There are indications that some six former governors have begun intense underground moves and consultations for the national chairmanship seat of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Daily Trust reports that the tenure of the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, which was inaugurated on June 25, 2020, to administer the party’s affairs, following the dissolution of the Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC), would lapse in June this year.
Legit.ng gathered that multiple party sources told the newspaper that six chieftains of the party from the north have commenced consultations for the chairmanship position.
It said that all of them are former governors who played vital roles in the formation of the party in 2013, adding all the aspirants are, however, yet to formally declare their intentions for the seat.
The newspaper said that except for the incumbent chairman, who is a sitting governor (Yobe), three others, Chief Bisi Akande, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole were former governors.
Here are the names of the former governors eyeing to become APC national chairman:
1. Senator Al-Makura
Al-Makura belongs to the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) element of the APC. He is being promoted by his successor in Nasarawa state, Governor Abdullahi Sule.
Some weeks ago, Governor Sule, while flagging off the membership registration and revalidation exercise of the party in the state, urged other blocs to support the state to produce the next national chairman.
Although, Al-Makura, a business tycoon who represents Nasarawa South senatorial district, is yet to formally declare his intention to vie for the position, sources around the former governor said he enjoyed the full support of most of the elements of the CPC in the APC.
2. Danjuma Goje
Senator Goje, a 68-year-old former governor of Gombe state, is a ranking lawmaker at the Senate. He has been representing the Gombe Central senatorial district since 2011.
The former governor, who stepped down from the race to the Senate presidency for Senator Ahmad Lawan few days to the inauguration of the Ninth Assembly following the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari, is one of those said to be eying the chairmanship seat of the party.
As a key player in the formation of the party, Goje enjoys the support of his colleagues in the parliament and beyond.
In a recent interview, the minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, mentioned the senator as one of the founding fathers of the APC who would speak on the zoning arrangement this year.
3. George Akume
Akume, a two-term governor of Benue State, is the current Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs. He represented Benue North-West senatorial district, popularly known as Zone B, in the National Assembly. He was the Minority Leader of the Senate from June 2011 to June 2015.
A credible source close to Akume told Daily Trust that some top politicians in the APC were prevailing on the minister to join the chairmanship race.
4. Abdulaziz Yari
Yari belongs to the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) bloc of the APC. Until 2007, when he was elected as a member of the House of Representatives (Anka/Talata Mafara federal constituency), he had been an official of the party, rising to become its national financial secretary.
In 2011, he defeated Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi, a sitting governor in Zamfara state, following the support of his then godfather, Ahmed Sani Yarima. He ruled for eight years.
His inability to tackle banditry during his tenure in Zamfara state was a minus for him. His feud with a faction of the APC in the state, led by Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa, over the governorship primaries of the party cost the party the state in the 2019 elections.
5. Senator Kashim Shettima
Shettima, a two-term governor of Borno state, endeared himself to many between 2011 and 2019 when he held sway in the state regarded as the hotbed of the Boko Haram insurgency. Despite the insurgency, Shettima succeeded in addressing some of the developmental challenges in the state.
Shettima’s former adviser on infrastructure, Bashir Maidugu, a lawyer, told Daily Trust that his boss should be considered for the national chairmanship slot by the party’s top echelon because of his outstanding leadership qualities.
6. Senator Ali Modu Sheriff
He is Borno state’s first governor to serve two consecutive terms (2003-2011). In 2003, he ran on the platform of the ANPP and won. He was re-elected in 2007 and sworn in on 29 May, same year.
Sheriff later played a key role in the formation of the APC. He also served as a senator representing Borno Central for three terms.
In the buildup to the 2015 general elections, Sheriff jumped ship to the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The party was later enmeshed in a prolonged leadership crisis and intense legal tussle, which nearly led to its extinction during Sheriff’s reign as chairman.
He was accused of being an agent of the APC to destabilise the party. The former governor later returned to the APC after his dramatic exit from the top hierarchy of the PDP. There are feelers that he would contest the chairmanship slot of the APC.
Legit.ng had previously reported that the All Progressives Congress (APC) urged the new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, to fight corruption without discrimination.
The advice was given on Thursday, February 25, in Abuja, advising Bawa to be guided by the stance of President Muhammadu Buhari that the fight against corruption must be total and unsparing.
Wale Akinola is a passionate journalist and researcher. He works as a senior political/current affairs editor at Legit.ng. He holds both B.A and Master’s degree in Communications and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan. He also holds a Diploma Certificate in Peace Journalism. He has over 15 years of work experience in both print and online media. He derives joy in keeping the public abreast of current happenings locally and internationally through his writings.
Source: Legit Newspaper