Strong indications have emerged that members of the ruling All Progressives Congress’ National Working Committee may clash with the party’s governors over a plan by the latter to adopt ex-governor Abdullahi Ganduje as the new national chairman of the party.
The development followed the sudden exit of Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Senator Iyiola Omisore as the party‘s national chairman and national secretary, respectively.
The crisis rocking the ruling party had on Tuesday led Adamu and Omisore to resign from their positions after they were accused of high-handedness and financial mismanagement by some members of the NWC.
However, barely 48 hours after the development, Progressives Governors’ Forum, the umbrella body of the party’s governors, met in Abuja and reportedly agreed to back Ganduje as Adamu’s successor.
Hours after the news went viral, party chieftains and members of the NWC were divided over the plan to make the 73-year-old ex-Kano State governor the substantive chairman of the party.
Some APC NWC members who spoke to The PUNCH said they were opposed to the governors’ plan, insisting that the office had been zoned to the North-Central geopolitical zone. Ganduje is from the North-West Geopolitical zone.
However, a source close to the former Kano State governor confirmed that Ganduje, believed to have been penciled down as a minister, was considered at the eleventh hour as the right candidate to reunite aggrieved members of the National Working Committee and supporters of the party.
“Nobody predicted the choice of Ganduje. In fact, he wasn’t among the top four ex-governors to replace Adamu in the first place.
“We believe President Tinubu must have considered him as a loyal and trusted ally who can turn things around at the party secretariat. It however took the intervention of the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum, Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State and his Kwara State counterpart to persuade Ganduje to accept the assignment,” he said.
The source also noted that the immediate past governor of Kano State had been given a free hand to recommend another loyal member of his camp to occupy his ministerial job.
Ganduje had on Wednesday reportedly visited President Bola Tinubu in the company of three APC governors at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
On the same Wednesday night, Uzodimma had an emergency meeting with members of the PGF at the Imo State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro.
The crucial meeting, which started at about 9.54 pm did not finish until 11.12 pm.
In attendance were governors Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State; Umar Bago (Niger); Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi); Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara); Acting Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Ayedatiwa; Fr. Hyacinth Alia (Benue), Uba Sani (Kaduna); Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos); Mai Mala Buni (Yobe); and Dikko Radda (Katsina).
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Uzodimma denied there was crisis within the party, saying the APC governors were in support of Adamu and Omisore’s resignation.
He said, “Their resignations have also been accepted by the leadership of the party. There is now an acting chairman and acting Secretary.”
When reminded that the constitution of APC did not allow caretaker and acting committee, the Imo governor contested it.
Uzodimma, however, maintained a sealed lip over the controversial debate on Ganduje.
Efforts made to reach the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, proved unsuccessful.
He neither responded to calls nor attended to the text messages sent for clarification.
However, findings by the PUNCH revealed that a number of NWC members were opposed to Ganduje’s choice.
The APC National Vice Chairman for North-West, Mallam Salihu Lukman, kicked against replacing Adamu with Ganduje, saying the action might upset the zoning arrangement of the party.
Lukman’s warning came in the wake of speculation that the President might have penciled down the ex-governor as the next chairman of the ruling party.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday titled ‘APC: Way Forward,’ the NWC member said the move would be the height of insensitivity, if it turned out to be true.
The statement read in part, “So far, as things are, only the President and governors blocs are active in the negotiation to produce and engage leaders of the APC. Already, part of the speculations emerging from the governors’ bloc is that Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is being considered to succeed Sen. Abdullahi Adamu. If this is true, it only suggests insensitivity and taking members of the party for granted. This is without prejudice to the person of Dr. Ganduje.
“This is because such a choice will completely distort the zoning arrangement that informed the present configuration of the leadership of the National Assembly. With the Speaker of House of Representatives and Deputy Senate President coming from North-West and North-Central shut out of consideration, to propose the party’s National Chairman to move to North West from North Central will be unjust and almost a political suicide.”
It further read, “We must caution our governors that since the emergence of the APC, governors have served almost as the conscience of the party. Any consideration for such an insensitive and unjust consideration of Dr. Ganduje to become the National Chairman of APC must be discarded. If anything, the position of National Chairman of the APC must be retained in North-Central. Part of the challenge of managing the current transition within the party is getting the NWC to properly take the driving seat in managing and facilitating negotiations to produce and engage leaders of the party. The NWC must sit up and guide the unfolding negotiations. No single power bloc should be allowed to appropriate the process.”
Continuing, Lukman urged the president to speak up to douse the tension and intervene on time with the ultimate aim of returning the APC to its founding vision of progressive politics.
According to him, no single power bloc should be allowed to usurp the process.
Also, some member of the NWC who spoke to the PUNCH on condition of anonymity, backed Lukman, saying it was the turn of the North-Central to produce Adamu’s replacement.
