South-West politicians from the Congress for Progressive Change bloc in the All Progressives Congress are set to lose out at the national convention following their rejection by governors in the region, Rahma Media has learnt.
The defunct CPC bloc is made up of politicians, who joined president Muhammadu Buhari to merge with the Action Congress of Nigeria to form the APC in 2013 before he won the 2015 presidential election.
A former Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who is running for the national secretary of the APC; and the Executive Director, Niger Delta Power Holding, Ife Oyedele, were being resisted by the APC governors in the South-West.
It was also learnt that a former Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Iyiola Omisore, might be endorsed as the national secretary ahead of a former Oyo State Commissioner for Finance, Zaccheus Adedeji.
Also, Dayo Israel was tipped to emerge as the national youth leader of the APC. Sources told RAHMA Media that the unity list of the South-West governors was expected to be released in the coming days.
A top source in the APC said, “There are attempts by some people in Abuja to impose some of the CPC elements on the South-West. Let me restate that the governors are the leaders of the party. We have met and have micro-zoned the positions given to our region.
In a statement on Sunday, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman, South-West Governors’ Forum, said the governors had agreed on micro-zoning, adding that those scheming from outside the region were only trying to cause confusion.
Akeredolu said in the statement titled, ‘External forces trying to impose persons on South-West’, that a former Chairman of the APC in the state, Isaac Kekemeke, had been endorsed as the national vice chairman for the South-West.
The statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, stated that all the governors of the South-West had endorsed Kekemeke.
It read in part, “This is to confirm that one of our own, the former APC state chairman, Duerimini Isaac Kekemeke, is in the race for the position of the National Vice-Chairman (South-West). Kekemeke has the full backing of Governor Akeredolu and his brother governors in the South-West.
Meanwhile, members of the National Assembly are now divided over the emergence of three aspirants for the national chairmanship of the APC from the federal parliament.
The APC is billed to elect a new National Working Committee headed by the chairman at its national convention scheduled for Saturday.
The three aspirants, who are all members of the Senate, are Abdullahi Adamu, Sani Musa and Tanko Al-Makura.
The senators, who are all from the North-Central geopolitical zone, are contesting against other aspirants in the ruling party, who are not members of the National Assembly.
Adamu and Al-Makura had last week met with the APC caucus in the House of Representatives, with the latter proposing automatic tickets for lawmakers when he becomes the chairman of the party. Musa has yet to meet with the caucus.
Incidentally, Al-Makura and Adamu are former governors of Nasarawa State.
While Al-Makura is representing the Nasarawa Central Senatorial District, Adamu is representing the Nasarawa West Senatorial District at the Senate.
A member of the Senate, who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity, said, “The game plan is to make Abdullahi Adamu the national chairman of the party and Farouk Aliyu, a former House of Representatives member from Jigawa State as the deputy chairman.
Adamu had on Friday unveiled a newly renovated edifice as his campaign office at Area 11, Garki area of Abuja, which was attended by lawmakers backing his chairmanship bid.
The attendees included the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege; Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi; Majority Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu; Adamu Aliero and Ali Ndume, among others.
Ndume told journalists that he was supporting Adamu due to the ex-governor’s competence and blunt attitude to social and political issues.
At the House, it was observed that some lawmakers attended either of the meetings with Adamu and Al-Makura. However, there were those who were at both meetings.
In a related development, some of the aspirants have expressed displeasure over the postponement of the screening of aspirants ahead of the convention.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, the Director-General of the Al-Makura Campaign Troupe, Dominic Alancha, said the party had not informed the aspirants about the screening, which he said was a crucial precursor to the forthcoming convention.
He said “It’s worrisome because as I speak with you, there is no official communication as to when we are coming for screening. The earlier advert was that yesterday (Saturday) was for zonal offices, while today would be for the National Working Committee. And I went there today to confirm whether there would be screening at the screening committee’s secretariat at the NICON Luxury, and nobody was there.
The screening of aspirants for zonal party offices earlier slated for Saturday failed to hold as more aspirants were still submitting nomination forms, The PUNCH learnt on Saturday. The exercise was shifted to Sunday.
A top party source told one of our correspondents that the Aminu Masari-led national convention subcommittee on screening was not aware of the earlier arrangement, which scheduled the exercise for Saturday and Sunday.
The source noted that to make up for lost time, the subcommittee would be divided into six groups, each to screen aspirants from the six geopolitical zones vying for offices on three levels; National Working Committee, non-national working committee and zonal.
The source stated, “The committee members are currently more than four. They gave the chairman a full list of those who will be on the committee. The committee members will now be divided into six to screen aspirants from each zone.