Ahead of the March 26 National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC), President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed Abdullahi Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State as the chairman of the ruling party, credible sources told Daily Trust.
The sources, including governors and former governors, said the president endorsed Senator Abdullahi Adamu, who chaired the reconciliation committee of the party, during his meeting with APC governors at the State House on Tuesday.
With this arrangement, Sen. Adamu will take over from Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni who has been piloting the affairs of the party for almost two years.
Buni and other members of the caretaker committee of the party had come under unrelenting attacks from different quarters for shifting the national convention of the party severally.
However, sources said while personal ambition by some party members could not be ruled out, the Buni-led committee had been waiting to get the green light on the direction President Buhari and other powerful forces around the villa would want the party to take.
Daily Trust had on February 18, exclusively reported that the body language of the president favoured Adamu, a two-term governor of Nasarawa State, who has been at the Senate since 2011.
Unlike other aspirants, Adamu joined the chairmanship race only last week.
With the endorsement, our correspondents were told that the national convention would only ratify the endorsement as done in June 2018 when Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo State, emerged as the party’s national chairman.
Oshiomhole emerged as the party’s national chairman on June 23, 2018, following voice votes by delegates to the APC national convention.
One of the sources said at the Tuesday meeting, Buhari told the governors that the party chairmanship position should be zoned to the North Central geopolitical zone.
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Efforts to hear from the spokesmen of the president last night were not successful. Senator Adamu could also not be reached but some sources close to both the president and the Nasarawa senator said the deal had been sealed.
“The president, at the brief meeting, told us that the party chairman should come from the North Central and that the person should be Senator Abdullahi Adamu. Nobody disagreed with him,” the governor said.
He said with presidential endorsement, all other aspirants vying for the chairmanship seat were expected to withdraw from the race.
“I think the nomination is in the best interest of the party because we need a national chairman that can match Ayu, the PDP chairman. From all angles, Senator Adamu has the capacity to tackle him and lead the party to victory,” he said.
Another source, a former governor confirmed the endorsement of the president saying, “He has endorsed Senator Adamu to be adopted by consensus as the next chairman of the APC.”
“Some of the APC governors initially nominated a former governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura; some nominated a former minister for Mines and Steel Development, Abubakar Bawa Bwari; some wanted the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume and others rooted for Senator Mohammed Sani Musa but the president told them he would like Abdullahi Adamu to become the chairman,” he said.
The source, however, punctured the claims that the president had endorsed a former Senate President, Ken Nnamani and Faruk Adamu Aliyu as deputy national chairmen South and North, respectively.
The claim was countered by a ranking lawmaker, who said the trio of Nnamani, Aliyu and Senator John James Akpanudoedehe have been endorsed as deputy national chairmen and secretary respectively.
An insider said, “While most of the over 20 APC governors were comfortable with Buhari’s endorsement of Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, some of them quietly suggested that they should be allowed to play key roles in the selection of other important offices like deputy national chairmen for North and South, national secretary, national organising secretary and national legal adviser.
“Some of them who are rounding off their second term would not want the party to slip away from their hands and therefore want their preferred candidates to be chosen. It is all about politics of 2023,” he said.
Recall that while fielding questions from State House reporters after their meeting with Buhari, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State disclosed that positions have been zoned and admitted that the governors initially had some differences.
The governor of Kebbi State and chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF), Atiku Bagudu, who led the post-meeting briefing, while reacting to the question earlier, said the president enjoined them to employ consensus option to fill the vacant NWC positions.
Some aspirants kick
A former governor of Benue State and current Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, who is one of the top contenders to the APC chairmanship, has said if any consensus was reached, or is to be reached, he is the one to be chosen.
Akume, who spoke through the chairman, Contact Committee and Media Group for his campaign team, Chief Simon Shango, said,” if any consensus was reached, it is his Excellency Senator George Akume.”
Another top contender from Kwara State, Saliu Mustapha, the Turaki Ilorin, told Daily Trust that no one had been anointed, saying he remained the candidate to beat.
Mustapha, who spoke through Dapo Okubanjo, the media aide/head of media for his campaign organisation, said, “We believe our candidate, Malam Saliu Mustapha, remains the candidate to beat even if you consider what President Buhari said recently on the type of candidates he is willing to back for positions at the forthcoming national convention.
“Aside from his youthfulness and background in party administration, he is a core party man and a founding APC member who has never deviated from the path of progressivism and has absolutely no political baggage.
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“What we learnt is that no one was anointed during PMB’s meeting with the governors regardless of the kite flown by certain interests.
“So we have to make it clear that the Saliu Mustapha Campaign Organisation does not dwell on rumour or innuendos,” he said.
But another contestant from Adamawa State, Sunny Sylvester Moniedafe, told Daily Trust in a telephone chat that for consensus to be successful, the party should call all aspirants to a meeting and brief them.
