There were indications yesterday that the bid by All Progressives Congress (APC) to pick its national chairman by consensus has yielded result as President Muhammadu Buhari and governors elected on the party’s platform may have settled for former Nasarawa governor, Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the choice of Adamu as the next party national chairman had the endorsement of President Buhari made his position known to the APC governors at their meeting on Tuesday.
A source privy to the resolutions made at the Tuesday meeting told this paper that the president is disposed to Adamu because he wants a national chairman with better experience in the affairs of political parties who cannot be intimidated by opposition of any kind.
The source hinted that while it was expected that President Buhari would have been more comfortable with a national chairman from his legacy party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), the APC governors were shocked that against gunning for somebody from his political dynasty, the president wanted a party chairman who is rugged and could withstand the pressure from the opposition ahead of the 2023 general election.
Consequently, it was learnt that the president narrowed his choice to Senator Adamu instead of the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who is the only former governor from his legacy party before the merger that formed the APC.
Our source hinted that at the end, the party’s national caretaker committee was given the mandate to market the choice of Adamu as consensus candidate to other members of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) before its meeting ahead of the national convention slated for March 26.
“Some of the governors were entirely not happy with the choice of Abdullahi Adamu but they had no choice than to agree with the position of the president, it may not be absolute but that is the direction for now,” the source who did not want his name in print told our correspondent yesterday.
It was learnt that initially, some governors from the North Central zone were averse to the zone producing the national chairman as well as the choice of Abdullahi Adamu but the president was able to convince most of them that Adamu was a good bet for the party’s top job.
Confirming the development, another source within the party also confirmed that the reason why APC governors from North Central zone visited Senator Adamu in Nasarawa State recently was to persuade him to allow Al-Makura to become the next national chairman of the party.
Both Al-Makura and Adamu are former governors of Nasarawa State vying for the office of the national chairman of the APC.
The source who spoke on condition of anonymity said Nasarawa State governor, Engr Abdullahi Sule, who kicked against the position of his colleagues, insisted on the choice of Senator Adamu for the office of the national chairman over Sen Senator Al-makura.
But Sule’s preference of Adamu over Al-makura, according to our source, was to have an edge over the structure of the party in the state.
“No state governor wants a national chairman of the party from his state because of the sharing formula of the party structure. The governors of the North Central states visited Abdullahi Adamu to lobby for Tanko Al-Makura, but when they were at Adamu’s house, the State governor, Abdullahi Sule insisted that they should support Abdullahi Adamu.
“That is why the North Central governors are now supporting Abdullahi Adamu,” the source added while giving reasons why Governor Sule insisted on Adamu instead of Al-Makura.
Speaking further, the source, a APC chieftain, said even though party positions have been shared between the North and South, they are yet to micro-zone the offices.
The office of the national chairman has been zoned to the North. The governors from the North will have to sit and micro-zone the offices to the states. For now that has not been done but the Nasarawa State governor, Sule, chose Abdullahi Adamu over Al-makura,” the source stated.
Also, another source in Minna, the Niger State capital, hinted that the development has shocked other national chairmanship aspirants from the North Central.
But when contacted about his position on the said endorsement of Adamu, a frontline aspirant for the chairmanship race, Mohammed Sani Musa simply said. “I don’t respond to hearsay.”
On his part, Mohammed Etsu, the youngest among the national chairmanship aspirants said, “My position is that I will contest no matter what happens. We, the youths of this country, want a generational shift and that is what I stand for”.
LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported last week Thursday that after days of vacillation of zoning of party offices, governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) finally agreed to zone the party’s national chairmanship position to the North Central ahead of the party’s national convention.
This was after a meeting of the Progressive Governor’s Forum (PGF) convened last week Tuesday to deliberate and arrive at a consensus after which they would communicate their decision on the knotty issues of consensus and zoning of party offices to the president had ended in deadlock.
As of Tuesday, the APC governors were said to be divided on whether to zone the national chairmanship position to either the North Central or North East.
But at their meeting which continued last week Wednesday, the governors eventually settled for the North Central to produce the party’s national chairman.
It was also gathered that the APC governors also tipped one of the aspirants from the North Central, George Akume, a former governor of Benue State and current minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, as the consensus candidate for national chairman position.
But it was learnt yesterday that the choice of Akume was quickly dropped after the governors perceived that President Buhari was more disposed to the choice of Senator Abdullahi Adamu above other aspirants from the zone.