APC chairmanship: Zulum endorses Akume as Arewa Youths root for Almakura
•Adamu’s Purported Endorsement By Buhari A Ruse, Musa Declares
Barely a week to the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention, Arewa youths in the South-south and Southeast have described Senator Tanko Almakura as the best candidate to occupy the office of the national chairman of the party.
This came as the aspiration of Senator George Akume for the chairmanship position received a boost yesterday after Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State endorsed him.
The Arewa youths under the auspices of Arewa Youth South South and South East had made their position public last Thursday in Port Harcourt, the River State capital.
The spokesperson of the group, Alhaji Anas Yero, commended the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee for putting all machineries in place to ensure that the March 26 convention of the party would be a reality and also for zoning the position of chairmanship to the North-Central zone.
The Arewa youths recalled the roles Almakura played during the merger that gave birth to the APC in 2013.
“As the only Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) governor then, he played a key role in the formation of the party and the victory of APC in the most credible election in the history of Nigeria in 2015 and the victory of President Muhammad Buhari at the poll.
“It is only a competent chairman that can lead APC to victory and also address all the internal crisis of different interest blocs within the party, which is peculiar and common to any big national party.
“We the apex northern youth extraction within the Niger Delta and East under the auspices of Arewa Youth South South and South East support and endorse the candidature of Sen. Umar Tanko Almakura as the most competent, reliable and credible candidate suitable for the national chairman,” Yero said.
Zulum, who endorsed Akume when he paid a courtesy visit to him at his Abuja residence, argued that his stance was based on the need to entrench fairness and equity in the party.
The governor called for the support of President Buhari and his colleagues to ensure that Akume, who is a founding member of the APC, emerges victorious at the national convention.
He said: “As the Executive Governor of Borno State, who believes in the concept of fairness, equity and justice, I plead with His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, all the Executive Governors of our great party, esteemed party chieftains and elders in the party to unanimously endorse Distinguished Senator George Akume, the former Executive Governor of Benue State as the new national chairman of the APC.
“One thing about me is that I don’t pretend. Even Mr. President is aware of this fact about my character traits. To give our very own Christian brothers and sisters in our great party the sense of belonging, Senator George Akume deserves the total support of all party chieftains who believe in the unity of our great party.
“As the only Christian in the race for the chairmanship of the APC, all the contestants have asked for my support. But I choose to stick with His Excellency, Distinguished Senator George Akume and I have personally identified with him for the whole world to know that the entire good people of Borno State are solidly behind Distinguished Senator George Akume.
“APC is never a political party for the Muslims alone. APC is a political party for both Christians and Muslims. Therefore, all well meaning members of the APC should rally round Distinguished Senator George Akume as the party’s next national chairman, In-sha Allah.”
Meanwhile, Senator Sani Musa, who is also aspiring for the chairmanship position, yesterday said he was not aware of the purported endorsement of Senator Abdullahi Adamu by President Buhari for the job.
Musa, who spoke to reporters after submitting his expression of interest form at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, called for an open contest by all those aspiring for the chairmanship seat of the party.
He noted: “Why did the party sell forms to us? You sold forms to us, and as far as I’m concerned, there has never been anybody that officially contacted me or any other aspirants.
“Nobody! And the spokesperson to Mr. President, Femi Adesina had said it that there is no endorsement. So, we want a vibrant leadership. We want leadership that will change the status quo.
“What are we talking about? The endorsement I want is your endorsement. I want the endorsement of 43 million APC members. That is what I need.”
The Niger State-born lawmaker promised to reposition the party if he actualises his ambition to lead the party.
“The APC needs a leadership that will bring direction. The APC needs a leader that will be able to build consensus between all dividing organs. The executive governors are there to support the party and the party is there to work with the governors.
“We want to see a party that will become an institution in Africa. APC is the largest party and all we need to do is to put the structure,” he said.