Some officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have showed disappointment over the alleged endorsement of Senator Abdullahi Adamu by the Presidency.
Members of the Governor Atiku Bagudu-led Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) have also supported Adamu.
A source privy to the decision disclosed that the top leaders of the party have zoned the seat to the north-central geopolitical zone where Adamu hails from.
This was as the Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), yesterday, appointed committees for the party’s March 12 zonal congresses.
CECPC Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, said this in a press release in Abuja.
“The chairmen of the committees are all members of the CECPC, while secretaries are selected from among deputy governors from respective geopolitical zones.
“Meetings of zonal stakeholders hold on Saturday, February 26, at the respective geopolitical zones,” Akpanudoedehe said.
Adamu, who leads the Senate Committee on Agriculture, served as a two-term governor of Nasarawa State between 1999 and 2007.
Senators Sani Musa (Niger), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), George Akume (Benue) and Salihu Mustapha (Kwara) are among others vying for the chairmanship post.
Already, governors from the zone are canvassing support for Adamu ahead of the March 26 national convention of the party.
They include: Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Abubakar Sani Bello (Niger) and Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara).
The governors had a meeting with Adamu on Tuesday night, shortly after their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Sources informed newsmen that governors from other geopolitical zones, including Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, who are disposed to the choice, are already reaching out to party prominent leaders across the country to achieve the goal.
A source said: “The President is in full support of the choice. He told the governors to work around a consensus arrangement, to pave way for Adamu to become the chairman of the party, in line with the tradition of the party.
“Don’t forget that this was how Adams Oshiomhole, Oyegun, and even Bisi Akande who chaired the party before now, emerged. So, there is nothing strange with the idea of consensus, since it is in line with the party’s constitution.”
HOWEVER, the development, did not go down well with a section of the party, even as a group, the Concerned APC North-West Stakeholders, cautioned governors, especially from the region, that the decision could ruin the party.
National convener of the group, Alhaji Sani Abubakar, displayed regrets that dropping Mr. President’s name, to support a candidate over others is harmful to the party’s interest.
In a press release, the group said: “Stakeholders have become aware that members of the PGF from the northwest, who championed this errant position, are acting out their own greed and personal agenda, which is that each of them is hopeful of emerging the running mate to an eventual APC presidential candidate from the south.
“It is most unfortunate that people, who currently (individually) hold the mandate for the wellbeing of millions of people, as state governors, are unable to subjugate their selfish goals for national interest, party loyalty and the long-term stability of Nigeria’s democracy.
“It is tragic how these individuals overheated the polity simply out of desperation to occupy a position that is not zoned to their areas.
“All those pushing for a candidate from the north-central to be made a consensus chairman of the party, which had earlier been zoned to the northwest, are traitors and seem to only be interested in rubbishing Mr. President’s legacies in office by appending his name as a mark of approval to their plans.”
ALSO, All Progressives Congress Mandate Group (APC-MG) blamed the reported selection of Adamu.
In a communique in Abuja, the group, led by Alhaji Sani Abdullahi, cautioned few individuals arrogating powers to themselves by trying to decide the fate of the ruling party, without recuring to the teeming members across the country.
The group stated that APC members did not, at any time, meet with a view to select Adamu as chairman.
The group debated that there was no way selected persons, acting as a “cabal”, would take decisions on behalf of the APC founded on a recognised constitution, and with known organs that have responsibility for decisions at various stages.
It said: “The APC-MG noted with dismay, the purported endorsement of Adamu as national chairman of APC and the reported zoning of the party’s presidential ticket for the 2023 elections to the south.
“The APC Mandate Group has consequently directed party members and Nigerians to disregard the purported endorsement of Adamu as chairman and the zoning of APC presidential ticket.
“Decision on the APC presidential flag bearer is something beyond Nasir el-Rufai or Kayode Fayemi or Mohammed Badaru, who are only entitled to one vote each when it is time for elections.
“Party members would not have, at any time, treated Adamu as a top contender for its national leadership, when he woefully failed to unite the party in the simple task as chairman of the APC reconciliation committee.
“APC-MG is challenging the PGF to publish adopted minutes of any APC meeting where it was agreed that the presidency should be zoned to any region of the country as they are now championing.”
ALSO, national chairmanship aspirant, Mr. Mohammed Saidu Etsu, said: “Nobody has communicated me to this effect. And if such claims are to hold weight, I strongly believe that the party knows the best channel to reach out to us, as fellow aspirants, who are equally qualified for this seat.
“I am, therefore, calling on the stakeholders to look into the current situation and swiftly react to it, because if this is true, we cannot agree to this decision as candidates.
“While we are holding back to hear from the party, this decision remains unacceptable and I beseech the stakeholders to disregard and discontinue this claim.”