Moniedafe, the Jagaban Jimeta said, “Honestly, I have nothing against consensus, and if one of the aspirants emerges, I will have nothing against him. I will abide by the decision of the party; I will remain in the party but I know some may not.”
Adamu’s four decades in politics
Born in 1946, Adamu was the Secretary-General of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in old Plateau State in 1978. Four years later, he became chairman of the NPN in the state (1982 to 1983).
In 1997, Adamu joined the United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP) and a year later became a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He was a two-term governor of Nasarawa State between 1999 and 2007; and became Secretary, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the PDP in 2009.
Adamu was a member of the new PDP that fused into the ruling APC and since 2011, he has been at the Senate, representing Nasarawa West.
Court strikes out suit seeking to nullify Adeleke’s nomination as PDP candidate
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday struck out a suit seeking the nullification of Ademola Adeleke as the Osun State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 26 election.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu struck out the suit on the ground that the plaintiff lacked the legal right to file the suit.
The plaintiff in the suit, Awoyemi Oluwatayo Lukman, had dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP and Adeleke before the court seeking order to void and set aside the submission of Adeleke’s name to the electoral body on grounds of alleged unlawful action.
The plaintiff had complained that Adeleke’s name was hurriedly submitted by the PDP on March 11, 2022, as against March 14 to 18 specified in the INEC guidelines.
The plaintiff had therefore asked the court to declare the submission of Adeleke’s name as illegal, unlawful, null and void and be set aside.
Muslim-Muslim ticket: No leader can Islamise Nigeria, says FFK
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Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, says he has “prayed about” the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and is sure that the country cannot be Islamised.
Indeed, he expressed confidence that those given the ticket currently to fly the flag of the APC in the 2023 presidential election would defend the rights of the Christans.
Bola Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, picked Kashim Shettima, the former governor of Borno, who is also a Muslim, as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
This has generated heavy criticisms from key stakeholders, particularly the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
Before joining the APC, Fani-Kayode, on several occasions, had accused the APC-led Federal Government of Islamisation and Fulanisation of the country.
Asked to comment on the APC’s Muslim-Muslim ticket in the light of his previous comments, the former minister said since he joined the ruling party, he had realised that the party had “completely changed”, adding that the claim of Fulanisation of the country had been thrown out of the window.
Fani-Kayode said it is not about the faith of the presidential candidates but their individual abilities.
He said, “We spoke about Fulanisation; that has been thrown out of the window now because power has been shifted to the South by the APC, the party we accused of that.
“Secondly, we spoke about Islamisation. Since I joined APC, I realised that, like I said earlier, things have completely changed; a situation whereby in this country today we have, no less than 20 Christian governors. The whole of the South-West has Christian governors, except for Osun State, which has now changed because we have a Christian governor who is coming in.
“A situation like that tells you clearly that the country cannot be Islamised and neither is our party APC interested in that. What is happening as far as I’m concerned is this: we have reformed and are moving forward.
“Same faith ticket was a challenge but we looked into it. I prayed about it, I consulted, I spoke to Kashim because all along my position has been – it all depends who the vice-president is.
“It is not about the faith. It is about the individual and if the individual is a Muslim that I can live with, I’m prepared to live with that. I spoke to this man and Tinubu.
“The candidate himself returned schools to the missionaries in Lagos something that had not been done before. The candidate gave land to so many of these mega churches in Lagos when he was governor and since that time they have been granted licences to build churches.
“Go to the North; the vice, that is Shettima himself, I met him for over three hours, we discussed. I looked into the man’s eyes and raised a number of pertinent questions which I needed to be satisfied with and I was satisfied with his answers.
“He has built more churches in Borno State than any other before him and since that time and he won the confidence of many Christians. So the issue of Islamisation no longer arises.”
Bode George attacks Tinubu again, says everything him is bundle of lies
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bode George, has attacked the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, saying everything about him is a “bundle of lies.”
He said Tinubu did nothing to alleviate the pains of residents of Lagos State while serving as a governor for two terms.
George spoke with Channels Television last night, saying, “I absolutely have no qualms, no quarrel with Tinubu; but all I know is that everything he has said he was or his name is this or his school is that, it’s a bundle of lies.
“I’m a bona fide Lagosian. We knew what Lagos was like, and Lagos remains the commercial nerve centre, not only in Nigeria but in the whole of West Africa. What has this fellow done to us?”
He challenged Tinubu to open up on the ownership of Alpa Beta company.
He said the APC presidential candidate should tell Nigerians how much the company had allegedly stolen from the Lagos State Government.
He said, “I have asked a very simple question and none of them has been able to answer it. Who owns the Alpha Beta company? How much has the Alpha Beta company stolen from the coffers of our treasury in Lagos State? What has he done to alleviate the pains of the people of the state?”
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