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Disquiet in APC over Adamu, Nnamani, as govs allay fears on convention, rift

By Leo Sobechi, Terhemba Daka and Adamu Abuh, Abuja
02 March 2022   |   4:02 am
Ahead of the March 26 national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), some stakeholders have opposed the alleged selection of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as chairman of the party.

Ken Nnamani

Ahead of the March 26 national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), some stakeholders have opposed the alleged selection of Senator Abdullahi Adamu as chairman of the party.

At a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, spokesperson of the group, Mr. Aliyu Audu, also frowned at the alleged selection of former Senate President Ken Nnamani as deputy national chairman (south) of the party.

The stakeholders maintained that those behind the alleged choice of the duo violated democratic principles.

They said Adamu “failed grossly in reconciling aggrieved members, particularly from all the states he visited. He also failed to accord recognition to the critical mass of young people in the party who are even more aggrieved by the people he consulted during the so-called reconciliation process.”

They said “any endorsement of Adamu, either purported or real” is a “very dangerous gamble, one that signals a return of our much-beloved progressive party to the hands of the original PDP members.”

BUT in a telephone interview with The Guardian, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Poland, Dr. Samuel Jimba, faulted people criticising Adamu and Nnamani.

“I don’t know whether any of them have contributed the much that those people they are accusing, Adamu and Nnamani, have contributed to the development of this country and APC.

“So, as far as I am concerned they (the group) do not carry sufficient weight to deserve any attention at the national level and they should not cause unnecessary distractions to what 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.”

Jimba urged political jobbers to ensure, “if they are playing the tune of their paymaster, they are bold enough to name their paymaster and let the paymaster come and compete with those they are accusing. If they have the pedigree, the experience, the quality of leadership, let them place them on the table for all to see.

“But when you come and say you don’t want somebody and then you don’t provide an alternative, I think you do not deserve to get any attention at all and so, as far as I am concerned, they should be ignored.”

THIS came as the APC Action Group, alleged plot by members of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) to shift the date of the convention.

The group’s publicity secretary, Mr. Bisi Olanipekun, in a statement in Abuja, warned that such a move could jeopardise the party’s chances in the 2023 poll.

It said: “By changing the date to be inconsistent with the law, the governors are trying to undermine the person and office of President Muhammadu Buhari by making him complicit, as party leader, in breaching the electoral law he only recently assented to.

“The APC Action Group wants to reiterate its earlier position that with the new timetable released by INEC, we demand unequivocally that the presidential primaries be held on the same date with our national convention.

“Our reason for this is the need to save money for the party and shield party members from expending so much resources to travel twice for events that could have been collapsed into one; this is in addition to security challenges associated with road travel.

“Holding the national convention and presidential primary on the same day will stave off the potential for disgruntled persons to frivolously jump ship only to again return to the party after the general elections.”

HOWEVER, the Forum of APC Aspirants For National Convention enjoined Buhari to order stoppage of the convention.

The forum, led by Chief Tolulope Ashafa, in an open letter to the President, argued that the call was in the best interest or the party.

Blaming members of the PGF for the crisis rocking the party, the forum frowned at alleged attempt by a section of the governors to impose Adamu as the chairman.

It said: “The Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) must halt existing plans for the national convention and come up with a new template that combines the convention with the presidential primary, while focusing on preparations for other primary elections.”

BUT PGF chairman and Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, insisted the March 26 date for the convention stands.

He gave the assurance after a meeting of the forum with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He also debunked reports of division among party members.

He said: “Last week, we were in this hall, about 20 APC governors, and this question came up. We clearly said we came to discuss the national convention, which is slated for March 26, and are working hard to ensure that on March 26, we have our convention and elect our national officers, and that remains the case.”

On insinuations that the governors were divided over the timing of the convention, the PGF chairman said: “There’s no altercation. I’m not aware of any. Mallam Nasir, last week, answered that. If by altercation, people are talking about differences of opinion before a decision is arrived at, then maybe, that is what people can…But as a body, the 22 governors of the APC are united behind the party and behind Mr. President.”