boroffice Deputy Senate Leader, Chief Whip, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, Alhassan Ado Dogowa – Majority Leader, Mohammed Tahir Monguno- Chief Whip and Nkeiruka Onyejeocha Deputy Chief Whip.
President Buhari urged leaders and members of the party to channel their energies into improving fortunes of the party in the forthcoming elections, and avoid squabbling that can easily distract and create disharmony.
According to a statement by Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari, the president reminded members of the proximity of the election dates set by INEC and admonished that positions should be harmonised with a bigger picture of winning elections and providing good governance.
President Buhari told the lawmakers that a zoning template was produced and adopted by the party after wide consultations in order to ensure that the leadership was reflective of the diversity in unity while representing various dynamic interests.
•Regional stakeholders’ micro-zoning
Similarly, President Buhari received applause for respecting the micro-zoning arrangement.
According to a prsidency source: “The issue of Mr. President trying to impose persons against the wish of party leaders, especially governors, does not arise. It is a pure blackmail by those who have lost out. The man has been transparent enough to tell stakeholders his desire for the party to have its chairman and the governors themselves wanted to know if he had a preferred choice which he told them at the meeting on Wednesday.
“It is true he had agreed to a unity list having taken into consideration the fact that the slots had been bundled into the geopolitical zones. It was on the basis of that he initially signed one off. But it became obvious that though slots had been bundled into geopolitical zones, there were states in those zones. So, after a careful consideration of the reports from those zones, the president had no choice than to respect the views and opinions of the regional stakeholders.
“In essence, even where he preferred certain persons, he could not force them on the people if the positions they are seeking are not zoned to their states. For instance, he wanted his long time ally and friend, Farouk as deputy national chairman (North). But he could not make it because he is from North West while the position was zoned to North East. That is why you can see Muhammed Kyari as the new person. In the same vein, he would have loved Ife Oyedele as secretary but the slot does not belong to Ondo, it goes to the Oyo/Osun axis, according to the briefing he got from the governors. So, do you now expect the president to force persons on the people? It is not possible.”
•Nkire lauds Buhari on consensus
Party chieftain from Abia State, Chief Sam Nkire also commended President Buhari for advising members of the party to adopt consensus as the best way of choosing their leaders at the National Convention.
“The consensus arrangement which is a provision in the APC constitution, would eliminate the incidence of quarreling and fighting at the convention venue, having agreed on a unity list right from the zones’.
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