G-5 Governors, legacy parties in supremacy battle as APC National Convention kicks off in Abuja

Posted by News Express | 13 June 2014 | 5,011 times

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Governors of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and founding leaders of the party are now engaged in supremacy battle as the party holds it maiden National Convention today in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

Specifically, a section of leaders of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) – now known as the legacy parties within the APC – has accused the G-5 governors – Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara), Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) of hijacking the party.

Today’s convention would, to a large extent, determine whether or not the APC would have the required bite to wrest power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 presidential contest as its outcome will be a major party’s determinant in the choice of the presidential candidate.

With none of the not less than three power blocs within the party ready to cave in, the emerging scenario is that a direct contest for the national chairmanship is imminent between the APC governors-backed former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, and former foreign affairs minister, Chief Tom Ikimi, who is believed to have been thrown up by forces loyal to former vice president Atiku Abubakar.

Curiously, the candidates allegedly supported by the duo of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that is, John Odigie-Oyegun and Nasir el-Rufai for National Chairman and Secretary respectively, appear to have lost out in the scheming that has thrown up fresh permutations arising from the APC’s zoning arrangement unveiled ahead of the convention.

A member of the current interim National Executive Committee of the APC who spoke confidence said that the current zoning arrangement was masterminded by ‘PDP elements within the APC’.

“My brother, we now have at hand a very dangerous situation whereby the PDP governors have totally taken control of the APC machinery; a party we toiled to put together when Nigerians were in need of a vehicle for change in the country.

“I can tell you this – the eleven APC governors do not just understand politics and they have been following the so-called G-5 governors as if without them they cannot move ahead.

“When the party was planning the convention, some of us warned that the PDP forces would over-run us but we were not taken seriously. Now, you can see what has happened; the chairman of the convention committee is one of them and now, both the National Chairman and Secretary are likely be produced by them because the 16 governors have zeroed on Sylva while they might likely impose Kashim Imam to become Secretary.

“As I am talking to you now, there is controlled tension because no one in the legacy parties is likely to hold either of the two most important positions in the party; it is unfortunate that we are already in this kind of situation even before 2015.”

It was gathered that the decision to zone the position of National Secretary of the APC out of the North-West zone where el-Rufai hails from was made to whittle whatever hold Buhari and Tinubu have on the party.

In the zoning arrangement released on Tuesday night, the South-South will produce the National Chairman, Deputy National Secretary, and Deputy National Legal Adviser; while South-West gets National Legal Adviser, Deputy National Chairman and National Financial Secretary.

For the South-East are National Organising Secretary, National Auditor, Deputy Financial Secretary and Deputy Women Leader even as North-Central gets National Publicity Secretary, National Women Leader, Deputy Treasurer and Deputy Welfare Secretary.

National Secretary, National Youth Leader, and Deputy National Auditor are for the North-East to produce while North-West has the Welfare Secretary, Deputy National Chairman, National Treasurer and Deputy National Organising Secretary zoned to it.

Each of the six geo-political zones is expected to produce the following – One Zonal National Vice Chairman, One Zonal Women Leader, One Zonal Youth Leader and One Ex-Officio member.

Those who approved the new zoning arrangement were: Prince Abubakar Audu, Deputy Governor Borno, Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, Governor Murtala Nyako, Chief Segun Osoba, Ibikunle Amosun, Governor Rochas Okorocha, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, Timipre Sylva and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed.

Others were Alhaji Kawu Baraje, Sen. George Akume, Sen. Kanti Bello, Sadiya Umar Farouq, Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan, Sen. Danjuma Goje, Hon Kawu Sumaila, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Gov. Umar Tanko Almakura, Sen. Ali Modu Sherrif, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Babatunde Fashola, Sen. Lawal Shuaibu, Gov. Adams Oshiomhole, Hon. Bayero Nafada, Gen. Lawal Jafaru Isah, Sen. Bukola Saraki, Sen. Ahmad Sani Yarima, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Engr. Buba Galadima, Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi, Chief Bisi Akande, General Muhammad Buhari, Gov. Abdulaziz Yari and Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

•Adapted from a LEADERSHIP report. Photo shows APC National Leaders Buhari and Tinubu, both of whom are reportedly losing out in the power game in the party.

Source: News Express

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