The All Progressives Congress (APC) has debunked the rumour that the ruling party has zoned its national chairmanship slot to the North Central.
Recent media reports state that APC has zoned its chairmanship position to the North Central.
In their separate remarks, the National Secretary, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. James Akpanudoedehe and the Director General, Al-Makura Campaign Organisation, Dominic Alancha, described the notion as a mere speculation.
Sen. Akpanudoedehe who confirmed the above while addressing journalists in Abuja said the issue of zoning was not part of the mandates of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
According to him, party members are expected to come up with different zoning speculations to suit their interest as the party’s national convention slated for February 2022 draws near.
He said, “I have the mandate to report that whatever decision the CECPC takes and to the best of my knowledge the committee has not discussed zoning.
“People are just flying what will favour their interest. All I know is that the caretaker committee has not discussed or reach a zoning decision.”
Zoning of slot to North Central, a mere speculation – Alancha
On his part, the Director General, Al-Makura Campaign Organisation, Dominic Alancha, said the report that the Chairmanship slot will go to the North Central is mere speculation.
Although he stated that the North Central seems more favoured than all region by all indices, Alancha noted that the national secretariat and critical stakeholders of the party have not announced where the slot would be been zoned to.
His words: “Well, we know that the issue of zoning has not been conclusive on where some of the national offices will be zoned to, but we are trusting God that giving the advocacy we have put in place.
“North Central is more favoured. If you look at the indices, it favours North Central the most. So, when people say it has been zoned to North Central, it’s because they believe that North Central is the most favoured zone for the position of the national chairman.
“However, the national secretariat and the critical stakeholders of our party have not met to announce where it is being zoned to. For now, it’s a mere speculation.”
Meanwhile, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura is a former governor and a senator in Nassarawa State.
He is one of the major aspirants vying for the chairmanship position of the party and one of the very few that might be favoured if the party eventually zones its chairmanship to the North Central.
Chairmanship, Presidency slots will be zoned to North, South respectively – Lar
Also speaking, Media Director, Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff Campaign Organisation, Sen. Victor Lar, said the report that APC had zoned the Chairmanship slot was laughable, describing it as figment of the imagination of those who planted it.
The Media Director of Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff, a two-term governor of Borno State and a frontline aspirant of the APC chairmanship, said, “We find the purported story as very laughable because the organs of the party that are supposed to communicate that kind of information are not the ones communicating it. For that reason, we will take it with a pinch of salt.”
He added, “Again, the APC as a party has never adopted zoning, therefore, the story of it zoning the national chairmanship to the North Central can better be described as a figment of the imaginations of those who planted it.
“We find the report to be very poor scheming of people who are scared of contesting the position with Sheriff.”
He said it was obvious that Sheriff’s hard work and manner of campaign had unsettled other aspirants.
This, he noted, was especially because he had gained unprecedented support from party members and critical stakeholders across the country.
Lar said the race for the APC national chairmanship is an open contest, maintaining that the best candidate should be allowed to emerge.
According to him, “This is necessary for the party to be galvanised for victory in the 2023 general elections.”
In his reaction to the approval given by President Muhammadu Buhari for the party’s National Convention to hold in February 2022, Lar said there is a need for the National Executive Committee (NEC) to meet and rectify the date.
“Though we had commended the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) for taking the initiative to meet with Buhari on the need for the party’s National Convention to be conducted.
“The decision to hold the convention in February 2022 has to be taken by the party’s NEC. The President does not have the constitutional powers to call for a meeting; neither do the governors elected on the party’s platform. It is only the party’s NEC that can take such a decision as regards when its national convention will hold.
“The February date must therefore be rectified by the party’s NEC to make it constitutional,” he said.
Lar also appealed to APC members and Sheriff’s teeming supporters to remain calm and focused.
“We are on course and victory is certain. I want to assure that Sheriff will work amicably and with an open heart with everyone, irrespective of religion and tribe when he becomes the party national chairman by God’s grace and with their support,” he maintained.
Also reacting to the rumour, a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adamawa state, and one of the chairmanship aspirants, Sunny Sylvester Moniedafe, said “the party decided based on facts before them which has not been officially confirmed.”
Chairmanship, Presidency slots will be zoned to North, South respectively – Party stalwart
Meanwhile, the Treasurer, All Progressive Congress (APC), Oyo State chapter, Ezekiel Olaogun, said the party is putting plans in place to ensure that the position for the party chairman is zoned to the North while the presidential position is going to the South.
Olaogun maintained that the party’s decision remains unchanged and unswerving to zone both its chairmanship and presidential slots.
He also revealed that the race for the national chairmanship seat of the party has commenced.
He made this known while speaking in an exclusive interview with Nigerian NewsDirect.
According to him, the presidency position will be zoned to the South after Buhari’s second term because of a “gentleman’s agreement” in the party.
The party stalwart said, “The National convention of All Progressive Congresss (APC) is slated to hold next year February in Abuja, and we are trying to ensure that the position for the party chairman is zoned to the North while the presidential position is going to the South.
“The Osun state Governorship primary election scheduled to hold February 22 next year has no contradiction with the National convention.
“Each state will conduct its own congress and those interested in party positions at the national level are having strategic planning to have their way.
“Several northern leaders of the party have started consultations ahead of the national convention. This position is widely open and we are patiently waiting for the party to unveil the aspirants
“Admittedly, we came into the power when insecurity and economic crises have ravaged so many parts of the country. When we came into power there was dwindling financial crisis and now it is a priority for the administration to diversify the economy of the country, and we have seen and witness that.
“The current administration under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has realised the importance of infrastructure in the country and he has done so well in this sector, working assiduously to reawake the Nigerian transport system.”
He, however, expressed confidence that APC will retain its central position in the forthcoming 2023 general election, saying “We have the power of incumbency and we have all it takes to go beyond 2023.”
Special attention needed on equity, fairness – Onu
Contributing to the new development, Prince Nweze Onu, 2019 APC Senatorial candidate Ebonyi South, believes “the news about the zooning of the National Chairmanship of the APC to North central is still a rumour because the committee saddled with the responsibility is yet to officially declare which zone is to take what.
“We are looking at a situation that a final decision by the committee will accommodate every interest and give special attention to clamours for enthronement of fairness and equity which is allowing the Presidential ticket to the South.
“When it comes to south, an option of micro zoning or macro zoning maybe considered but I think special attention must be given to the issue of equity and fairness.
“The North Central is not giving up in its quest to takeover leadership of the party as its Chairman but I think we need to wait for offical declaration by the zooning Committee. The PDP is watching the trick and APC must be careful in casting her net.”