The purported plan by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to have a consensus candidate for the National Chairman position at next weekend’s National Convention of the party is being threatened.
Seven aspirants have already obtained, completed and submitted their nomination forms worth N20 million each for the National Chairmanship at the close of work on Friday.
Mohammed Sani-Musa, senator representing Niger East District;
Saliu Mustapha, former deputy national chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC);
George Akume, former governor of Benue State;
Tanko Almakura, former governor of Nasarawa State;
Abdulaziz Yari, former Zamfara State governor;
Abdullahi Adamu, former governor of Nasarawa State and
Out of the seven, six contenders are from North-central where the position has been zoned to with only the former governor of Yari Zamfara coming from North-west.
There were reports that power brokers in the party were planning a consensus arrangement for the National officers, especially the National Chairman, and it was the reason sales of forms could not start on time to avoid ill feelings amongst aspirants who would purchase forms and later be asked to withdraw.
BusinessDay had gathered that the initial delay in the first sales of forms to avert incurring the wrath of aspirants as the party’s power brokers.
“The Caretaker Committee under the Chairman, Mai-Mala Buni is trying to avert the anger that would ensue if all aspirants obtained forms and they will tell them to step down for consensus candidate(s) especially for the Chairman. You know the money is non-refundable,” a credible source in APC told BusinessDay on the condition of anonymity.
Musa, one of the aspirants who spoke with journalists after submitting his form at the APC Secretariat, said the party leadership has not reached out to any of them over consensus arrangement.
The Niger Senator said APC needs a vibrant leadership that will change the status quo and that is why he was offering himself for National Chairman and dismissed the purported endorsement of an aspirant for the position.
“Why did the party sell forms to us? You sold (APC) forms to us. And as far as I’m concerned, there’s never been anybody that officially contacted me or any other aspirants. Nobody! And the spokesperson to Mr. President, Femi Adesina had said it that there is no endorsement.
“So, we want a vibrant leadership. We want leadership that will change the status quo. What are we talking about; the endorsement I want is your (people’s) endorsement. I want the endorsement of 43 million APC members. That is what I need. The APC needs a leader that will be able to build concession between all dividing organs,” he said.
Also speaking Al-Makura said he was motivated to contest for the APC National Chairman as one who has been opportune to be around as governor when the party was being merged and knew how much sacrifices great men and women made to ensure the birth of APC.
“I know the contributions, the efforts. Those efforts are in order to consolidate and solidify the unity of this country. This merger is not just a mere accord, or alliance. It is a merger of conscience, a merger of philosophy, a merger of ideology, a merger of ideas, all in the quest to make Nigeria great.
“I will support an open-door policy, internal party democracy with full participation of members so that they will have a sense of belonging and determine the fate and direction of the party,” he said.
On his part, Adamu who was represented by a delegation under the leadership of Lawrence Onuchukwu said President Muhammadu Buhari has given ‘kudos’ to his ambition and other party members should key into the project.
“Our great leader, the father of the land, President Muhammadu Buhari from what we’re hearing or what we know, has given kudos to what we’re doing. And that is more than enough for every right-thinking party man to key in to this project. He is a man who believes in due process,” he said.