As the day for the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention draws close, indications has emerged that the presidency may have decided that the party’s national chairmanship be left in the North East as it is consistent with the norms and traditions of the party.
It would be recalled that when Chief John Odigie-Oyegun from the South South was dropped as the APC national chairman, the party still went to the zone to elect Adams Oshiomole, a former governor of Edo under a concensus arrangement.
In the same vein,now that Gov. Mai Mala Buni who heads the APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) is from the North East,it might not be by happenstance if the next APC national chairman comes from the zone.
The APC national convention had been slated for Feb. 26. and no fewer than 11 aspirants are in the race to contest its national chairmanship position among which are former governors
They include Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff, a two-term former governor of Borno who had been trailing others in proactive agenda setting, Danjuma Goje also a former governor of Gombe and Mr Sylvester Monidafe all from the the North East.
From the North Central, we have a former Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Malam Saliu Mustapha, a former governor of Nasarawa State, Sen. Tanko Al Makura, Sen. Mohammed Sani-Musa and the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Dr George Akume,
Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari a former governor of Zamfara and a former Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) is also in the race among others.
An inside source said in reaching the decision to zone the APC national chairmanship to the North East, the presidency and the party’s national leadership and its top echeleon may have looked at developments in the party.
“They also may have looked at happenings within the party’s ranks and files and the perculiar challenges that would meet it in 2023 general elections when President Muhammadu Buhari would not be on the ballot.
“It was agreed that for the APC to retain the presidency and maintain its winning streak after 2023, its next national chairman must be a person of character, social and economic standing with expirence in party administration and a profound understanding of the process of, and intrigues in contesting and winning elections,” the source said.
He said other factors considered was the fact that the All Nigerian Peoples’ Party (ANPP) block, one of the political parties that merged to form the APC ahead of the 2015 general elections had not been adequately compensated and had not been really accommodated in the scheme of things in the APC as it were.
He listed other political parties to include the: Congress for Progressives Congress (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and part of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) led by Sen. Rochas Okorocha, the immediate past governor of Imo and part of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), under the G7.
“The CPC has the president, the ACN has the Vice President and chairman of party.The ANPP went into the pact with the highest number of states but yet to be properly recognised with political positions.
“Barring any changes, the zoning of the APC national chairmanship to the North East will take place in the next few days and this will expectedly put to rest earlier rumour that the position had been zoned to the North Central,” the source said.
He further said that the resolution was reached after due consultations and considerations, especially as critical stakeholders of the party from the North Central had kicked against the continuous headship of political parties by its indigens since 1999 without anything to show for it.
He recalled that Chief Solomon Lar, was the protain National Chairman of the PDP, while Banabas Germade, Ahamad Ali and Audu Ogbe all from the North Central headed the PDP at a time, without much to show for it in the zone, even as the party had recently zoned its chairmanship to the region.
Most opinion moulders in the North Central are of the believe that those clamouring for the APC national chairmanship to be zoned to the North Central were doing so for selfish reasons and were being nudged on by their collaborators in the South West.
The North Central leaders are of the opinion that this is an affront on them which showed that they were being taken for granted.
To them, what was even more worrisome was the fact that the characters being thrown up for the position from the zone, lacked the capacity, expirence and pedigree to negotiate and attract appointments and development to the zone.
They said the North West which had produced two presidents should consider the North Central for the next highest executive position, either the President or Vice President.
“It has become evident that the clamour for the APC national chairmanship to be zoned to the North Central is being planned and orchestrated from the South West;largely because of its control of the media,” the source further said.
He argued that if the North Central could led political parties to electoral victory since the inception of democracy in the country, why not bring the higher executive position to the zone.
Reacting to the development, Dr Richard Terwase in the Sen. George Akume Campaign Organisation, one of the leading aspirants from the North Central, said he was not awear of the development.
“My only interest is that my principal, Sen. Akume is in the race, and we hope and pray that the party’s leadership will see him as the most capable person to handle that position, am not awear of any zoning,” he stressed.
Other aspirants from the zone also denialed knowledge of the development.