2023 Presidency: More Worry for Tinubu As APC Stalwarts Deny Endorsing Southwest Zoning
- With just a few days to the national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), there is still no clarity on who will be chairman of the party
- Another contentious conversation making the headlines is the zoning of the presidential election to the southwestern region of Nigeria
- President Muhammadu Buhari on the other hand has taken the back seat in all of these to watch as a spectator as he has failed to issue any words of endorsement
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The honchos of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has played down conversations over the zoning of the party’s presidential ticket to the southwestern region of the country, Vanguard reports.
They said there was no stipulation whatsoever that states that power will be shifted to the southwestern region of the country at the forthcoming general elections.
Legit.ng gathered that the position of these party heavyweights was in alignment in dismissing the claims and reports.
One of the said:
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“Nothing like that happened. There was no meeting whatsoever to talk about ceding power to the South-West.”
All though information from various quarters has it that the leadership of the party in a prequel conversation reached a resolution that will see the presidency ceded to the west while the chairmanship of the party will be ceded to the north.
However, it is not clear if these assertions are true as there have been a series of meeting between Southern governors over the issue of zoning the presidency.
It was gathered that the meeting tagged as the ‘Southern Governor’s Forum’ reached an accord to support the candidacy of a southern flag bearer for the 2023 general elections.
However, speculations have it that this candidate is no other than former Lagos state governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu aka Jagaban.
Tinubu earlier in the year announced his interest in the top seat in Aso Rock as he described it as his lifelong ambition.
The national leader of the APC since his declaration has been tipped by various media outlets, political pundits, and analysts as the top favourite for the presidency.
Convention: APC chairmanship seat causes uproar
Meanwhile, as all roads lead to the convention of Saturday, March 26, there is still a lot of controversies and conversations surrounding the emergence of Adams Oshiomhole’s replacement as the national chairman of the party.
It was gathered that the purchase of the chairmanship form has generated N700 million at present and could possibly rise if more persons decide to buy the form.
Reports also have it that the various coalition parties that made up the APC are also pitching their candidates for the top seat.
Recall Legit.ng reported that the CPC block of the APC is calling for the endorsement of their candidate Salihu Mustapha who hails from Illorin, Kwara state.
The 49-year-old was the deputy chairman of the now-defunct CPC which gave the current president, Muhammadu Buhari the presidential ticket to contest in the 2011 general elections.
Factions of the CPC also criticized the candidature of former Nasarawa state governor, Abdullahi Adamu for his affiliations with the opposition party, PDP.
Convention: Southern APC expresses scepticism on some chairmanship candidate
Similarly, APC stalwarts in the south have also expressed their reservation for some candidates in the race for the chairmanship seat of the party.
One of those candidates is 75-year-old Senator Abdullahi Adamu with whom they regarded as having strong hatred for the southern region.
The southern delegates questioned his loyalty and commitment to the course of zoning the presidency to the south after making a cryptic statement against the zoning policy.
When asked about his position on zoning the presidency to the southwest, Senator Adamu said:
“My answer to that is the constitution. Nowhere in the Nigerian Constitution that says we should zone any public office.
“There is Federal Character, but not that parties must zone positions for presidency during election. The constitution is being reviewed. If you want a specific provision that a presidential position be zoned, you say it, and tell us how you want it to be zoned.”
The above response triggered the anger of the southern delegates as they resorted to reaching a resolution vowing not to vote for him at the convention.
Convention: Buhari, governors set to meet over candidacy
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu who cut short his medical trip in London over the prevalent crisis in APC is set to meet with APC governors.
The meeting is expected to deliberate on the consensus list of the party as part of the build-up to the national convention on Saturday, March 26.
President Buhari before now has been rumoured to have endorsed some candidates for the chairmanship seat. He has since debunked such rumours stating that all candidates will have a fairground to compete.