No Decision Yet On Southern Presidency —APC Chairman, Adamu

CONTRARY to the general belief that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had zoned its presidential ticket to the South, the party’s chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, declared on Friday that there had been no decision yet on the matter. 

 

This came as the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has begun fresh moves to pressure the major political parties to throw their tickets open to all sections of the country, saying that “power shift arrangement is already dead and buried.” 

 

Speaking to our correspondent at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday, after presenting the party’s governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Abiodun Oyebanji, to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Adamu noted that the decision on which part of the country should produce the ruling party’s candidate was beyond him. 

 

While stating that the APC was yet to decide, he maintained: “I am today privileged to be the chairman of the party. The party is greater than me. The party has not made a decision and I cannot preempt what the party’s decision will be.” 

 

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Felix Morka, also backed the party’s chairman as he told Saturday Tribune that it would amount to jumping the gun for Adamu to make a pronouncement on zoning.

“We haven’t a position on zoning at all. It is one of the pending matters. The feeling of the public isn’t the position of the party. The party has to take a decision and when that is done, Nigerians will know.”

It will be recalled that the ruling party had swapped its national offices between North and South, leading to the emergence of Adamu from the North Central as the national chairman.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State had, just before the national convention of the party, said that even though the APC had not decided on zoning the presidential ticket, the swapping of national offices was an indication of where its presidential candidate would come from.

Adamu also said that the party did not regret the high cost of nomination forms for candidates seeking elective positions under the party.

He asserted that the APC was keen to discourage parties that have no chance of winning election to sponsor individuals to play the role of spoilers.

According to him, the cost also had to be exorbitant because of the need to raise sufficient funds to successfully prosecute coming elections.

The APC chairman said: “On the issue of cost, yeah, I have been listening with rapt attention to the hue and cry from our lovers and from our adversaries. We have no regrets whatsoever. We did some homework, we know what it takes to go through primaries, go through presidential campaign, go through election for the president. We know what it takes.

“We also do know that there are citizens who are qualified to contest but who are not serious contenders, who will just want to take anything cheap by the roadside and assert what they call their right and create problems for our party.

“We are also aware that some parties that have no chance whatsoever to win presidential election in Nigeria, they will sponsor people into parties that have no prospects for winning the election, to create problems for us, to divert our attention, whichever party is involved in that

“Over and above that, yes, we are the ruling party. Yes, we need to set examples in what we do. I don’t know which part of the country you come from, if God forbid, your traditional ruler dies today, contestants to that office will go for more than N100 million. It’s no news.

“When I contested for the Senate, all I paid was just a token: N5 million, N10 million, including the expression [of interest form]. When my colleague wanted to be chairman of the party, in the days of Adams Oshimhole, it took him N500,000. Today, for me, just as an example, to contest the national chairman of our party, I had to pay N20 million to contest.

“Even the enormity of work that has to be done, and this work will be done with money. We don’t want to continue going begging.

“So, I want to say that we are able to mobilise sufficient funds to support our efforts to win election. Some protests may be well founded, I have no quarrel with that, but the propensity of this, that people just assume ‘it’s the ruling party.’

“I will not quarrel with that. Every one of us has the right to express himself, and I am in full support of these obligations, but we wear the shoes for our party and we know where they pinch us the most.”

Receiving Oyebanji, the party’s candidate in the Ekiti State governorship election, scheduled for June 18, 2022, President Buhari noted that Oyebanji had served the party in many capacities, including as Chief of Staff, commissioner and Secretary to the State Government.

He said being governor would just be continuity of service and wished him “the best of luck.”

Apart from the APC chairman, Oyebanji was accompanied to the Presidential Villa by the party’s National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.

The party is expected to produce its presidential candidate at a scheduled convention next month.

Reacting to the APC national chairman’s pronouncement, a chieftain of the party, Chief Chekwas Okorie, said there was nothing to be worried about on the position taken by Adamu.

 

The party is expected to produce its presidential candidate at a scheduled convention next month.

Reacting to the APC national chairman’s pronouncement, a chieftain of the party, Chief Chekwas Okorie, said there was nothing to be worried about on the position taken by Adamu.

“If you recall, when the APC announced sale of forms, it didn’t exclude or say a zone is ineligible. That was a clear indication that it is open to all zones. So, if Senator Adamu says APC hasn’t taken a decision, the truth is that a decision hasn’t been taken.”

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