“Our thinking is that some persons are trying to play Ganduje’s card into the mind of the president. The North-West should not be seen struggling for the party’s leadership after being compensated with the Speaker of House of Reps and Deputy Senate President. Why else should they be clamouring for the position of APC national chairman?” a member of the APC NWC queried.
On his part, APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Emma Eneukwu, reiterated that the talks of former Kano governor taking over the party leadership were still in the realm of speculation.
“It is still speculation and not official to us. So we can’t comment on what is not concrete. We are hearing it as rumour that he (Ganduje) is the preferred candidate to the party,” he said.
National Vice Chairman for South-East, Dr Ijeoma Arodiogbu, believes the news may not true.
He said a few NWC members had a brief meeting on Thursday, but the issue of Ganduje was not brought up.
“We are talking about three things here. The party leadership is different. The administration is different, so also is the legislature. That should answer your question. I don’t think the party has taken any decision on the issue. That may come in the next couple of days.”
In a related development, Deputy National Organising Secretary, Nze Chidi Duru, also expressed surprise at the news without giving further details.
Meanwhile, the former Deputy Spokesman for the ruling party, Yekini Nabena, expressed reservation about the controversy.
Nabena, however, stressed that the choice of whoever would emerge as the next national chairman would be decided through votes at a mini convention.
He also expressed concerns that the current crops of APC NWC were built on a wrong foundation.
He said, “Ganduje cannot just be made as the next substantive chairman. Of course, there has to be a mini-convention. If that’s what the president wants, he has to talk to the governors. He will be voted for at the national convention of they want him there.
“Definitely, his coming will divide the system (NWC) because if it is zoned to the North-Central, why take it out of the region? As I said before and I am still saying it, you will spend all your time patching things if the foundation is wrong. And the house will keep getting cracks. Those are the cracks we are seeing.
“If you cannot accommodate somebody in your cabinet, why bring him into the party leadership? It will cause more problems. And if the party is not ready to work with you, they may decide not to call for a mini convention. It is only the party chairman and secretary that have a right o call for a convention. Well, we are waiting for the appropriate time. As I said, once you get the foundation wrong, you will continue to fight to amend it.”
Gololo backs Al-Makura
Meanwhile, a former member of the Board of Trustees of the APC, Garus Gololo has called on those who wish the party well to support a former Governor of Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura, to succeed Adamu.
Gololo in a telephone conversation with The PUNCH noted that in the interest of fairness, Adamu’s successor should be a leader of the party from the North-Central zone.
Faulting those drumming support for the immediate past Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, Gololo wondered what criteria qualifies him (Ganduje) for the role.
“Al-Makura should get the role in the interest of fairness. He is from the North Central and it makes sense to give the zone the position.
“Why are they mentioning Ganduje? Was he able to win Kano State for the APC? What are they talking about?
“If we are talking about fairness, the Deputy Senate President is from the North-West, the Speaker is from the North-West. Now, they are talking about taking the chairmanship of the party to the North-West. Is that fair?” he queried.
Gololo further charged Tinubu to be guided by justice even as he urged him not to forget that it was not only the North-West zone that gave the vote which fetched him the Presidency.
“The North-West is not the only zone that voted to make him (Tinubu) President. He should consider this as the leader of the party and ensure that the position is retained in the North-Central,” he added.
APC Hails Uzodimma, Ododo On Election Victory, Commends INEC
The All Progressives Congress has congratulated its governorship candidates in Imo and Kogi states, Hope Uzodimma and Usman Ododo, respectively, on their victory at last Saturday’s election.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, revealed this in a statement signed on Monday, November 13.
The statement read, “The All Progressives Congress congratulates His Excellency, Hope Uzodimma, on his re-election as Executive Governor of Imo State, and Usman Ododo on his emergence as Governor of Kogi State.
“The landslide victories of both Governor Uzodinma and Ododo at the just-concluded gubernatorial polls attest to the exceptional performance of the APC-led administrations in both states and resonated loudly with voters.
“We are confident that Governor Uzodimma will consolidate and extend the impressive accomplishments of his first term in Imo State, while Usman Ododo, on his part, will build on the solid record of the outgoing APC-administration in Kogi State.
“We commend the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies for professionally discharging their constitutional duties during the election in both states.
“We salute the Imo and Kogi electorate for their invaluable and massive support of our great party.”
Breaking News! IMO DECIDES: Hope Uzodinma Steps Down For Anyanwu, Looses Presidential Support
Gov. Hope Uzodinma has stepped down for SamDaddy Anyanwu as he could not garner support from Mr. President, Bola President Tinubu.
Ahead of the November 11th governorship election, the All progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Gov. Hope Uzodinma, has stepped down for Sen. Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu, also known as SAMDADDY, as he could not garner a nod and/or any iota of support from Mr. President, Bola Tinubu.
recall that during the presidential primary election of All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2022, Gov. Hope Uzodinma personally purchased the #100m nomination form for Ahmed Lawan, the former Senate President, who got the support of the National Chairman of All progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Abdullahi Adamu.
