- Supporters of Senator George Akume are not backing down in their support for the former Benue governor to emerge as the next APC chairman
- Political associates of the minister of special duties and inter-governmental affairs who are also elders in the APC have picked up a nomination form on his behalf
- Led by Senator Barnaba Gemade, the elders expressed confidence that Akume will be elected as the next APC national chairman
FCT, Abuja - Senator Barnabas Gemade on Wednesday, March 16 led a group of All Progressives Congress (APC) elders across the country to obtain a national chairmanship nomination form for the minister of special duties and inter-governmental affairs, Senator George Akume.
The APC elders include the national publicity secretary of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN); Chief Simone Shango, a former governor of Edo state, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor and publisher, Summit newspapers, Chief Ray Murphy.
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Others are governorship aspirants, Chief Terlumun Akputu, and a former senator, Prof. Terhemba Shija, among others.
Akume has now joined five other aspirants who have paid N2million each for the national chairmanship nomination forms.
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Others include Senator Sani Musa, Malam Mustapha Saliu, Senator Tanko Al-Makura, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, and former governor Abdulaziz Yari.
Speaking after obtaining the nomination form for Akume at the national secretariat of APC, Senator Gemade said the former Benue governor's chances of emerging as the next APC national chairman was very bright.
Gemade described Akume as a calm, focused, and foresighted individual, adding that he will bring his extensive experience and competencies to bear on the job, by thinking and acting outside the box in prioritizing and solving APC’s challenges.
“This event is for us to come and pick the form for him so that he can fill to satisfy the conditions of the party for the contest of this position and we believe that what we have done today is a landmark event.
“We pray that the convention goes smoothly and this party becomes stronger at the end of it and the best candidate which we believe will be Akume to win this position in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
When asked if he was confident Akume will win, the APC chieftain said:
“His (Akume) chances are good. Now every one of them if you ask them, they will tell you their chances are good. And we know that God knows the winner and we believe that His mercies are good for us and at the end of the day, we will be satisfied with whatever our God does for us.”
On whether the elders' group will prefer a consensus arrangement to elect the next APC national chairman, Gemade said:
“Whatever the party chooses. The party has the final say. If at the end of the day, the party is able to consummate a consensus exercise for this contest, we agree with it.
“However, if they decide there should be balloting for this contest we will go with the balloting, and whatever the outcome is we will accept.”
APC chairmanship race: I’ve no running battle with EFCC, says Akume
Meanwhile, Senator Akume has reacted to a news report which claimed he is having a running battle with Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Akume dismissed as untrue, the report saying he has no baggage to impede his chances in the race for the national chairman of the APC.
The senator made the disclosure on Tuesday, February 1 after a media report suggested he might face some challenges concerning his purported case with the EFCC.
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Senator Akume had earlier dismissed viral claims that he will contest for the position of vice president in the 2023 presidential election.
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The minister debunked the reports on Tuesday, October 26, through his special adviser on media and public affairs, Mkor Aondona.
Aondona stated that his principal has neither indicated interest to run for the position nor employed the services of anyone to campaign on his behalf for such a purpose.