APC chair race narrows to Adamu, Akume, Al-Makura, Musa after Sheriff’s exit
Buni insists convention will hold, hails Ganduje-led committee
The race for the chairmanship seat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has narrowed down to Senator Abdullahi Adamu and four other aspirants following the decision by Senator Ali Modu Sherriff to throw in the towel.
Adamu, purportedly, is President Muhammadu Buhari’s anointed candidate for the position.
The other contenders for the sensitive job are Senators George Akume, Tanko Al-Makura, Sani Musa and Salihu Mustapha, who hails from the North Central geopolitical zone comprising Benue, Nasarawa, Niger and Kwara States.
This was as Chairman of the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni assured Nigerians that Saturday’s convention will hold despite previous postponements.
Buni disclosed this at his Abuja residence while receiving Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who doubles as chairman of the protocol sub-committee of the convention.
Buni said the committee is second to the main convention planning committee in view of importance, which informed the appointment of Ganduje as chair alongside other members who have a track record of achievements in their respective endeavours.
There are indications another aspirant, Alhaji Mohammed Etsu, a late entrant, might be prevailed upon to step down before the party’s national convention billed for Saturday.
It remains unclear, though, if Etsu, who is from Niger State, will withdraw for his kinsman, Musa, or Adamu, who was a two-term governor of Nasarawa State.
The development is expected to put pressure on former Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, to also step down. Yari, a founding member of the party, insists the exalted seat is available to stalwarts from the entire north of the country.
Sherriff pinned his withdrawal from the race on the decision by the party to zone the seat to North Central. The former Borno State governor explained further that his decision was in deference to the wishes of Buhari.
Expressing gratitude to his supporters across the country, he said: “The party has taken a stand that the position of national chairman should go to North Central, meaning it is exclusively zoned to contestants from the region.
“Being someone who respects the rule of law and respects our leaders… The President is the leader of the party. And the President has taken a position. I have always told you that I will contest if it is zoned to my zone. That has been my statement always. And today, they have taken a position. I respect the President.
“I respect him as a person. And as a president, he is my leader. He must have a reason for allowing the party to zone the chairmanship to North Central.”
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