More reactions continue to surround the report that President Bola Tinubu and governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress may have settled for the former Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, to replace Senator Abdullahi Adamu as the party’s national chairman.
According to findings, the move has divided members of the National Working Committee and party leaders.
Ganduje’s presence at the Presidential Villa in company with Imo State Governor Hope Uzodimma, his counterparts in Lagos and Ogun states, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dapo Abiodun, respectively, on Wednesday further lent credence to the report. However, many party chieftains dismissed it as speculation at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja.
The National Vice Chairman (North-West), Salihu Lukman, had kicked against replacing Adamu with Ganduje, saying the action could upset the party’s zoning arrangement.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday titled ‘APC: Way forward,’ Lukman stated that the move would be the height of insensitivity if it turned out to be true.
Meanwhile, some party leaders have called for restraint, saying whether candidates would be adopted or not, they could not be confirmed without a national mini-convention.
Aside from the offices of the national chairman and secretary, other positions presently vacant include Deputy National Publicity Secretary, formerly occupied by Murtala Ajaka, who is running for the governorship of Kogi State on the platform of Social Democratic Party; and National Welfare Officer, previously occupied by the late Friday Nwosu.
The APC chairman in Lagos State, Cornelius Ojelabi, disclosed that until the ruling party officially announced, the news of Ganduje replacing Adamu would remain speculation.
He stated, “As far as I am concerned, the news of Ganduje becoming the next APC chairman is still speculation. Even though one must support a particular candidate, we still have to go through a mini-convention for the natural emergence of whoever will become the national chairman or secretary of the party.
“The leadership knows who they think can drive the party how they want. I am a state chairman of the party. Wherever the administration directs us, that is where we will go. Besides, we are yet even to have a NEC meeting.
The national caucus meeting comes first, where those candidates will be properly scrutinised. Just bear with us and see what happens after the caucus meeting.”
Also, APC North-West Publicity Secretary, Musa Mailafiya Mada, said, “The issue surrounding who officially replaces Senator Abdullahi Adamu is still a subject of speculation.
It is hard to discuss this until things are brought to the party properly. After all, politics is all about negotiation.
“We at the zonal level where Ganduje came from have not been briefed. I am not saying we are not being carried along, but you must have seen that some NWC members are also unaware of anything.
“That’s why we may not rush to comment on issues not brought to us. The way I see it, there will be a mini-convention, and the party will be the one to conduct it.
If they choose to go with anybody as a consensus candidate, I don’t see any problem. It has happened before. Abdullahi Adamu also emerged through the process as a consensus candidate during the convention that produced the current NWC.”
Meanwhile, Lukman has written to the Progressive Governors’ Forum to express his displeasure over its alleged choice of Ganduje to replace Adamu as the national chairman.
His warning was contained in a leaked letter dated July 21 and addressed to the chairman of the PGF and Governor of Imo State, Uzodimma, titled ‘APC National Chairman: PGF should serve as the conscience of APC.’ He copied the President, members of the NWC and Ganduje.
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The letter partly read, “While it is within the right of Progressive Governors, being a very critical power bloc within the APC, to endorse any candidate for the position of the national chairman, to make such decision public in whatever manner is unfair to both President Bola Tinubu and other leaders of the party who are not members of PGF. It is even unfair to Dr Ganduje, who is being endorsed.
“I want to strongly appeal to Your Excellency, as the PGF Chairman, to kindly return PGF to its conventional role of acting as the conscience of the party by ensuring that the party always takes the right decisions, which will protect the interest of every member, every region and all good.
The PGF under Your Excellency’s leadership must not be seen to be promoting or condoning decisions that are liable to acts of injustice and unfairness to any member, section of the country or interest.”
Meanwhile, Morka said Lukman’s views did not reflect the party’s position, noting that there was no crisis in the party.
In a statement in Abuja on Saturday, Morka stated, “While individual party leaders and members retain their right to express their thoughts and opinions, they do not represent the official position of the NWC or the party.
The official position of the NWC on the subject of succession to any vacant offices of the NWC or any other issue will be communicated via the official channels of the NWC.
“All sections of the party’s college of leadership stand united in their quest for a more progressive Party. We remain committed to the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration towards uplifting the quality of life of all Nigerians.”
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