Our investigation revealed that the embattled Gov. Hope Uzodinma, for over two months now, has been restless trying ferret and/or fetch the attention of Mr. President to help him clutch at his re-election ambition by directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agents to lend him cooperations to rig off the upcoming governorship election but Mr. President insisted while maintaining that he would not interfere in the said Imo election.
Standing on his firm resolve, Mr. President promised that there would be fair play, free and/or unhindered participations in the said upcoming polls in Imo State to all the parties and their candidates without any interference and/or undue favouritism and/or supportations of any kind of from the security agents: military, police, etc as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In fact, it’s gathered, from inside Aso Rock, that Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, would not want Gov. Hope Uzodinma to be re-elected to quell and/or douse the burning fires of insecurity in the State.
Political analysts as well as some political high-fliers both in Imo State and in Nigeria, including elsewhere, have interpreted Mr. President’s position as a payback in Gov. Hope Uzodinma’s coin for the socio-political betrayal or sabotage from Gov. Hope Uzodinma against Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, during the days in “wilderness” at All Progressives Congress’ (APC’) primary in 2022.
On Thursday, the 9th day of November, 2023, after all efforts made by Gov. Hope Uzodinma to obtain Mr. President’s support dashed away or proved abortive, unfortunately, the said embattled Imo State governor, Gov. Hope Uzodinma, has informed his loyalists and his few myopic supporters in the State that his guber aspiration and/or project was unsure and visibly in confusing jeopardy as his sordid plans to use the military, police and Ebube Agu security to rig the said election has been shattered as the Presidency has directed the disbandment of Ebube Agu secret militia and redeployment of Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Barde, whom Gov. Hope Uzodinma had already but heavily sorted with millions of Naira and Dollars.
Inside information indicates that Gov. Hope Uzodinma has been directed by the Presidency to work together with the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) Candidate, Sen Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu, (SAMDADDY), to save himself from pepertual socio-political condemnation and/or being disgraced by probe.
In compliance with the above, Gov. Hope Uzodinma has directed his loyalists and/or supporters to mobilize and support the candidature of Sen. Samuel Nnaemeka Anyanwu (SamDaddy) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and vote for him come Saturday, the 11th November, 2023 governorship election in Imo State.
Afenifere: Fasoranti Differs With Adebanjo On S-Court Verdict
FORMER Leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, yesterday, disagreed with the leader of the group, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, over the Supreme Court verdict that affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s victory during the February 25, 2023 general election.
Pa Adebanjo and other Afenifere leaders had met in Isanya Ogbo area of Ijebu in Ogun State, and faulted the Supreme Court verdict, which affirmed the victory of President Tinubu.
They said that the judgement has rendered the billions of naira expended on electoral reform, a waste.
But, in a counter-reaction, Pa Fasoranti, in a statement, disowned Adebanjo’s position on the Supreme Court judgement.
Fasoranti said: “The attention of Chief Reuben Fasoranti and other leaders has been drawn to a communique purportedly released in the name of Afenifere by the General Secretary, Chief Sola Ebiseni, where Afenifere is said to fault the Supreme Court judgement upholding Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu’s election as the President of Nigeria.
“This is far from the truth about Afenifere’s leadership position on the matter.
“Let it be on record that Chief Fasoranti and other Afenifere leaders are not privy to such ignominious press release, did not authorise it and do not subscribe to the seditious act such may portend.
“It is merely an unfortunate misadventure of some Labour Party elements within the Afenifere fold who would rather drag the body’s reputation in the mud to achieve whatever sinister and seditious end they might have concocted.
“The world will recall that Chief Fasoranti had congratulated the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on his election into office, and also expressed solidarity over his victory at the apex court.
“It is then clearly underhanded and mischievous to have such preposterous attack on the judiciary by intemperate elements within the fold, fanning the embers of national discords with political motives, using the name of Afenifere.
“We are unequivocal in reiterating that Pa Ayo Adebanjo is the Acting Leader, who, in the natural and traditional order of Afenifere, is expected to defer to his leader who appointed him, Chief Fasoranti, without reservations.
“To do otherwise is to tread such ignoble path in national discourse as this unfortunate release reveals.
“The meeting recently held in Ogbo Ijebu, at no point raised or decided on the attack on the judiciary as the statements of the General Secretary seemed to portray.
“The leaders of Afenifere would like to challenge Chief Ebiseni to offer the world, the true record of deliberations at the said meeting to confirm its concurrence with the communique he so released to the world.
“The ethos and structure of Afenifere vest the leadership authority in the Leader as the Olori Ebi; until such time that he joins his forebears, notwithstanding whoever he has chosen to act on his behalf.