- The APC has been warned that the northcentral is no longer a veritable dumping ground for political chess
- A member of the party from Benue state, in a daring message to the ruling party, said the region is an equal partner in the Nigerian project and cannot be treated with disdain
- The Benue APC chieftain further warned that the idea that the northcentral is only good for party chairmanship positions will be rejected ahead of the forthcoming convention
Makurdi - Ahead of the national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), chieftains of the party from the north-central region have been advised to reject the national chairmanship position purportedly reserved for the geo-political zone.
The advice was given to the north-central party chieftains by Terver Iyorgher, an APC chieftain from Benue state.
In a statement sent to journalists on Monday, February 28, Iyorgher wondered why the chairmanship position of the two major political parties in Nigeria has been reserved for the north-central region.
He said it is time for the region to aim for the presidency and not the political party positions ahead of the 2023 general elections.
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“The region will not play the duckling anymore. Like every region, the north-central will present its own as candidates for the presidential race come 2023.
“Of sickening dimension are the candidates from the north-central killing themselves over party chairmanship as if the Nigerian presidency isn't theirs to pick. Since the return of democracy in 1999, the region has been tactically subjugated as a feeder buffer to other regions.
“Using her numerical strength and strategic place as a vote harvesting field with no tangible considerations to her aspirations.
“From Solomon Lar to Barnabas Gemade, Audu Ogbe, Iyorchia Ayu, it has been nothing but a slap on the region. These men toiled for the party fortunes but were always left in the cold without any meaningful stake in the Nigerian project.
“Of sorrowful and degrading references were how shamefully as national party chairmen, Chiefs Solomon Lar and Audu Ogbe were ousted out of office and left in shame and limbo.
“This time around, the region wants to sit in security and economic council meetings and not party congresses and conventions.
“This is a clarion call to every member of all the political parties from the North Central region of Nigeria to rise and demand that the region aptly qualifies to produce persons as president of Nigeria.”
Iyorgher warned that the notion which suggests that only the northwest and southwest regions are best suited to be president must stop.
He said it doesn't only undermine integration, it also encourages ethnic distrusts that can weaken national cohesion.
“The hatchet entrepreneurs who are hell-bent on undermining the northcentral region in the political relevance of Nigeria should be reminded that the region is not a pushover, we have the political stamina and well withal to define our destiny.
“As for those forcing the narrative that President Muhammadu Buhari had zoned the APC chairmanship to the northcentral, the president is too refined and democratic to foist aspirations. This lie won't fly.
“The APC should set a precedence that is in tandem with democratic norms by allowing for fairness and equality and not a satanic feudalistic card that has held the country to stagnation.”
Group warns APC members not to elect indicted ex-governors as chairman
On its part, the South-South Emerging Leaders' Forum has warned members of the APC not to elect some former governors and individuals in the race who have been indicted for some financial crimes by anti-corruption agencies.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Wednesday, January 19, the national coordinator of the group, Barrister Preye Wilson, warned that the ruling party does not need a national chairman that will be dragging in and out of the anti-corruption agencies' offices to explain their dealings in the past.
Barrister Wilson said it is time for the ruling party to deviate from past experiences of electing a former governor as national chairman.
Group says rescheduled APC national convention will deepen democracy
In a related development, a group operating under the aegis of Concerned Northern APC Youth Forum has insisted on equity and fairness as means of strengthening the party for its acceptability in the 2023 general elections.
Speaking at a press conference attended by a Legit.ng reporter on Tuesday, February 22 in Abuja, chairman of the group, Hon. Suleiman Liba said it was important for the APC to strictly allow internal democracy to minimize those issues that may put the party at risk.
The group also stated that the rescheduled national convention was an opportunity to allow APC members to play roles that would deepen democracy in the country.